Have you ever wondered who fixes the Bird scooters you see out in your city? Turns out, there’s a whole group of people Bird hires called Bird Mechanics. You can read more about what Bird Mechanics do here, but today, reader Chris T. is going to share his top tips for being a better Bird Mechanic.
As scooters continue to grow in popularity nationwide, it’s inevitable that a few scooters will take some tumbles or otherwise need to be repaired. So who is fixing these scooters? As we’ve covered before, Bird uses independent contractors to keep their scooters charged – and maintained. As with Chargers, Bird uses the same system to ensure they’re maintaining the scooters with their teams of Bird Mechanics.
You can read an overview of what it’s like to be a Bird Mechanic here, but assuming you’re interested in or are already a Bird Mechanic, there are some valuable tips you need to know to be a truly successful Bird Mechanic. Being a Mechanic is a little more complicated than being a Charger, and the tips below will help you be more efficient at maintaining/repairing these scooters – which will help you earn more!
Top 10 Tips to Be a Successful Bird Mechanic
1. Make sure you have the right tools
Like all projects, having the right tools for the job will make your task faster, easier, and ultimately improve the workmanship. Early on, Bird supplied Mechanics with a starter kit of tools. They weren’t the best quality and Bird has since stopped sending tool kits entirely, leaving Mechanics responsible for supplying their own. Here’s a few essentials:
- Hex, Torx, Tamperproof Torx bit set (This set has every bit you’ll need, but the driver is junk. Purchase the one below separately)
2. Tire/Tube Changing Tips
This can be one of the most challenging tasks for newbies. These tips can make a 30 minute struggle into a 10 minute cake walk.
- Inspect the tire, to see if it can be reused. In most cases, it can, unless it is punctured or severely shredded inside.
- Fit the new tube within the tire. For front rim, feed the valve through the hole first, then fit the tire around it. For rear rim, fit one end of the tire onto the rim, then feed the valve through.
- On the front rim, sometimes the plastic casing misaligns, and you’ll need to use a drill to bore out the hole to allow the valve to fit through
- Use a hand clamp to pin one end of the tire as you fit the rest of the tire around the rim, giving you a 3rd hand in a way.
3. Check Everything First
Many times there are multiple issues with a scooter, and some that cannot be repaired. Before you start working on it, do your best to check everything to ensure you’re not wasting your time. For example, if you have a flat tire and it needs a brain jump, be sure to check that you’re able to jump the brain before changing the tire. Nothing worse than realizing the brain won’t restart after you’ve spent time changing the tire.
4. Use Online Resources
It’s common to want to skip over the intro text, and Bird isn’t always great in pointing it out, but by reading the basic how-to’s on Bird’s resource site, you’ll save yourself much aggravation. In addition, there several 3rd party forums and Facebook groups that offer some great advice and tips to newcomers. Be respectful. If you join and ask a question that shows that you never took the time to read the basic orientation material, you won’t be met with a warm greeting.
Looking for a place to chat with fellow Chargers and Mechanics? Check out Scooter Talk, a forum for scooter chargers and mechanics from all companies, including Bird and Lime.
5. Keep a healthy supply of spare parts
Try to have a sense of what you may encounter, and have a handful of spare parts to be able to fix as needed. Many times there will be a parts shortage, so think ahead and make sure you’re well stocked.
6. Use Filter when searching
Bird recently introduced filters on their iOS map. While it may appear on the map, if it hasn’t been located/ridden in days, it’s not likely there. Focus on those that have been located/ridden within the past day. In some competitive markets, you’ll want to narrow it down even further.
7. Releasing in Nests
The GPS is not always accurate. Make sure that you’re within that 32ft radius before you line up your freshly repaired Birds. Even if you’re in the right spot, the GPS might think you’re not, and it won’t let you release. This happens often when you’re near tall buildings.
8. Graffiti Remover
Keep a can of this handy to easily remove vandalized graffiti.
9. Manage your time wisely
Decide how much your time is worth. Determine what makes sense to repair and what you should bring to storage. Is it wise to spend an hour on one troublesome scooter when you could easily repair 3 others in the same amount of time?
10. Don’t cut corners
You may think you’re clever by splicing wires, using fix-a-flat, or some other quick fix. Remember, this is not your personal scooter. Replace defective parts properly, or don’t do it at all. Bird monitors repairs, and you’ll be terminated if they see a pattern.
BONUS TIP: Know your own limits. If you don’t feel confident that the scooter is properly repaired, just bring it to storage. It’s not worth risking a rider’s safety over an extra $10.
Final Thoughts on Being a Successful Bird Mechanic
If you decide to become a Bird Mechanic and are approved, keep in mind the responsibility of being a Mechanic. If you’re not handy or don’t have the patience to do a good job, stick with Charging. Remember that riders get on these scooters with the expectation that they work and are safe. If someone hops on and the brakes aren’t working, it can be a disaster. Take your time to understand what it’s like to be a Mechanic, what it entails, and what items you’ll need to be successful.
Chris has been serving as a Bird mechanic for the past few months in the West Los Angeles area.
Bird Mechanic Forum
Join the Scooter Talk forum, where Bird Chargers and Mechanics ask questions and share advice, tips, and tricks. Click here to join the forum.
- Want to sign up to become a Bird Mechanic? Click here to get your application started!
- If you want to try riding a Bird Scooter, click here to download the Bird app and get a free ride
- Read this if you want to become a Bird Charger
If you’re interested in working for Bird, then you might also be interested in driving for Uber and Lyft or delivering food for Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmates.
Are you a Bird Mechanic? What tips do you have for other Bird Mechanics, or what questions do you have about becoming a Bird Mechanic?
-Harry @ RSG