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HP Laser Printer Technician Basics

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

Essential tips for entry level HP laser printer repair technicians starting out.

This article is designed for new techs, as a very basic introduction to electronics and electricity, and to tools, instruments and their use.

Essential tips for entry level HP laser printer repair technicians starting out.
Essential tips for entry level HP laser printer repair technicians starting out.

REQUISITE SKILLS To become a laser printer technician, you need to have certain skills and tools. Briefly stated, you need to know about: 1. Which tools are essential and which are nice to have. 2. How to use the tools. 3. Test equipment. 4. Electricity. 5. How to use a multimeter.

Laser Printer Tools and Use

Ninety percent of all repairs can be accomplished with nothing more than three tools: (1) a magnetized 6-inch, #2 Phillips head screwdriver; (2) a magnetized, small-bladed screwdriver and (3) a pair of needle-nose pliers.

That's it-only three primary tools. However, you will carry a whole lot more with you in your toolbox. The toolbox itself is worth discussing.

Early techs in this business were copier techs looking for opportunity. Understandably, they came to our business with their briefcase-style, 400-tool kits. While that works fine for the copier industry, it doesn't relate to the printer business.


Copier techs started with a different philosophy. Their copiers broke a lot. That meant customers were inclined to question the quality of the machines and that technicians had to spend a great deal of time at customer sites.


Early in its history, copier guys set a pattern for its techs. They decided that, to combat questions of quality, they would establish an inordinate standard of competence and professionalism in their technical field force. If the machines were going to fail often, the technicians weren't. Machine failure was blamed on the incredible nature of the machines and the extraordinary demands placed upon them. The techs were dressed and equipped like investment bankers.


When a machine broke, a team of three-piece suits equipped with attache cases (cleverly converted to carry an incredible array of tools and hardwares) descended upon it and proceeded to return it to service with all the drama and professionalism exhibited in a hospital operating room.


Customers were impressed by this. Previously, service personnel had been "blue-collar" types, who earned a blue-collar reception on site.


The items they fixed were generally low-maintenance, and their visits to the workplace uncommon. The copier man, however, was in the office quite frequently, sometimes weekly. It was important that he meld with the landscape and attract as little attention as possible. If any attention were to be drawn toward him, it was critical that it be positive in nature.


This explains the ridiculous attache toolkit, and the more ridiculous posturing that had technicians dressing like bankers in order to service machinery that was potentially as dirty as an automobile engine or undercarriage. It was customer driven and produced an image that the manufacturers wanted for their equipment.

Beyond that, the attache kits were no impediment to servicing the equipment; they kept the tools well organized and were easy to transport. In most offices, the "copier room" offered plenty of space to open an attache and leave it out while the repair was being accomplished.

Although it was predictable that copier techs would carry their successful culture into the laser printer business, it was wholly inappropriate to do so. When considering maintenance, three major differences separate printers from copiers, and argue for a different service "culture"

  • Printers are much more reliable. They seldom fail.

  • Printers can be repaired quickly. Printers are integrated into the office landscape, unlike copiers, which tend to have a dedicated room or space.

Laser Printer Increased Reliability Who knew that laser printers would be so reliable that people would come to think they would never break? Printer reliability leaves the service industry with a sustainability problem. People who don't balk at monthly maintenance agreements on their copiers are now reluctant to spend money maintaining their laser printers often preferring replacement to repair.


Had the industry organized early and anticipated this, we could have moved quickly to establish programs like preventive maintenance that would encourage owners to better maintain their machines.


As it is, customers tend to defer maintenance. Damage that might have been prevented results in the early replacement of the machines While the technical support for our industry came from the copier industry, purchasers of laser printers are the same people who buy the computers, not the copiers.


Consequently, there is a constant and undeniable pressure to declare printers functionally obsolete and replace them with models commanding greater features and benefits. This is the pattern of the computer industry, where a product's life is often measured in months rather than years. Printers, on the other hand, enjoy greater longevity, trapping them in a no man's land" between computers, which change monthly, and copiers, which hardly change at all.

Given printer reliability, we don't have to apologize for a technician's presence on site. Indeed, we can herald it. He doesn't need to look like all the other guys in the office; he just needs to be professional. He doesn't have to wear a three-piece suit, and his toolkit doesn't have to look like it contains a stack of Wall Street Journals.

Because printers fail so infrequently, and because technicians are seen so rarely, their arrival is eagerly awaited. When a copier is down, people go back to their tasks, postponing copying or sending it out. But a printer failure is a much more personal problem. Because so many are desktop appliances, a printer's failure generally means its user is "out of business.


When a HP laser printer technicians gets there he may be received more like a messiah than a repairman. Customers are prepared, frequently pre-educated, to like him. No gimmicks are required to pass him off. His approach can be utilitarian and functional, because what the customers do expect is a very rapid return to extraordinary reliability.

SPEEDY HP Laser Printer Repairs

Take the covers off a freestanding copier, and you may be baffled by the confusion of wiring harnesses, brackets and integrated assemblies. Copier maintenance is a lot of work. The average copier tech is a hero if he completes four calls a day, including simple ones such as cleaning optics or replacing an OPC. Give him a tough problem, and he's easily there for a half-day, sometimes longer.

Laser printers are vastly different. The average repair is about 20 minutes, cover to cover. Changing a printer fuser takes five minutes. Preventive printer maintenance requires 30 to 45 minutes, but generally requires some customer interaction. The average printer tech can complete six calls a day, and may work on as many as 8 to 10 machines on a busy day.

It isn't difficult to reward the customer's need and expectation of a fast repair. The machines come apart easily and are repaired quickly. Al