Capri Originals – Navy Vet Turned Diesel Tech

NAVY VET turned


bearded seabee82

bearded seabee82

Iowa, CA

At Capri Tools, we have a lot of loyal customers and fans for our products. A number of our users even have YouTube channels where they talk freely about the products on our shelves. One of the biggest of these YouTube channels is run by Bearded Seabee82, a diesel mechanic. In this article, we’ll get to know him and find out what makes his opinion so powerful in the world of tooling.

Who is Bearded SeaBee 82?

The channel is named Bearded Seabee 82, but who’s the man behind the content? He’s a diesel mechanic by profession. He started as a diesel tech more than a decade ago, in 2008. His career started in the Navy, which is where his name came from (Seabee is a heterographs of C.B., which stands for Construction Battalion).

The Choice Behind a Diesel Tech

The inspiration for this career change was largely based on his own personal interests. His whole life he’s been fascinated with taking stuff apart and trying to put it back together.

Like many mechanics, he likes to find out how things work. In an industrial sense, Bearded Seabee82 gravitated towards welding, manufacturing, and machining.

The Traits of a Good Tech

These same tendencies are the reason why he’s so good at what he does. He mentions that a good diesel tech needs to have a strong understanding and experience with pneumatics, hydraulics, welding, manufacturing, and some frequency drive knowledge.

Of course, hard work and determination play into the equation as well. Oftentimes, talented techs don't view their work as a job. It’s just an extension of what they love to do, and they genuinely have fun (for the most part) doing it. If you’ve watched some of Bearded Seabee 82’s videos, you've already observed this passion firsthand.

What Does He Work On?

Diesel techs can work on a number of different items. Seabee 82 mostly works on 18 wheeler diesel engines. Despite the size of semi trucks, there’s an unbelievable amount of intricacy that goes into their engines.

Under the Hood of a Semi

Seabee explains the challenges of working under the hood of a semi. The everyday person might think that the engine of a semi truck has a mile of space to work with. After all, the truck is massive, so surely there’s a lot of room to turn a wrench and climb into the hood, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Seabee82 thanks the engineers when it comes to the surprising lack of space under the hood of a semi. In fact, there are even areas that have less space to work with than a standard compact car does.

What if He Weren't a Diesel Tech?

We asked what he would be doing if he weren't in the auto industry. He said that he would still be in a skilled technical trade. That’s just a testament to how much he loves working with his hands and using the skills he's learned through his life.

He speculated that he might be an electrician, welder, or work in industrial maintenance. He mentioned that he might want to work on electro-motive drive systems like electric forklifts or cranes.

Of course, these are all sectors that he has hands-on experience working in after leaving active duty in the Navy and before becoming a diesel tech.

The Difference Between Diesel and Regular Engines

You might be wondering why we keep specifying that Seabee is a diesel mechanic. Diesel engines are very different from the standard engine that you might have in your car. In a simple comparison, diesel engines don’t have spark plugs. That takes out a lot of components that you’ll find in a standard engine and will leave you scratching your head.

Since the fuel is a lot cleaner and more power-efficient, compression alone is enough to ignite it. Compare that to a standard car which uses a small arc from a spark plug to ignite the surrounding fuel vapors.

In fact, the diesel engine was invented about 125 years ago and predates the gas engine. Since then, not a ton has changed. The underlying theory and operation of a diesel engine are more or less unchanged, it’s just the efficiency and power output that has improved over the years.

Determination and hard work effort... the willingness to learn and work hard can make a world of a difference in any place you work.

SeaBee 82

How long have you been a diesel tech?

Officially since 2008, when I had changed rates (job placement) in the Navy to become a CM (Construction Mechanic) in the Sea Bees

What made you want to become a diesel tech?

I have always enjoyed repairing things, everything from building and welding, finding out what makes things tick etc. Turns out that when I went from aviation sector of the Navy, they had need to fill in the Seabees, so I went that route.

Are there any additional skills that helped you become a successful diesel tech?

Welding, hydraulic and pneumatics, frequency drive knowledge, and hard work effort have all helped me succeed.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into the diesel mechanic industry?

Eat your wheaties! Heavy equipment equals heavy parts, but no person should be intimidated. There are always ways to outsmart heavy parts and work them to your advantage regardless of how small or big you are. Also, be ready for an ever changing industry. EPA mandates have made basic diesel technology so much more complicated. Regulations change rapidly… kind of like how cell phones are constantly upgrading.

What does a diesel mechanics daily life look like?

Wake, coffee, wrench, repeat... just kidding, but that would make a cool T shirt… there you go, next idea for your design team! Make sure to put “-BCB82 2021.” Just kidding! Really, it depends on the day of the week, and the seasons, at least here in Iowa. During winter, things could change within any given hour, depending on the weather.

What made you have a love for tools?

It kind of runs in the family you could say. I have some vids of the family shop that I need to finish up that kind of explain it just a little bit better. Family-wise, we got some tools. Some going back to mid 1800s style old.

What is the first tool received or purchased?

Aside from some play type toys when I was young, the first tool kit I got was from my dad. It was right before a cross country trip with him and my brother the first time I was able to go home from the navy and bought a car. My dad got me a smaller Stanley tools ⅜”dr set for my car just before we traveled from Iowa all the way to Monterey, CA together. It was a LOOONG trip, but quite memorable! Makes me feel old thinking about how long ago it was.

If you weren’t in the automotive industry what industry would you be in?

Likely I would still be in skilled technical trades, be it welding, commercial electrician, electro-motive drive systems (cranes, electric forklifts, etc) or industrial maintenance, as I have worked those sectors after leaving active duty and before going full semi mechanic.

I have always enjoyed repairing things, everything from building and welding, finding out what makes things tick etc.

SeaBee 82

A Man and His Tools

It’s hard to find a tech or mechanic that isn’t in love with their tools. In this case, BCB82 is so in love with tools that he started a YouTube channel all about them.

He explains that his admiration of tools is a family affair. His father and grandfather were both in love with tools, and he even has some pieces in his toolbox that date back to the 1800s. His family even had a shop that proudly displayed walls covered in tools of every kind. Growing up in that environment, it's no wonder he developed an interest in tools.

The first time he came home from serving in the Navy, he, his brother, and his dad took a trip around the country. At the end of the trip, he was presented with his first official tool kit. It was a set of Stanleys that he could leave in his car. The car was a new purchase for him, and his dad wanted to make sure he was prepared for any troubleshooting that might arise.

Little did he know that this gesture would turn into a career choice in the future.

Why Did He Start Reviewing Tools?

SeaBee 82 started his channel simply because he enjoyed talking about tools. At the time, he didn’t even know how YouTube worked. He was just recording videos of him talking about his favorite tools and giving an honest review of them.

Over time, he started getting some serious traction. As his fanbase grew, he started uploading videos more regularly. Some questions in the comment sections would later turn into full videos explaining the answers.

In addition to pursuing his own passion, SeaBee wants to make sure that others are able to make good tool purchasing decisions. There’s a lack of honesty in the world of tool reviews, and that’s what he's looking to get rid of. In too many cases, reviewers are getting paid to make tools look much better than they really are.

SeaBee 82 just wants to help people avoid making the same buying mistakes he made in the past. Nothing’s worse than picking up a tool that you think can help you, only to find out that it's junk. An honest reviewer will help you avoid that mistake and ultimately save you time and money.

His Go-To Capri Tool

Naturally, we had to ask SeaBee 82 what his favorite Capri tool was. He has a ton of different reviews of our tools on his site, so it was hard for him to pick just one. He mentioned our bit sets, impacts, and ratchets. After some consideration, he narrowed it down a tie: His two favorite tools are our 88-piece master bit set and our 3/4” impact.

He calls both of these tools “lifesavers”. If you’ve used them, odds are you're nodding your head right now in agreement.

Bearded SeaBee 82’s Hobbies

When he’s not turning wrenches on diesel vehicles, he’s enjoying Mother Nature. Relaxing outdoors provides him with a welcome break from the stresses and fast pace of modern life.

Learn More About Our Favorite Tool Reviewers

At Capri Tools, we manufacture and sell tools that are worth talking about. That’s why so many people take to YouTube to talk about what we have to offer. Take a look at our inventory to see for yourself, and reach out if you have any questions.

Check out Bearded Seabee 82's YouTube Channel

One comment

  1. chemengpro

    I have been watching Bearded SeeBee for a number of years and closely watched his series on Capri Ratchets. This was my first exposure to Capri tools and now have all six ratchets and enjoy using them.

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