By Joseph Evangelist
Executive Vice President, Transervice
As originally appeared in FleetOwner Magazine’s IdeaXchange
OEMs are continually improving and upgrading their product offerings. With updated products come new diagnostic procedures that require keeping technicians up-to-date on troubleshooting. It should become part of your overall fleet training program.
Most importantly, you need to be sure your technicians are familiar with the equipment they are going to be working on. For example, sensors and after-treatment systems on different models of trucks work differently and fail differently. Technicians need to understand how to troubleshoot the various types of equipment a fleet operates.
Let’s take a look at some of the resources available to enhance your training program:
- OEM online training: While this is an amazing resource, some fleets rely a bit too heavily on online training without being clear about what the training objective is. When it comes to understanding what is giving the fleet problems, technicians need to focus on the new equipment’s subsystems, like after-treatment systems or engine diagnostics. The main drawback of online training is that it does not give the technician the opportunity to ask questions.
- Webinars and training videos: These options allow in-depth explanations of updated troubleshooting practices. By creating a program that piggybacks webinars and training videos on OEM online training, you will create long-term knowledge. Webinars have the added benefit of allowing technicians to ask questions.
- OEM hands-on and corporate technical training: It’s hard to beat hands-on training because it allows instructors to demonstrate a procedure and then gives technicians the opportunity to try the procedure for themselves. Trainers can explain the difference between the equipment technicians are used to working on and the new technology.
- Mentoring: Technical development will increase if there are mentors assigned to less experienced techs. More and more fleets are hiring technicians right out of technical schools. While the top technical schools teach the latest diagnostic procedures, recent tech school graduates lack the hands-on experience of more senior technicians. Mentorships will give the recent tech school graduates the experience they need and will help the season techs improve their skill with the latest diagnostic tools.
There is an ongoing need for training in your shop. By taking advantage of the various types of training available, your techs will always be up-to-date on the latest troubleshooting and diagnostic procedures.
Trained technicians can keep your equipment on the road for maximum uptime and safety, improve service, reduce costs and keep drivers and management happy.