After a summer of regional competitions, Terex Equipment Services announces the champion of its national technician competition.
First Place winner Jorge Rocha, from the Terex Service Center in Burleson, Texas, says that being open-minded and ready to learn new things is essential to a successful career as a heavy equipment mechanic. He has been with Terex for 19 years.
Advancing to the Finals
Of the 12 technicians that competed at the regional level, four advanced to the finals held in August at Terex Utilities headquarters in Watertown, South Dakota.
Their experience in the industry ranged from six to 31 years. They each got their start in a variety of ways — working with backhoes, car haulers, and concrete mixers with skills in electronics and hydraulics.
Doug Shaw, representing the Waukesha, Wisconsin branch, placed second in the competition, and Monte Stemwedel from the Phoenix, Arizona Service Center finished third. Morgan Harris, a field service technician from Castle Rock, Washington, was the fourth finalist but was unable to compete in the champion round.
Harris, who has only been in the industry six years—three of those with Terex, said, “Working for Terex as a field mechanic will change your life—from flexible schedule to money to be earned.”
Showing off Skills
Terex Equipment Services technicians are skilled at inspecting, diagnosing, and repairing any brand of aerial lift, mobile elevating work platform, digger derrick, crane, telehandler, and related equipment.
“We launched the Terex Tech Rodeo this year as a way to showcase our highly skilled workforce, and to create an opportunity to build camaraderie among our team members,” said Cody Curran, Training Specialist.
In addition to his skills as a Technician, Rocha enjoys fabricating non-structural items that are needed for a current job but that may not be available in a timely fashion. “As a mechanic, you don’t have all the answers to solve daily tasks, but as a technician, we have to be willing to acquire knowledge from different sources and people” to work through the problems, said Rocha.
Finding the Defects
The regional contest involved conducting an annual inspection of a Genie scissor lift. During the final competition, each service technician performed an annual inspection and function testing of a digger derrick and chassis. Rodeo officials planted nine defects. In all, there were 119 inspection items.
Technicians were scored on finding defects that relate to the manufacturer specifications and the accuracy of their report, with clear notations referenced. “The most highly-skilled tech will find defects that an untrained tech won’t find, but also has the ability to clearly communicate defects to customers through a well-documented inspection report,” said Curran.
The winners of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place received cash and other prizes. Kudzu Health+Safety donated $500 to the first-place winner and Cintas Uniform Services donated a $200 yeti cooler to 2nd place. Terex gave cash prizes to all 3 place winners, and Rocha will get a trip to The Utility Expo in September in Louisville, Ky.