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John Deere Techs

2645 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Christian A. Herrnboeck
Here's a simply question for you all:

The technicians in the shops at JD dealerships, do they need to be actual JD techs, or Billy-Joe off the street with some car repair experience?

Basically, what does Mother Deere require?

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Interesting... But it still doesn't say if they NEED to be a tech... I'm asking because we had a JD dealer out here doing some repairs to the Belarus 7111 (they had replaced the crankshaft a year ago, and now the heads came loose, because the nuts were put on the wrong way!!!), and the guy they sent out here as no mechanical experience, other than doing oil changes @ Canadian Tire....

At our shop, and I assume it is the same most places, we have techs that range from AgTech to "walk in off the street. It is not really the formal schooling that someone has, but the ability to figure things out with common sense. Mechanical aptitude is the best trait a good mechanic can have, along with ambition. Mother Deere has nothing to do with hiring techs at the dealership level. (And thank your lucky stars for that
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Ah, thanks for that...

I was a bit freaked out to have a guy out here that asked me how to set (not clearances, but actually how to SET) the valves on the engine... I told him "Like any other tractor, just follow the marks on the counterweight", and his reply was "what's that?"

the dealer we do 90% of our business with, only hires people that graduated from the John Deere Ag Tech school.

the other deere dealer hires ag tech school graduates as well as walk-ons...however, the walk-ons still must either have complete knowledge, or graduate from another schools diesel program.
I have seen all kinds in the shops of dealers. At the current shortage of skilled workers dealerships do not have a choice, if they want to get the work done. I have also noticed, that graduates from tech schools are no guaranty at all for knowledge, understanding and being able to get the job done.
Over the last decade I have experienced it is much more important to hire attitude and then teach skills. Unfortunately good teaching is extremely rare at any level in any occupation in a lot of companies and industries.
If I were in your situtation I would have told the "mechanic" to get his a$$ off my farm and never return. Then a swift call to the dealership to apprise them of the situation, and to send out a properly trained mechanic. No one and I mean no one touches my equipment unless I am comfortable they are qualified and knowlegable to do so. Downtime, costs of labor and repairs are just too important to expect anything less. Hell, they even charge for shop towels and handcleaner to cleanup before they get in the service truck to go back to the dealership.
If you don't like the mechanic you can always send him home and finish the job yourself.
The problem with most dealerships around here is that there are no techs to hire. you have to either take a flunky and try to make something out of him, or you send a student through the JD Ag-Tech program.
I have personally went throught the John Deere AG Tech Program. That was the only way the dealership I work for know would hire me. Things are changing so fast in the machinery business that if you dont have an sort of schooling youll be lost. As for what other dealerships due I couldnt tell you. I know that not all the technision at my dealership went through school and not all of them CAN work on newer machinery. But with the old getting phased out so are the mechanics.
Oh no i,m getting phased out because i,m old.
I know what you are saying deer98. At this dealership there is very few that can use Service Advisor, but they are certified and they go to schools, but it"s me or the tech. that works in the first shop that works on the latest equipment. I will say that i'm in school every day. John Deere gives the tech. and any employees that work at a dealership school everyday, there is Latest Solutions, What's New, Bulletin board, DTAC which is somebody you can talk to from JD with a problem and also look up problems of that machine, Parts solutions and many others. Everybody should do this to make there job better. There is a great opportunity and rewarding to be a tech. of the future.

And this from somebody that had a bad two days, repaired a transmission or i think i did but had to take it back out and then did find the problem. YES
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I worked with a lot of different techs in the ten years I was with Deere and natural mechanical ability is the most important trait of a good tech. Schooling/training alone cannot make a good mechanic. I worked with several "certified" techs that had trouble with even simple jobs.

There's no way that poor excuse for a tech should have been sent to work on your tractor. Service managers/shop foremans should know the abilty of their techs and assign jobs accordingly.

That said, every tech has to start somewhere. I started at the local dealer when I was 18 and still in high school. I would PDI garden tractors and do oil changes. After a year and a half I was sent to Ag Tech. All of the 14 guys in class passed the course, but it was easy to tell that not all of them would make a career out of it. 8 years later less than half are still techs and only a few with Deere. Dealers just can't seem to hang on to trained techs.
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Generally, that's what I'd have done, but if you spend $13,000 on an engine-job, and then the head comes loose, I think it's best for the dealer to "deal with it".

Thanks for all your comments guys!

Just an update:
The seal they put in blew after 2 hours again. Found out they had stuck silicone on the head gasket (yes, I was there when it was being put on, but the gasket was already on the block, and seems the guy put the silicone between it and the block). So, the tractor went in, again... They took the head off, but this time I wanted to see the d**n thing. Guess what? The fire-ring had worn a slight groove into the head, and at the point were the first gasket blew, you could see/feel erosion marks. I told the (get this!) service manager, and he kept saying, "oh no, it'll be fine - they are too small, no problem, no problem, I'll guarantee it's going to work!" I drove it home, and by the time it rolled into the yard, it was leaking again...

Oh, and as for newer equipment, they actually ship the stuff with "computer bugs" (their words, not mine) to a different JD dealership 2 hrs away...

That's what you get for living in the parkland.
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