July 2015

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>> PERSPECTIVE LORI TOBIAS T revor Kosanke and Tom Scherer, 22, knew at a very young age that they wanted to work with heavy equipment. at may explain why both are advancing at an acceler- ated speed at their jobs with Miller- Bradford & Risberg, Inc. in Sussex, Wis. Both are field service technicians working independently with their own trucks. But along with family encour- agement and youthful instinct, the pair also credit a good education. Both young men got an early intro- duction to the business. Scherer's father is a heavy equipment mechanic and Kosanke's uncle has worked for Miller- Bradford & Risberg for many years. "I knew this was the direction I wanted to go ever since I was a little kid playing in the sandbox with smaller toys," says Scherer. "en it turned into bigger toys. In high school I enrolled into shop classes where I was interested in working with tools. It was there that I discovered that I liked working with heavy equipment. A lot of heavy equipment machines have a large amount of power, and there are a lot more moving parts." He attended a technical college in Madison, Wis. and earned an internship through a construction company out of Madison. From there, he moved to Wyoming to work in the oil fields and eventually moved back to Wisconsin, signing on with Miller-Bradford & Risberg as a shop technician. It took him only a year to win the promotion to field technician. Kosanke followed a similar path, also graduating from a similar program. He turned an internship with Miller- Bradford & Risberg into a part-time job, soon earning a full-time position. A year and half later he was also promoted to field service technician. "I wanted to learn the ins and outs of the industry and hopefully one day run a shop," Kosanke says. Like Kosanke, Scherer likes the independence of the job as well as the traveling, even though at times it may be challenging. Scherer recalls a story from when he just started working at Miller-Bradford & Risberg. "It was one of first jobs I worked on and it was all electronically controlled. It started getting dark and I could not figure out what was going on. I did all of the testing we learned in school. I even talked to Trevor so there were two heads on it. Aer Trevor and I bounced ideas off of each other, I found out we had a manufacturing issue where they had crushed the wiring harness underneath the cab. I had to take apart the bottom side of the cab and pull the harness out. Using the electrical schematics, I found what wires needed to be operated on in the machine. I proceeded to fix these wires so we could actu- ally move the machine. Had I not learned how to properly read an electrical schematic in school, I wouldn't have known what to do. e customer brought it in and we have since fixed the problem on the machine and it's been working properly ever since." Another challenge within the indus- try is the rapidly changing technology. "New items are always evolving," says Kosanke. "It keeps you on top of your toes. I know when I started here, the emissions standards in the construction industry didn't have to meet the same Tier 4 requirements that trucks did. In college, they taught us standards for trucks. When I got to construction, the emission standards remained at Tier 3. Learning the proper education helped me excel within the construction industry, and I was on top of the game." To continue with their education Tom and Trevor participate in manufacturer training. "I've had training classes in CASE equipment," says Kosanke. "It really teaches you and shows you a lot about the machines and really helps out with the work I have to do." Scherer adds, "e instructors did a great job of relating to you on a personal level. e classes were smaller allowing more interaction with the instructors." Ken Fischer, the service manager at Miller-Bradford & Risberg, sees Kosanke and Scherer as the ideal examples of what education and encouragement can mean to young employees entering the field. "Technical school programs like those supported by AED, are giving our technicians a good jump start on all the facets they need to come here and succeed," says Fischer. "ey're intro- ducing students to hydraulics, pneumat- ics, and electronics. ese are skills they wouldn't receive if they were to walk in right out of high school." Fischer would like more young professionals like these two field A Technician Perspective A glimpse into industry-specific training and education. 52 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | July 2015 (continued next page 54) Another challenge within the industry is the rapidly changing technology. Pictured: Tom Scherer, an independent Miller-Bradford & Risberg Field Technician

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