By Dave Worden
The Equipment & Engine Training Council’s (EETC) 18th annual conference was held April 9-12 in Charlotte, N.C., which is well known for its auto racing as the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was an appropriate setting for the annual conference as things are moving fast with the EETC.
2013 was a great year for the EETC in the areas of growth, revenue and new programs. The EETC launched a new membership website, online testing with online proctoring, and a lot more dealer options. EETC Executive Director Erik Sides — with some direction from his Executive Board — was challenged with a lot of projects, and we are proud to say they were met with enthusiasm. We hit all of the objectives and then some.
This year’s EETC Executive Board consists of the following members:
* Past president: Kerry Malkerson, Marr Bros.
* President: Dave Worden, SkillsUSA
* Vice President: Trence McCoy, NW Louisiana Technical College
* Secretary: Ron Jensen, Echo Inc.
* Treasurer: Jim Letourneau, Foley United
New changes at the EETC include:
A new and more intuitive website: www.eetc.org. Features include easy sign in and membership, Student Scholarships, Dealer Career Center, Technician Certification, Online Testing, and much more.
At this year’s conference, the EETC held workshops for EETC-accredited schools, as well as a factory tour at Jacobsen Manufacturing. As always, the EETC Certification Committees conducted meetings, reviewed the current certification tests, and will update and make the necessary changes.
Workshops for the educators also took place at the annual conference. They included:
* Husqvarna Factory Training — Auto Tune System by Doug Peeler
* Walbro Carburetor Update by Luis Salas
* Oregon Factory Training — Oregon Cutting Systems by Jay Larsen
Then, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the garage area (Yes, the same area that NASCAR uses.), additional workshops took place. They were as follows:
* Ron Jensen — Echo Inc. — Factory Training Two-stroke Failure Analysis
* Tom Beheler — Hydro-Gear — Factory Training Transaxle Teardown
* Mike Goad — B3C Fuel Solutions — Fuel Service Training
* Scott Mack — Kohler Engines — Factory Training Fuel Injection Systems
* Doug Peeler — Husqvarna — Factory Training Trimmer Teardown
* Jeff Talsma — Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. — Factory Training Carburetor Systems
* Tom Billigen — Briggs & Stratton — Factory Training Electrical Diagnostics
Mike Hudson of Echo Inc. leads a failure analysis class.At this year’s general session, the EETC was proud to re-introduce the Paul Scholten Memorial Scholarships, and they were awarded to the following individuals:
* Easton Marie Murray of New York
* Ross Daniel Lubner of Wisconsin
* Kyle Bernard Volker of Minnesota
* Paul Curtis Pickering of Texas
* Richard Terrell Morris of Mississippi
All of the scholarship recipients were given $1,000 to assist them in furthering their education in the equipment and engine field.
Some additional activities and projects for 2014-15 will include:
1. Equipment & Engine Training Council’s — E‐learning Program
* 2- to 2.5-hour program (depends on student)
* 15- to 25-minute segments
* Animation, Graphics, Voice-over, Interactive Media
* Questions at the end of each lesson to advance
* Basic Electrical to release Q2
* Basic Hydraulics end of Q3 beginning Q4
2. Pre-Employment Test
Test will contain 40 questions to evaluate competencies in ﬁve diﬀerent categories
3. GIE+EXPO — EETC Training Classes (Dealer Day on Wednesday, Oct. 22) (Please go to the GIE+EXPO website at www.gie-expo.com for more information.):
* Two-stroke Engine Failure Analysis
* Four-stroke Engine Failure Analysis
* Compact Diesel Engine Failure Analysis
* Drivetrain Systems
* Fuel Service Training
* Carburetor Systems/Diagnostics 101
* Electrical Basics 101
* Propane Fuel Systems 101
And as always, the EETC held its annual awards banquet. This year, the award recipients were as follows:
* Manufacturer of the Year: Echo Inc. for its unwavering support of the EETC and its ideals
* Distributor of the Year: Marr Bros. for its continued support and promoting certification
* Service Manager of the Year: Bill Ledford, Tri-State Pump, for his belief and support in helping any and all who ask, as well as his support of EETC
* School of the Year: Texas State Technical College, Waco, Texas, for its years of support and promotion of Technician Certification
* Spirit Award: George Klein of Walla Walla Community College for his drive and dedication to the EETC and promotion of the EETC to all who he comes in contact with
* President’s Award: A great presentation was given by Kerry Malkerson of Marr Bros., who honored many of the association’s manufacturers and teachers who make the EETC what it is.
* Director’s Award: Ed Cole of The Toro Company for his tireless support of the EETC, never-say-die attitude, and his great support to the Executive Board
The EETC has already scheduled the dates and locations for its 19th and 20th annual conferences. They will be held April 8-11, 2015, in Lake Zurich, Ill., and April 6-9, 2016, in Milwaukee/Kohler, Wis., respectively.
For additional information about the EETC, visit www.eetc.org.
Dave Worden is the president of the Equipment & Engine Training Council (EETC), a program director for SkillsUSA, and a contributing writer for Outdoor Power Equipment magazine.