Let the Games Begin! Dealer Technicians Go Head-to-Head in Cat Trial 10: Tech Test

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Caterpillar Inc. strikes again with Cat Trials 10: Tech Test, an elaborate obstacle course that displayed the expert skills of service technicians — a critical line of defense in a product’s abilities and lifespan.

“These positions are challenging, high-tech and in high demand. These are careers that are well compensated, too. We’re hopeful this video provides people a closer look at some of the skills technicians have and how they apply them in their jobs,” says Dave Faber, Caterpillar.

Caterpillar Inc. hosted the 10th edition of the Cat Trials, a series of short films showcasing the advantages of the company’s products through unique challenges. Cat Trial 10: Tech Test, released on March 23, 2021, was no different as 18 Cat dealer service technicians and apprentices competed head-to-head in a five-part obstacle course.

Previously, the Cat Trials were revived in October 2020 with the release of Cat Trial 9: PAC-MAN™, which focused on Caterpillar’s services in the form of realistic game icons that represented Cat Customer Value Agreements, Repair Options, Cat Financial, and the Cat App.

This year, Caterpillar shifts the attention towards increasing awareness of the critical demand for dealer technicians and the numerous job opportunities throughout the industry. With a large portion of the younger generation pursuing four-year degrees or other career paths, there is an unfulfilled need for people to pursue technical-vocational programs.

Currently, the Cat dealer network has approximately 1,600 open U.S.-based positions for skilled technicians. However, the company is not alone in the search for qualified applicants. Caterpillar’s goal is to bring awareness to the lucrative job opportunities available and supply problem solvers with the tools they need to become a certified service technician.

“Our technicians are key to helping our customers build a better world,” said Dave Faber, Global General Service Manager, Caterpillar. “These positions are challenging, high-tech and in high demand. These are careers that are well compensated, too. We’re hopeful this video provides people a closer look at some of the skills technicians have and how they apply them in their jobs.”

There are many benefits to becoming a service technician, such as career advancement to management positions, advanced training, great pay and benefits, travel opportunities and a great work environment for people who are interested.

Dealer technician salaries vary depending on several factors, including experience level, geographic location, and dealer compensation structures, but the average salary of an experienced technician is in the range of a U.S. family median household income of $68,703 in 2019.

Certified service technicians provide a higher quality of service and keep machinery and engines in prime condition for a longer period of time — making the most out of an investment.

Each certified service technician has the in-depth training and knowledge for the particular part they are servicing. They have been trained on how the product works, the various functions of the machine and how the components and systems interact. They have the knowledge and tools to identify, troubleshoot and repair problems quickly and with minimal downtime.

When a service technician can provide reliable uptime and maintain the quality of a product, it will provide money saving opportunities for a company. In other words, if you are not up and running, you aren’t making money.

In order to recognize the important technical careers available, Caterpillar created a life-sized, fast paced obstacle course that tested mechanical aptitude, engine and application knowledge, comprehension of Cat services, computer skills and ended with a safety mindset assessment.

The obstacle course was a test of speed combined with the examination of quality, reflecting the needs of customer projects.

Cat Trials 10 challenges include:

  • The Cat Can Test, a proprietary test developed 40 years ago by Caterpillar, is a 3D oversized version of the puzzle dealerships utilize to gage mechanical aptitude.
  • The Engine to Application Challenge tested technician’s skills in matching Cat engines to specific applications. This also demonstrates that when you work for a Cat Dealer, you have many possibilities that go further than the well-known, dirt side of their business.
  • The Troubleshooting Challenge tested the knowledge of Cat services, that include remanufacturing, scheduled oil sampling, customer value agreements, repair options and preventative maintenance kits.
  • The Computer Skills Analyses, using the Cat App, makes technicians pull a customer placed parts order.
  • The Safety Mindset Assessment occurs after the parts order has been pulled. Technicians are asked to complete a safety walkaround of their vehicle and deliver the order to the customer’s job site. In this challenge, as well as on the customer’s jobsite, safety is key.

The contestants that competed in this year’s Cat Trials competition were all Cat Dealer Service Technicians or Apprentices — many of which are going through a technician apprenticeship program, like ThinkBig, to gain classroom and on-site, hands-on training right now.

This elaborate training program consists of eight-week intervals of classroom training provided with paid eight-week periods at a dealer shop. The program lasts for two years, creating qualified technicians that are trained to work in fast paced environments, while understanding both the iron and technology of Cat products.

Whether you are an aspiring or current skilled service technician, or simply an obstacle course connoisseur, Cat Trial 10: Tech Test will bring excitement to your day.

WATCH HERE: Cat Trial 10: Test Tech

Globally, Cat dealers currently employ more than 70,000 service technicians, with the estimation of needing to hire tens of thousands of additional technicians over the next decade. To learn more about open positions, interested applicants can learn more here.     

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About Caterpillar
With 2020 sales and revenues of $41.7 billion, Caterpillar Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. Since 1925, we’ve been driving sustainable progress and helping customers build a better world through innovative products and services. Throughout the product life cycle, we offer services built on cutting-edge technology and decades of product expertise. These products and services, backed by our global dealer network, provide exceptional value to help our customers succeed. We do business on every continent, principally operating through three primary segments – Construction Industries, Resource Industries, and Energy & Transportation – and providing financing and related services through our Financial Products segment. Visit us at caterpillar.com or join the conversation on our social media channels at caterpillar.com/social-media.

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Chantal Zimmermann
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