Kevin Whitling is a technical trainer working in the US. In his time with Konecranes, he has held many roles, including Service Technician, Service Manager, and Service Sales. He has been a technical trainer for the past decade, and has conducted training classes in four countries and 19 US states.
How does Konecranes develop service technicians’ knowhow in providing maintenance?
Service technicians who are hired by Konecranes bring with them skills and knowledge in a variety of trades that pertain to servicing cranes. Our technical training builds on this knowledge and focuses specifically on cranes.
All cranes have the same fundamental characteristics. When it comes to cranes from other manufacturers, there are differences in the way each crane component is designed. Konecranes technical training uses lab examples, and experienced instructors point out the differences to allow our service technicians to properly evaluate and repair all crane components. It is critical that our service technicians understand how other manufacturers’ cranes are built so they can work to facilitate safer and more productive operations for our customers.
It is critical that our service technicians understand how other manufacturers’ cranes are built so they can work to facilitate safer and more productive operations for our customers.
As technologies develop, how do technicians keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date from year to year?
Konecranes service technicians spend at least 40 classroom hours a year participating in a variety of technical training classes. This is necessary to keep up with how quickly technology changes. Cranes have evolved into sophisticated devices with many features. Technicians must learn about these features, how to work on them, and when to recommend them to our customers. Also with digitalization, the way technicians report their findings has changed. Now, once a technician has completed a service call at a customer’s location, the reports that were once on paper are emailed to our customers and available online through the yourKONECRANES portal.
With digitalization, the way technicians report their findings has changed.
How would you describe the training a typical Konecranes service technician receives?
Comprehensive. We have developed a curriculum through years of experience in training our service technicians. Training covers topics from basic electrical components up to the industry’s latest Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) and radio controls. Technical training topics also cover mechanical components such as gear boxes, brakes and wire ropes. Our inspectors are trained on applicable codes and regulations regarding cranes within their country or region. They go through a certification process that includes a practical inspection of a crane that has faults inserted into it by the trainers. Inspectors must show a proficiency in finding the faults and relaying their findings to a customer.
Apart from technical knowledge, what other types of skills does a technician’s work call for?
A Konecranes service technician must also have the ability to conduct a Safety or Visit Review with the customer, which is not as easy as it sounds. Some customers have the technical knowledge to understand the implications of our findings with regards to the safe operation of their equipment, while others need further explanation. Regardless of the customer, our service technician must provide them with a clear picture of the condition of their cranes and the service performed.
Text: Patricia Ongpin Steffa