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2018 January/February Growing Our Equipment Manager Program
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Growing Our Equipment Manager Program 

by Dave Phipps

In December, I was asked to present to the equipment managers at the Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Associations conference. As I was putting together the slides and reviewing all of the benefits that are available to EM’s through their membership, I couldn’t help but be a little proud of how far we have come in just one year. My hat is off, especially to our professional development team. GCSAA’s Senior Manager of E-Learning Programs Lisa Wick has assembled an impressive library of education content for equipment managers, and there is a ton more on the horizon. Kelli Flanner, our senior manager of curriculum, and Diana Kern, our manager of external education and data resources, has assembled an impressive certificate program which we call the Turf Equipment Technician Certificate Program (TETCP). It was envisioned by the EM Task Group and created by a team of equipment manager members. 
 
The TETCP is a series of exams designed to demonstrate proficiency in key competency areas related to turf equipment. What’s unique about this program is that it’s available to all equipment mangers, regardless if they work at a golf course. The program is made up of eight domains of competency: cutting units, drivetrain systems, electrical systems, engine technology, hydraulic systems, metalworking and fabrication, spray systems, and fundamentals of turfgrass operations. 

The goal is to provide access to current and relevant information that will help the equipment manager perform has his highest potential and ultimately having a direct impact on the quality of product that our industry delivers each day. 
 
When I speak with EMs, I like to open the floor at the end of my presentation and ask for their input. Since this is a new and budding program for us, their opinion is valuable. In Colorado, their highest priority is managing Tier 4 engines. These engines are highly complex and require a computer to diagnose and maintain. Often, the equipment tech would receive a new mower with a Tier 4 engine and have no idea what is required regarding training operators, yet alone maintaining from their end. What I found interesting is you are not supposed to idle a Tier 4 engine. They must run a full throttle or they will load up with carbon. That’s a big change when mowing rough and idling down to let a golfer play through. Now you must shut the mower completely off. 

I promised them that I would reach out to GCSAA’s professional development department and see what we can offer when it comes to specific Tier 4 education. This will more than likely be a topic for the 2018 EM Task Group and I am confident that our team will look further into this and see what options we can provide.

Contact Gary Leeper at RMGCSA
Voice: 303-255-9611 Fax: 303-458-0002
12011 Tejon St., Ste. 700., Westminster, CO 80234 EMAIL: info@rmgcsa.org