Heil, the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based refuse truck body manufacturer, announced the release of the Heil Nexteligence Connected Tech Certification Program on Jan. 2.
According to the company, the Nexteligence Connected Tech Certification Program is a four-tiered system that recognizes technicians who have achieved significant technical knowledge and skill in the maintenance of Heil equipment. Certification requires a combination of:
- Basic to advanced level Connected Tech training in the troubleshooting of hydraulic and electronic systems, which can be achieved using the Nexteligence Online Learning System;
- Specific and detailed product training on all critical systems relevant to Heil Refuse Vehicles and 3rd Eye camera/digital systems, administered either at the Heil factory or a customer location. Classes include structured classroom and hands-on modules; and
- Post-training "shop-time" work requirement, so that company management can provide critical feedback on work experience.
"Turnover and loss of skilled technicians can seriously impact equipment uptime,” Pat Carroll, president of Environmental Solutions Group (ESG), of which Heil is affiliated, states. “With the Nexteligence program, fleet owners now have the tools they need to train technicians in today's highly competitive job market and can choose the method of learning that works best for the technicians, including online options. The goal is to get maintenance and service technicians trained through the Gold Level, improving their knowledge of the most current line of Heil trucks and enhancing their ability to troubleshoot and repair Heil products accurately and quickly."
The ability to accurately troubleshoot problems affecting modern garbage trucks means less downtime, less money expended on the wrong parts and more uptime for the vehicles in question.
"The technology in Heil products continues to evolve, and we have implemented the Nexteligence Connected Tech program to help technicians improve their understanding of the hydraulic, electronic and pneumatic systems employed on Heil garbage trucks," Jennifer Testa, vice president of enterprise transformation at ESG, says. "The key to furthering the development of technicians is providing the foundational knowledge of these systems via the Nexteligence Online Learning System. Increasing understanding of hydraulic and electronic principles, digital controllers and troubleshooting allows students to move faster and retain more knowledge when they get to the advanced product training courses. When these trainings are combined with shop-time experience, one of four levels of certification can be achieved.
"The Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers of Connected Tech Training are designed to instruct technicians based upon experience level, enhancing their knowledge of the systems critical to trucks in their fleet. As part of the curriculum, technicians choose the training modules that apply to the specific Heil models operating in their fleet, making the training more relevant to them from day one with fleets reaping the benefits of faster repair times from more skilled technicians.”
The program also includes the Platinum tier for those who want to become expert trainers within their organization. Platinum-level technicians at Heil dealers provide factory-level technical support and can administer official Nexteligence training to their customers, keeping them ahead of changes and increasing dealer communications with their end users, the company says. To achieve Platinum status, these students are required to travel to the Heil factory for an intensive hands-on exam where they are required to troubleshoot and repair a vehicle with multiple system issues.
"Reaching the Platinum tier includes a very comprehensive one-on-one exam with an expert Heil technician and will also require the demonstration of class facilitation skills. The technicians that pass Platinum-level certification will represent the most thoroughly trained technicians in the refuse industry today," Testa says.
The pricing of the program depends on the preferred method of training, the company says, with online courses starting at $1,074. Heil is working with its nationwide dealer network to ensure dealers have Nexteligence Connected Tech-trained technicians on staff to better serve their customers. In addition, fleet owners are encouraged to enroll their technicians in the program through their dealer to increase the proficiency of their mechanics and service technicians.