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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Staff Spotlight Allan, Westlock Service Manager

Allan grew up on a family farm with an interest in mechanics, so getting his first job right out of high school at an equipment dealership was a natural fit. He thought he would work for 10 years, get some experience and return to the farm full-time.

Before he knew it 40 years went by and although the company has seen some new owners, a couple of name changes and a new - much larger building, he is still working for that same John Deere dealership.

Within those 40 years however, Allan found the time to get married, have a family and outside of work now has the role of Grandpa to his 2 grandchildren.

We sat down with our Westlock Service Manager, Allan for a quick Q & A to learn more about how his 10 years turned into 40!

What is your history with Martin Deerline?
“I started working for Miller Farm Equipment as a Lawn & Garden Service Technician right out of high school. I apprenticed to become a Journeyman Technician and moved to the Ag side. In the mid 80's I spent 10 years driving service truck as a Road Technician before becoming the Shop Foreman in the 90's. Last year I moved into the Service Manager role which has been a bit of a change going from getting dirty in the back every day to sitting in an office!”

What do you like most about working here?
“The staff! And customers when they appreciate what you've done for them. It was always a good feeling running the service truck when you could leave someone's yard after you got them back up and going.”

What is the biggest change you have seen at the Dealership over the 40 years?
“Technology is a big one! Machines use to be so much simpler. As well as the size of the equipment, I remember when the 9600 combine came out and how big we all thought it was. I never would have imagined back in the 90’s that we would be so close to a tractor driving itself now.”

Who that you worked with, did you learn the most from?
“Paul Kaufman, him and I spent lots of time working on the floor together and then he was the Service Manager for Deerline Sales when I became Shop Foreman.”

What advice do you have for new technicians or students interested in becoming a mechanic?
“You need to be good with electronics. Most diagnosing is done on the laptop now. There is less rebuilding and more replacing of parts than the old days. But there will always be a need for the mechanic!”

What has been the most challenging aspect of the job over the years?
“Keeping up with the technology, and new models of equipment. You use to have a model for 10 years and would really get to know everything about it. Now it seems like every two years they are coming out with something new! Changes come so fast!”

What piece of John Deere equipment is your favorite?
“I really like the 4020 tractor, but the 4440's were the nicest tractors to work on - reliable and easy to fix!”

Do you enjoy coming to work?
“Yep, I love what I do! I get up at 5am every day and there are very few days that I don't feel like coming in. If you hated to come to work you wouldn't stay in one place for 40 years!”

And there you have it - the secret to staying at the same company for your entire career is loving where you work and what you do! And in talking to Allan it is very apparent that he loves the people he works with, the opportunity to help customers and a brand that comes with quality like John Deere.

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