ATHENS, Texas – An RV dealer in Texas is choosing to send his technicians through formal courses at the National RV Training Academy (NRVTA) with the goal of attaining certification for each one.
Jason Calkins, the owner and general manager off Clear Creek RVs in Abilene, Texas, announced this month that he has enrolled his RV technicians in five courses offered by NRVTA.
“We are striving to employ good, quality technicians,” he explained. “Whether we are doing warranty work for our manufacturer partners or working on a customer’s RV, we want the repairs done properly and efficiently the first time through the shop. That way we don’t have to worry about RVs coming back and our customers enjoy peace of mind in knowing we properly diagnosed and corrected the problem.”
Calkins plans to spread training out over the next several years, which will keep technicians in classrooms learning about new products, tools and techniques so they can keep up with any new advances in the RV industry. Eventually, he would like to employ only master certified RV technicians.
He knows first hand the value of NRVTA training after having completed the RV Fundamentals class himself in 2019. Several members of his service staff have already completed multiple courses on their way to becoming NRVTA Certified RV Technicians.
“If a technician doesn’t understand how an RV works as a system, they will be unable to diagnose, let alone repair, the RV,” said Calkins. “Without training, technicians often try one part after another until they stumble upon the one that didn’t work.
“That’s a costly and inefficient approach to customer service,” he added. “There is no way to really assign a cost figure to repairing RVs by trial and error.”
Abilene is about four hours from the NRVTA compound, which means students will need to spend the night in an RV or one of the academy’s nine cabins. With the cost of enrollment, travel and accommodations, Calkins is making a significant investment in his staff.
“A week of training can be less expensive than one botched major repair,” said Terry “Cooper” Cooper, president of NRVTA. “When completing either the RV Fundamentals class or one of our six advanced training courses, I know students will return home with not only the classroom knowledge they need to diagnose and repair RVs, but also the hands-on, practical skills essential for accurate and efficient service.”
With wait times for repair appointments often stretching out weeks or months, it is in everyone’s best interest to have problems diagnosed and repaired quickly and accurately, Cooper added, noting that dealerships actually lose money every time an RV has to come back because a problem wasn’t properly addressed.
Calkins knows he is taking a risk by helping his technicians attain their certification, but he’s hopeful the staff will stay at Clear Creek RV because he made an investment in their careers.
“But, even if they opt to go elsewhere or venture out on their own, I feel better knowing we’ve done the right thing for our staff, customers and the RV industry by educating our technicians,” he explained. “We’ve done our part to raise the bar of our professionalism.
“Our technicians have more confidence in their skills, our dealership has peace of mind in knowing that we’ve provided the best service possible, and our customers are reassured they made the right choice by selecting Clear Creek RVs,” said Calkins.
For more information about Clear Creek RVs in Abilene, Texas, visit www.clearcreekrvs.com.
For more information about NRVTA training programs for RV owners, professional technicians or RV inspectors, visit www.nrvta.com, email [email protected] or call (903) 386-0444.