As the RV industry continues to post record sales numbers, demand for qualified dealer service technicians to keep millions of RVers on the road is at an all-time high. And while there are national programs set up to help satisfy demand for dealer training, Thor Industries Inc.’s Keystone RV Co. announced Monday (Feb. 1) the launch of the KRV Technical Training Academy for Keystone, Dutchmen and CrossRoads dealerships nationwide.
“This investment in the KRV Technical Training Academy is a commitment to help our dealers deliver the best customer service experience in the industry,” said Rick Deisler, Keystone vice president of service operations. “Through the academy we will be working hands-on with dealer technicians to ensure the highest level of skill while keeping the dealership up to date on the latest Keystone technology.”
Jim Mac, director of marketing communications for Keystone, added, “With the increase in wholesale unit sales to dealers and the growth in retail sales, our dealers are very busy servicing customers. We understand the value of well-trained techs for our dealers. This program benefits the dealers, the retail customer and our company. We need to get more qualified techs to our dealers. That’s what this academy is all about.”
The KRV Technical Training Academy, classes form which are to be held is located in Keystone’s Goshen complex at 2425 Davis Drive, will offer three-day training courses for entry-level technicians and advanced-level, certified/master-certified technicians. Technicians completing the course receive credit for continuing education hours if already certified through the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Heading up the academy will be Randy Davis, a 30-year industry veteran and 20-year master certified technician.
Davis noted that four, three-day training sessions have been scheduled through May 2018 with the first session kicking off Feb. 6. “We were blown away by the positive response,” said Davis. “Within a matter of hours many of the available training slots were filled. In fact, we only have a few left for the May session.”
He said that Keystone is building a long-term program to help its dealers excel in all levels of technical skill. “The popularity of the program speaks to the need for this kind of hands-on manufacturer training.”
“We are definitely going to continue this effort beyond the May schedule,” added Mac. “We already sold out quickly for the early classes and anticipate filling them all soon. We offered this opportunity to train new technicians to all our dealers. It was pretty much first-come-first-served.”
Mac said the curriculum may evolve over time depending on the feedback from the attendees and dealers and how well the tech training is satisfying their needs. The capacity is now in the 30-trainee range but Keystone plans to make room for more. “We are actually expanding the facility now,” said Mac. “We will have added space in the new facility to potentially run two classes simultaneously.
“Our plan is to make sure the retail customer of the Keystone, Dutchman or Crossroads trailer or fifth-wheels gets the best service possible,” Mac added. “If we can help our dealers by providing quality education for their techs, that’s what we will do.”
Academy training dates include:
- Feb. 6-8: Entry-level technician
- March 6-8: Advanced technician (already certified/master certified)
- April 10-12: Entry-level technician
- May 8-10: Advanced technician
Academy course schedules are available on Key Express or visit [email protected] for more information.