on Thursday, April 7, 2022
From Student of the John Deere Tech Program to True North Equipment's Service Solutions Specialist,
A TRUE "climbing the company ladder" story - told by Luke Aipperspach
I went into the program in ’99 and graduated class of 2001. For me I knew about the college, my father had gone there in and was a graduate of the diesel program in the ‘60s. I was already working at Western Implement in Hallock, MN so for me it was an easy decision to go into the Tech program at Wahpeton. I had always wanted to be a mechanic of some kind and diesel paid better than automotive, also I could have a good job in my hometown. With my degree in diesel mechanics, it really opened a number of doors for me as I began working in the dealership. I spent my first number of years getting heavily involved in AMS as AutoTrac was just coming out. This made a quite valuable as a young technician and made it easy for me to transfer locations when I made the move to the Grand Forks store in 2005. I continued working as a diesel technician and maintained a relationship with NDSCS as a former graduate of the program. In the summer of 2008, I was approached by Larry Ascheman when he was on a student visit about an opening they had for an instructor in the Tech Program. I thought this would be a great opportunity not knowing it was something that I would enjoy, but I had to take the opportunity to give it a try. I ended up teaching one school year 2008-2009 at NDSCS and then returning to True North in the summer of 2009. For personal reasons we could not make the move permanent. Because this experience once again with NDSCS and my background in the service department I was able to obtain the position of Service Manager at the Grand Forks store in 2013. I gained a whole new appreciation of the Service Department and understanding of what it takes to make the whole animal of service run as a Service Manager during my 5 years in that roll.
Throughout my years as a Service Manager I was asked to be a part of the JD Tech Advisory board and continue on that board today. I have also been able to mentor a number of Tech students that have now graduated from the program and are very successful technicians at TNE. I moved over to the RC in 2018 as a Service Support Specialist, then into Corporate Service Manager in 2020, and Service Solutions Specialist in 2021. When I look back at my career what I was taught at NDSCS really help shape me and give me the tools to launch my career.
What I tell any student that is thinking about becoming a diesel technician is that if you start off with this as your foundation you can go anywhere in the dealership. I have stayed in service, that is the area I am at home. Others have become very valuable lead technicians in our service departments that are the go-to individuals for our customers and other technicians. Others yet have moved into other departments like IS, parts, sales, and management. I am very biased toward the JD Tech Program and NDSCS, along with True North Equipment they have given me many opportunities over the past 20 years and a very good life.
OPPORTUNITY IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER
Working as John Deere Technician is more than just a job turning wrenches. True North Equipment’s John Deere Dealership Technicians are the foundation of the company’s success. They are the men and women standing behind the iconic green paint.
Service Technicians are in high demand, but True North Equipment also offers career advancement opportunities. Today’s Service Tech could be tomorrow’s Sales Person, Service Manager, Precision Technology Specialist, or Store Manager.
We’re looking for self-motivated individuals with a passion for people and the ag equipment industry, who are interested in advancements in Agricultural Equipment Technology. True North Equipment is happy to provide students with paid tuition for the John Deere Technician program at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, ND, and guaranteed job placement after graduation.
The NDSCS John Deere Tech program prepares you for a career in the high-tech, fast-paced world of a John Deere Service Technician.
Students learn through classroom, hands-on lab work, and John Deere dealership internships.
This isn’t your average diesel program. Deere & Company established the John Deere TECH program in 1989 and now sponsors programs at 24 colleges, like NDSCS, throughout the U.S. and Canada. Every instructor has completed extensive John Deere technician training, and students have the opportunity to work on the latest equipment and technology.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The John Deere Tech Program is designed to advance the skill level of new John Deere service technicians and prepare them to excel in today’s high-tech, fast-paced field of agriculture mechanization. Students will gain valuable, practical insight and real-world experience by applying what they’ve learned at NDSCS and True North Equipment.
The program curriculum - designed by John Deere and NDSCS- addresses the full range of technological advances across John Deere’s agricultural and turf equipment.
You’ll cover John Deere diesel engines, powertrains, hydraulics and machine set-up systems in-depth while becoming proficient with high-tech electronics, computer diagnostics and proprietary John Deere systems. Plus you’ll also benefit from learning the communication and customer relations skills essential for your success.
The John Deere Tech program is designed to develop technically competent, professional ag equipment service technicians.
The John Deere Company sponsors the program and NDSCS administers and operates the program.
The John Deere Tech program takes six semesters, or approximately 24 months, to complete. The six semesters are divided into 10 terms, each approximately eight weeks in length. Students complete the second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, ninth and tenth terms on campus and the first, fifth, and eighth terms at any of the eight True North Equipment dealership
WHAT STUDENTS SHOULD EXPECT FROM THE PROGRAM
Tremendous opportunities to learn in the real world.
At NDSCS Students learn through classroom, hands-on lab work, and John Deere dealership internships—You’ll cover John Deere diesel engines, powertrains, hydraulics, and machine set-up systems in-depth while becoming proficient with high-tech electronics, computer diagnostics, and proprietary John Deere systems. Plus you’ll also benefit from learning the communication and customer relations skills essential for your success.
This unique program combines state-of-the-art, on-campus training with supervised occupational experiences at a sponsoring John Deere dealership, like True North Equipment. Students receive technical training on John Deere equipment and related products through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on laboratory experiences.
Classroom and laboratory instruction at NDSCS covers the basics of each subject plus the latest developments in John Deere’s agricultural equipment.
Program & Course Work
2-Year Associate’s Degree** Program
General education courses and John Deere exclusive classroom training courses include:
- Diesel Engines and Fuel Systems
- Powertrain Components
- Electrical and Hydraulic Systems
- Service Advisor™ Diagnostics
- Heating and Air Conditioning
- Service Department Procedures and Policy
- John Deere Product Specific Training
- Precision Technology
- Plus, you'll put your education to work with hands-on training at True North Equipment through regular internships.
Being sponsored by True North Equipment, TECH students receive:
- Hands-on internships with True North Equipment
- Experience working on the latest equipment and technology
- Tuition and tool assistance*
- Job placement after graduation
WHAT THE PROGRAM EXPECTS FROM STUDENTS
Students enroll in the John Deere Tech program at the beginning of the summer semester.
Students are accepted into the program upon completion of admission into NDSCS.
Students should do the following:
Apply for admission to NDSCS through the Enrollment Services office. Enrollment Services will not accept faxed applications for any program.
• Submit high school transcripts or GED to Enrollment Services.
• ACT minimum test score of 15 in reading and English.
• Visit NDSCS and complete orientation (testing, academic advising and scheduling, and registration).
• Secure approval from John Deere sponsor, True North Equipment.
It’s so much more than a job. It’s a CAREER.
And Technicians are THE John Deere DIFFERENCE.
How To Apply
To be considered for the John Deere Tech Program at North Dakota State College of Science, request and complete the application package by contacting the NDSCS Office of Admissions. For True North Equipment sponsorship, complete the application located on our careers (Diesel Technician Internship) page, a member of our Human Resources team will reach out to you following the completion of the application.
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