2017 Motorcycle / Power Equipment Technician
at Sheldon’s Harley-Davidson
My goal was to become a Motorcycle Technician.
I was working as a Technician and Assistant Manager at a Valvoline Instant Oil Change, trying to get hired at Sheldon’s Harley-Davidson. In 2016, Sheldon’s hired me as a Shop Hand. I moved bikes around, maintained shop cleanliness and changed motorcycle tires. I drove the truck and trailer for dealership deliveries and pick-ups, and controlled winter storage logistics and inventory.
Without training, I was unlikely to move up from Shop Hand to Technician.
Chris (known as ‘Hammah’), a 2010 MTTI Graduate who works at Sheldon’s, told me about MTTI's Motorcycle/ Power Equipment Technician program. The program was affordable. I wouldn’t need to relocate; I could work part-time at Sheldon’s while attending school for seven months.
When I visited MTTI and saw the shop, it was an easy decision to enroll.
I got along well with the Instructor, Jay, right off the bat. Gary, the Shop Skills Instructor, had lots of knowledge about working on dirt bikes, power equipment and motorcycles. He helped me get the hang of welding.
Electrical systems were the most difficult to learn--especially without prior experience.
The book they gave us was helpful. What we learned in the classroom was very relevant to what we did in the shop. Much better than just reading about it, is being able to do it hands-on in the shop.
It wasn’t always easy to go to school while working.
Whatever help I needed, I got from my Instructors and classmates. Chris has been a mentor to me at Sheldon’s; he’s been more than happy to share his knowledge and experience.
Fortunately, school started in the fall and went through the winter.
I did my internship at Sheldon’s, and graduated in early May—just as we entered our busy season. By the time I completed the program, I was ready to work 40 hours a week as a Motorcycle Technician.
I was promoted to Hourly Technician.
I began performing preventive maintenance services, tire changes, accessory installation, component replacement, drive train inspection and repair, electrical and mechanical testing and diagnosis.
My ‘aha’ moment came after I graduated.
Working on projects at Sheldon’s, I remembered: ‘I did this at school’. Everything I learned at MTTI I use. You’re paying for school—so you want to be equipped to work at the end. I felt I was well equipped. I enjoyed going to school and got a great foundation. After I was hired, I got a good basic set of tools from MTTI that I could use on the job. It was helpful to have those, instead of having to buy them during the first months.
I wouldn’t be where I am in my career if I hadn’t gone to school at MTTI.
Anyone who asks, I recommend MTTI, because of the amount I was able to learn. You get out what you put into the program. I showed up every day. I did the homework. It was worth the sacrifice. If I hadn’t gone to school, I would still be on staff at Sheldon’s—but I wouldn’t be working as a Technician on bikes.