Sam Dickerman, 2014 Motorcycle / Power Equipment Technician Graduate
Technician at Bettencourt’s Honda-Suzuki
I took a year off after High School.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I started looking at Automotive programs at the ‘big schools’ in the area.
I always liked motorcycles; I had owned a couple of dirt bikes.
My dad saw that MTTI offered a Motorcycle / Power Equipment Tech program. We both knew that if I trained to work on automobiles, family members would be asking me to work on their cars for free.
My dad and I visited MTTI—the shop was cool.
I could see that the course was hands-on. The shop was set up so that everyone would have their own work area and tools.
Studying motorcycle mechanics was very different than going to public school.
I hadn’t been a great student in the past. I had to attend summer school every year since the 6th grade. I did just enough work to get by, so I could graduate from high school.
At MTTI, everything was interesting.
The toughest part of MTTI’s program was learning electrical systems. I struggled. I stayed late with a couple of other students. The extra help from the Instructors got me through.
I gained experience working on power equipment by interning with Norfolk Power and Rental.
I liked working with lawnmowers and chainsaws. They are less complex than working on motorcycles—typically only needing a couple of parts to make them work. After internship, I filled out a job application. They had no immediate opening, but I stayed in touch.
I had been a customer of Bettencourt’s for some time.
I talked with one of my former instructors who worked at Bettencourt’s. They had an open position. Gary encouraged me to fill out an application, and recommended me to the owner, Mark.
Everything fell into place.
Two weeks later, after giving notice at the nursing home where I had worked since high school, I started at Bettencourt’s.
What I learned in school prepared me for work on the job.
It helped to know how to change tires on different machines. I had learned in school how to rebuild engines—carefully taking them apart, putting them back together—and making them work.
The extra effort I made to learn about electrical systems was worth the effort.
Once I got comfortable learning it at school, it made more sense to me. At Bettencourt’s, we work on the wiring and electronic component s all the time.
Knowing how to troubleshoot has been important.
We got to work on a wide range of motorcycles in the shop at MTTI. That has helped me explain to customers what’s wrong and what repairs we’ve done to make their bikes work.
I’ve been at Bettencourt’s for four years—it’s is a great place.
The guys here are good to work with—we all get along. I started off slowly, doing oil changes, tires and brakes. The longer I am here, the more I get to do challenging and interesting work.
Each day is different; I work on different makes and models of bikes and solve new problems.
We help each other. If I can’t figure something out, I can ask someone. We’ll brainstorm about what led to the problem, and talk about how to fix it.
I also maintain and repair my own Kawasaki Vulcan.
I bought it right before starting school; now I can do everything on it myself.
I’ve recommended MTTI to a couple of people.
I tell them that they’ll actually get to work on bikes and power equipment in the shop—not just sit in a classroom and learn out of a book.
Top Photo: Sam with Gary Simcock--his former MTTI Instructor and long-term Motorcycle Technician at Bettencourt's--outside of the
West Bridgewater, MA Dealership.
Middle: Sam, working in the shop at Bettencourt's
Bottom: Sam, with Gary in the background, working in the shop at Bettencourt's
31 S Main St, West Bridgewater, MA 02379