Train in the Off-Season

Sept. 28, 2010

Rod Sutton, Editor in Chief Many equipment managers are in their off-season, as cold weather slows activity in their fleets. The sun spends a bit less time in the sky, and managers spend fewer hours in the office or shop. These are the months when a 50-hour workweek may even be attainable.

These are also the months to spend on self-improvement, and recently during the Construction Equipment Institute (CEI) in Austin, Texas, we witnessed several dozen managers doing just that. Two stood out as excellent examples of how training in the off-season should be a corporate commitment.

One executive had been referred to the Institute by his equipment manager, who suggested the lessons learned in financial management could benefit the firm. Convinced, the executive is considering sending the finance team to the Institute so everyone dealing with these management issues understands the concepts and can implement the necessary changes.

Another major company sent six to the Institute, after sending five to the 2004 conference in Chicago. Again, these folks were referred by a previous attendee who saw the value in the educational content. In this case, the manager sent several of his employees.

CEI isn't the only game out there, either. The Association of Equipment Management Professionals offers a series of training programs that result in certification. According to AEMP, a Certified Equipment Manager (CEM) has mastered 16 areas, including lifecycle analysis, parts management and preventive maintenance. Look to for more information.

A key opportunity for off-season training presents itself in just a few weeks. Conexpo-Con/Agg 2005 offers more than 115 educational and certification sessions during its run March 15–19. The sessions are offered in 12 tracks, so attendees can hone in on training that benefits them and their companies the most. For a list and to register, go to and click on "Events & Education."

Of course, other great offerings exist in the industry, too. The equipment-management community is strong, and there is a great willingness to share and teach. Take advantage during the off-season.

Rod Sutton, Editor in Chief, 630-288-8130, [email protected]