AMS-Merlo Technicians Always Learning

AMS-Merlo Technicians Always Learning

To stay abreast of the ever-changing heavy machinery industry, Applied Machinery Sales (AMS) teamed up with Diesel Training, headquartered in Irmo, SC, to train seven technicians on diagnosing, and then troubleshooting electrical and hydraulic systems.

“We offer multiple levels of diagnostic training modules,” said Instructor Scott Meek. “We cover a number of topics that apply to many diesel and hydraulic systems currently in the market. We also can tailor a program to fit a specific need.”

The module on hydraulics explained how a hydraulic system is built to function and also how to interpret the hydrauliAMS-Merlo Technician Training.1.21c schematics.

The electrical module covered everything from the basics on fundamentals of electrical flow, through diagnosing the most common wiring and electrical issues, to reading wiring schematics and schematic symbols. Plus, the hands-on portion included correctly repairing wiring harnesses and connectors to avoid costly harness swap repairs.

Because of current COVID safety precautions, AMS’s crew started their training program with online modules. “These courses cover the uniqueness of certain systems a traveling tech, for example, may see in the field,” Scott said.  Participants can expect Q & A, quizzes and tests before certification.

The next phase had the crew head down to Irmo, SC for in-person, hands-on training.  Scott said Diesel Training abides by strict COVID guidelines. Classes are kept to 8 or less, and hygiene safety practices are strictly in place.

The in-person classes are where the AMS team built upon their on-line overview of the Electrical and Hydraulic systems.

The classes are structured like building blocks. The foundation is the overview classes. The first course covers the theory and basics of the chosen module. The second course adds in upper-level diagnostics and the top is the hands-on application.

After the classroom, the techs are given the opportunity to apply their new knowledge to “in the field” type scenarios where a number of machines — deliberately bugged—are available  for some real-time “troubleshooting.”

Consider sensors. Sensors are found on many pieces of equipment. The purpose of a sensor is to send signals to other parts of the machine’s systems for the efficient running of the equipment. One test machine was set-up to throw a sensor error code. When a sensor sends an error, the first thought is to “just fix it” and move on.

“It’s easy to fix a symptom,” Scott said. “What we teach is to fix the cause by searching for the root of the error message.  We train in what steps to take to trace the error back to the original problem.” Thinking beyond the quick fix means replacing the right part the first time. This approach is what saves companies money and reduces, or removes, a machine’s downtime on a site.

For the AMS team, the time spent with the remote and classroom modules has already paid for itself.

“Very in-depth,” said technician Bailey Beasley of the Electrical I and II course modules.  “I went in knowing a lot, and I came out with a better understanding of what to do, where to start, and the logical steps to take to find the right solution.” The big take away for him: “I learned better time-saving processes, too.”

Dannie Oueini, the service department customer service tech, completed the modules on hydraulics. “Everything was presented in layers: videos, slide presentations, in person. Then, we got to take what we learned and get very hands-on with the machines. It is a very effective way to learn systems. I am already using this knowledge in assisting Merlo owners and mechanics in troubleshooting their machines.”

Jack Brown, AMS logistics tech and shop assistant said, “Once I got the concepts down, the hands-on part, working on the bugged machines, made it fun, interesting, and more relevant to my work here at AMS.”

Technician Ken Madden agreed. He liked all the classes. “I have a good foundation in hydraulics,” he said. “What I liked is I learned a lot of things I did not know. And, the hands-on aspect cemented my understanding of the flow of a hydraulic system. All of it has made me a better technician.”

When it came time for the final test “we do what we have to do,” Scott said, “to make sure the techs know what they need to know before they leave.” Of course, all the AMS service technicians passed their tests and received their certifications.

AMS sells, rents, services, and trains mechanics and operators on the Merlo telehandlers and Rotos. AMS-Merlo has two locations. Headquarters are located in Rock Hill, SC. The branch location is in  Olathe, KS.  For more information on Merlo telehandlers visit:

Diesel Training is located in Irmo, SC. There are a number of satellite training centers located across the US. For more information

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