A mining technician in Wyoming has become the first in North America to earn Hitachi’s highest level of technician training.
It’s safe to say Declan Kavanagh is a modern day “Renaissance man” – he’s experienced in motorcycle engine repair, painting and ranching, among other things.
Kavanagh is also self-taught in large engine mechanical repair and gained experience in the mining industry. He is currently putting these skills to good use as a field service technician at Arnold Machinery Company in Gillette, Wyo.
And most importantly, he recently became the first mining technician in North America to achieve Hitachi’s Capstone Certification, the company’s most prestigious and highest level of technician training.
However, this achievement is not overly surprising to those who know Kavanagh.
“Declan is an extremely smart, skilled and proactive technician,” said Tom Gorton, service manager at Arnold Machinery. “In addition to achieving the certification, Declan personally created an extensive machine service audit report that we now use throughout the dealership. He’s a huge asset to our team.”
Originally from Ireland, Kavanagh immigrated to the U.S. in 2000 and has worked as a technician at Arnold Machinery for four years.
“It’s humbling to earn this certification from a reputable company like Hitachi,” Kavanagh said. “It’s really important as a technician to know what you’re doing, especially when downtime can cost thousands of dollars.”
Capstone Certification is a culmination of foundational classes along with hands-on training available for Hitachi’s full line of construction and mining equipment. A majority of the foundational classes are offered online with the final Capstone class being an instructor-led course. Managerial support is key to technician education.
“Allowing the necessary time to take the foundational classes enables future success for our technicians,” said Adam Coleman, branch manager at Arnold Machinery in Gillette, Wyo. “We know the certification is worth our investment as a major value-add for our customers.”
To honor Kavanagh and his achievement, Hitachi Mining Division representatives Shawn Riley, manager of product training and information; Craig Steinhauser, manager of customer support; and Andy Nicolas, territory customer support manager; as well as Arnold Machinery representatives Tom Gorton, service manager; and Terry Stewart, vice president of mining product support; presented Kavanagh with a framed certificate and custom Hitachi jacket at the Arnold Machinery dealership in Gillette, Wyo., on Aug. 27, 2018.
“We’re proud to recognize Declan as the first mining technician in North America to achieve this certification,” Riley said. “We appreciate Declan’s commitment to keeping Hitachi machines running at peak performance and hope more technicians will be inspired to look into the program as well.”
Gorton said Kavanagh has already inspired other technicians at Arnold Machinery.
“Now that Declan’s raised the bar, we have more than a dozen technicians working through the Capstone Certification program,” Gorton said. “We’re a ‘Silver Service’ dealer at Arnold Machinery, and that means we pride ourselves on taking care of the customer and putting them first. Having extremely qualified technicians is an important part of that.”
Along with inspiring other technicians, Kavanagh is also sharing his love of Hitachi – his son Malachy recently became the youngest member of Hitachi’s fan club The HERD.
“Hitachi makes powerful machines, and the operators love them. There is a lot of effort in designing the machines before Hitachi offers them to customers. And most of all, I like the orange color,” Kavanagh smiled.