MECHANICS NEED better training to keep abreast of the latest technical developments, according to a leading machinery manufacturer.

There are “shortfalls” in the quality of service offered by technicians, according to Claas UK, and the industry must respond to farmers‘ needs as they rely on fewer, higher value machines.

The company has opened a new dedicated training academy at its Saxham headquarters in Suffolk.

It has also introduced a new higher status service qualification of Master Technician.

There is a need for more specialised technicians capable of keeping pace with the latest, highly advanced operating systems, said Claas.

Three years experience as a Master Mechanic is needed for the new grade, as well as a 70% pass in practical and theoretical tests, and the qualification is reviewed annually.

“It is important that we increase technicians skills in order to keep pace with technology,” said head of the CLAAS technical department David McEwen-Smith.

“Regular testing shows up the shortfalls in the system and training is increasingly important as customers rely on fewer, higher value machines.”