Today’s snowmobiles are more advanced than ever. That comes with a ton of upside like durability, performance, fuel and oil economy, and reduced emissions. Indeed, they’ve come a long way from single-cylinder, carbureted power plants spewing exhaust right under your nose to the lean and clean 4-stroke and E-TEC injected 2-stroke engines and sophisticated chassis we enjoy today, but they are increasingly complicated for self-taught, trailside mechanics to service.
While significant capital and research have gone into developing today’s snowmobiles, at BRP that investment doesn’t stop there. The company has also invested largely in its facilities and technician training programs to keep these advanced machines on the snow.
BRP’s Sturtevant facility opened in November 2016. The company completely gutted a section of offices at the Evinrude engine factory to add noise-deadening insulation, exhaust ventilation equipment and more, turning it into an advanced training center for all lines of BRP products, including Ski-Doo snowmobiles. It’s the ultimate proving ground for aspiring dealership technicians.
The BRP technician certification process starts with general online learning modules to educate individuals on the intricacies of BRP vehicles and Rotax engines. After successful completion of the online coursework, the next step to completing BRP technician certification is a 2-week, hands-on training course where students are essentially told, “Prove it!”
That training takes place at the Sturtevant facility – one of eight such training facilities BRP maintains on four continents around the globe – holding 30-33 2-week training courses each year for nearly 400 aspiring technicians from the United States and Mexico. The first week is spent on general services performed by BRP certified technicians. The second week is product-specific training devoted to solving potential consumer issues on the actual vehicles for a given product line.
Students use one of 10 work stations outfitted with mechanic’s tools, a BRP product, a description of customer issues, and a switchboard that can be programmed to simulate any number of malfunctions – from common error codes to the smallest issues that may not even register as an error code. Students must accurately and efficiently diagnose problems and resolve whatever issue is thrown at them. Students receive training on all BRP Rotax engines currently used in a specific product line, some engines that are no longer being produced, and chassis components.
For Ski-Doo, that means your certified Ski-Doo dealer will have technicians on hand who have the most advanced training for both 2-stroke and 4-stroke snowmobile engines from the 550 Fan, 800 P-TEK, 600 Carb, all the way through the 850 E-TEC.
While training for BRP dealer technicians is robust and comprehensive, there are times even the most educated can be stumped. That’s why facilities like BRP’s Sturtevant training center also house a staff of BRP engineers dedicated to a specific product line. Dealership techs have a direct line to those engineers for any questions they might have. Most of those engineers have many years (read: multiple engine/chassis launches) under their belts, and offer assistance on just about any Ski-Doo engine that finds its way to a dealer’s shop. Plus, there’s a full assortment of BRP Rotax-powered vehicles on site to use as a reference when solving customer issues.
Add it all up, and you’ve got a recipe for dealership service departments that not only offer superior, in-depth knowledge of the products they sell, but also service vehicles as efficiently as possible. And that adds up to saving you money, and maximizing your time on the snow!
Because once the snow falls it’s go time, and you don’t want to be the “that guy” (or gal) in your riding crew who stays behind because your snowmobile isn’t ready to go for the season. That’s where the BRP-trained technicians at your local Ski-Doo dealer come in. They are your best resource for making sure you’re ready to ride once those first flakes hit the ground thanks to the world-class training they receive at places like BRP’s state-of-the-art training facility in Sturtevant, Wis.