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Nebraska DOT looks to bolster their mechanics ranks before winter

Diesel techs, mechanics needed but “You gotta like a challenge”
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:25 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Experienced mechanics like Todd Jewell don’t mince words: the job is never boring.

“You gotta like a challenge,” said Jewell, with 15 years working on crews that maintain and repair more than 8,600 mechanical “units” in NDOT’s stable. “You’re not just repairing trucks, you need to know how to repair anything, everything. Chainsaws, weed trimmers, you name it, we got it, we work on it.”

The Nebraska Department of Transportation recently announced a bonus program to keep experienced techs in the fold and lure new talent into the ranks required to keep the vehicles and equipment moving, so they keep the state’s roads open and safe year-round. And with winter coming, 25 mechanics jobs, for example, need to be filled.

”From border to border, north, south, east, west, we need diesel technicians,” said Sharon Ankeny, NDOT director of communications. “That includes heavy equipment diesel techs because they are critical on us being able to provide that safe and reliable transportation systems Nebraskans and people traveling rely on, especially as we get closer to the winter season.”

The work done by mechanics and techs isn’t for the homebody. You’re on call once the winter weather hits, and that could mean working thirty days in a row, Jewell said.

“We’re out on the road if it’s snowing or blowing,” Jewell said. “We’re out there to get the truck going. A truck sitting on the side of the road is not benefiting anybody, the public, or us.”

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