Top Tech Challenge Winner Sheds Light on Certification

Mar 14, 2018 | Member News

A year before winning the RV Industry Association’s Top Tech Challenge, a competition in which service techs are timed to diagnose appliance defects, Brandon Galbreath didn’t pay much heed to be a certified tech.

“For years and years and years, I didn’t believe in certification. Then, all of the sudden, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I should go and be certified,” said Galbreath, who runs family-owned D&N RV Service in Joppa, Ala. “Through that
providence of being guided through the Lord, I had no clue that there was going to be a Top Tech Challenge a year later.”

Watch Galbreath in action during last year’s Top Tech Challenge.

He decided to dive-in completely and go for Master Certified, achieving it by October 2016. Until it dawned on him, Galbreath originally didn’t see the advantage. His work, he said, already reflected quality.

“I didn’t need a piece of paper,” he said. However, it added more customer confidence, and helped in building Galbreath’s rapport. In total, he scored a 98.7 out of 100. “The hardest part of the test was getting logged in online.”

Now that he’s achieved Master Certification, he said he’d be more than willing to do it all over again.

In his youth, Galbreath’s parents originally serviced boats beginning in 1993. Galbreath helped until there was too much down time. That’s when he began working on RVs, and the family fully transitioned to the industry in 2005. His dad  taught Chrysler mechanics across the U.S. for 40 years, fueling Galbreath’s technical aptitude and an analytical approach that demands perfection.

“That’s where I get the majority of my technical training,” he said. At age 11, he was a ham radio licensed operator, and studied electronics and building plant maintenance throughout high school. Servicing RVs was what Galbreath called a “natural transition.”

When asked if he’d take on a protégé, Galbreath said he’s yet to find one that would take exact direction. In a very Japanese manner, he seeks someone that will master the craft of RV tech service.

“Perfection is the only thing I accept,” he said. “It sounds cliché, but we’ll do a job two or three times if it ain’t right. It has to function better than it did when it left the factory. And a lot of people can’t put up with that.”

Like a sensei with a dojo, his techs are now going to become registered and begin the certification process. He’s made it a prerequisite, and it’ll make for better analysis. During the Top Tech Challenged, part of his process of elimination in diagnosing problems at each station was looking at the contents of the tool case. Certain tools intended for particular issues were not included thus making deductions easier. In one work station, Galbreath figured out the problem in 52 seconds out of an allotted 15 minutes. The referee thought the countdown clock was broken. He whispered to Galbreath: “Way to go, Superman.”

Part of the money from the $10,000 check awarded to Galbreath will be used to create a painting station at R&N Service. To celebrate the Top Tech win, the town of Guntersville, Ala., held a celebration

in the rec center at the end of January with the mayor, state attorney general, state senator, RVIA’s Bruce Hopkins and Liz Crawford, as well as 260 other people in attendance. Alabama’s House representatives also gave the service shop a plaque recognizing its excellence. “I’m not much on trophies,” Galbreath said with a humble tone, “but I like that one.”

Courtesy of RVIA