This spring, Prevost resumed its signature Factory Training Program and brought 44 attendees from the United States and Canada to its location in Quebec City. The in-depth, five-day training program featured a mix of demonstrations, hands-on activities, classroom sessions, factory and assembly line tours, and Q&As. The program kicked off with a special group trip to the Prevost Museum to experience the company’s culture, meet some of the Prevost family members, and learn more about the proud 100-year history of Prevost.
Since most of the attendees are technicians, the program is designed to help them improve their maintenance and repair skills. During the course of five days, the group takes a dive into Prevost, its manufacturing process, and the diagnostic, mechanical, and technological components of motorcoaches.
“Today’s technicians are busy switching out parts to get vehicles back on the road quickly,” says Prevost Customer Support Manager for North America Robert Hitt. “During our training, we slow things down, take a step back, and cover how the systems are assembled and how they operate so technicians have a foundational understanding of the coach and its components.”
The training program covers everything from electrical, HVAC, and pneumatic systems to the Volvo D13 engine and all-new H3-45.
“We open up our coaches so the group can explore and touch every element,” says Hitt. “During the hands-on sessions, their eyes light up when we pull the heads off an AC compressor or the valve cover off a Volvo engine. You’ll see the light bulb go off when they start to understand something like our electrical system or another element that we’re breaking down for them.”
And, while there’s plenty of hands-on learning that takes place during the Factory Training Program, there’s also online training that happens in advance of the in-person event.
Attendees must complete a series of online courses through the Prevost Technical Institute prior to attending Factory Training so they have a basic understanding of a variety of technical systems on the coach, including the fundamentals of HVAC, electrical systems, pneumatic braking systems, and the Volvo engine.
The training program culminates with an awards night that recognizes the top three technicians. The awards are based on the pre-work and results of tests that are conducted throughout the week.
This year’s Top Tech winner was Matthew Belyea from Skyway Coach, based in Markham, Ontario. He received a VIP NASCAR experience for two, which includes a VIP tour and special access to active areas of the track, infield garages, and pits.
“Matthew was focused on the content and hands on from the first day. He also completed all the pre-work before coming to Quebec, which better prepared him to win Top Tech 2023,” says Hitt.
For his part, Belyea says he learned tips and tricks to save time and be more efficient with troubleshooting and repairs.
“It’s an honor to be recognized as the Top Tech. I’ve dedicated 15 years of hard work in the trade to get to this point,” says Belyea “The training will benefit me in offering insightful service and quick turnaround for our fleet at Skyway Coach Lines as well as for our retail customers. Bus technology is changing and improving with every passing year. Keeping up to date with factory training is the best way to stay on top of everything.”
In addition to its annual Factory Training Program, Prevost hosts regional events at its facilities throughout North America. The sessions are conducted by factory-trained experts and range from high-level overviews to in-depth system teardowns and component replacement. Prevost Technical Institute is also available online.
Visit prevostcar.com for more information.