Hands-On Technician Never Settles for the Simple Fix

Published on December 11, 2023

Randy Riesland has worked as a technician with Bobcat for the last three decades. His expertise is sought out by other technicians in the industry.

Labeling someone a “parts changer” never sits well with Bobcat dealer technician Randy Riesland.  

“I’m a hands-on kind of guy,” says Randy, who always works to understand the source of the problem and has been known to think outside the box to assist with repair jobs. “When I went to school, I didn’t sit back in the corner. I went up and tore something apart and put it back together.” 

Through his nearly encyclopedic knowledge of Bobcat® equipment, he finds innovative ways to troubleshoot, which save customers money and build greater trust with the brand. He also has an unrelenting drive to share his expertise with coworkers.  

Randy has worked as a technician with Bobcat for the last three decades. First with Central Nebraska Bobcat, then with the local equipment dealer in New Mexico — which is now Bobcat of Albuquerque in a network of 15 Bobcat dealerships. He has developed a reputation for ingenuity as a technician. It’s not that he does things by the book — he could have written it. That’s why he gets a lot of calls for advice from other technicians. 

A Fading Art 

Randy is to Bobcat technicians what an expert guide is to explorers. His is the expertise that is sought out, especially as many of his own generation begin to retire.  

“Now I think I’m more valuable as a coach, trying to help the guys figure out problems and all that,” he says, referring to teaching younger technicians at his company’s other locations. “I’m constantly helping some of the other stores with their problems and diagnostics.” 

The key for him is identifying and understanding the problem. A technician whose first instinct is to swap out a part doesn’t know whether the problem has been fixed until it’s been put on the machine. That approach puts unnecessary hours into the job, and ordering a part ¾ especially an unneeded one ¾ only adds to the delays.  

“Right now this society has come down to not learning how to do it — can’t read schematics, hydraulics or electrical,” Randy says. “The art of troubleshooting, whether it be hydraulic or engine or electrical, has gone away. But finding the problem is how I was trained.”  

It’s now how Randy trains the next generation. 

Prepared for Duty 

Randy credits his farm country roots with equipping him to learn how to fix almost anything. But then there was training with Bobcat. Lots and lots of training. He estimates he’s been to about 35 face-to-face classes with the company, and he has visited factory training schools across the country. His extensive training led to special recognition from Bobcat. 

“I was in the first class at the Bobcat Training Center near Denver,” he says. “I was also at the first class at the Acceleration Center in Bismarck, North Dakota.” 

In recognition of his impressive training résumé, Randy was among the first technicians in the country to receive a platinum training rating from Bobcat. “I worked hard for that. It means I paid my dues,” he says. “It gives you that level of confidence to say, ‘I can probably go figure out this customer’s machine.’” 

He has spent more than three decades demonstrating that he can.  

Some of the guys say, “You must wear Bobcat underwear and socks, because that’s all you do: eat, sleep and live for Bobcat!”

Randy Riesland

Dealer Technician / Bobcat Albuquerque

‘Eat, Sleep And Live For Bobcat’ 

Randy says something about Bobcat equipment drew him in right from the start. He liked the machines, and he thought the company had an aura that it was going to be around forever. Working on the equipment came easily to him, and his affinity for the company only grew over time. 

In Albuquerque, he became known as both the sage technician and the child-at-heart enthusiast who collected miniature Bobcat scale models.  

“Some of the guys in the shop say, ‘You must wear Bobcat underwear and socks because that’s all you do: eat, sleep and live for Bobcat!’” he says with a laugh.   

He certainly doesn’t deny the accusation. He has “the most killer Bobcat scale model collection in the country,” including about 75 pieces. In fact, he recently donated them to put on permanent display at the Bobcat Training Center in Aurora, Colorado.

Still Work to Be Done 

At 64, Randy is in the latter part of his career. But that doesn’t mean he’s ready to retire now. He’s still in high demand and sent out on the road to help newer technicians learn the Bobcat ropes. When he eventually does retire, Randy says he’ll still be open to taking calls and answering questions to keep equipment running properly.  

It’s no exaggeration to say he has likely worked on every Bobcat machine ever produced, including antiques whose parts require going on a kind of scavenger hunt to find. He knows his way around machines built in the 1970s just as he does the latest models with all the newest features. 

It is a company he loves and one that builds machines he understands and respects. And for his remaining time on the job, he’s devoted to training the next generation so they can try to keep up. 

It’s a career marked by intentionality and driven by passion. He was never satisfied with the easy fix if the real solution were within his grasp. “I’ve had quite a career,” he says. “Bobcat is pretty much my life. That’s all I’ve done for 33 years, and that’s all I ever want to do.” 

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