Experience Makes the Difference for Training Program

Years of experience make Doheny Technical Institute trainers the heart of education program.

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Sewer work is a “learn by doing” industry — it doesn’t take a college degree, yet ongoing education and training is critical.

Doheny Technical Institute offers hands-on field training for drain and sewer cleaners.

“This isn’t an industry you can come in off the street and just automatically learn; it takes years of actually doing it,” says Mike Renner, director of marketing for Doheny Technical Institute.

Trainers at Doheny Technical Institute have a minimum of 10 years’ industry experience. Many have considerably more. “Most of them have 25-plus years, and that gives us the ability to really dive into the knowledge, and I think that’s really important,” Renner says.

As any of those experts will tell you, the industry is ever changing, and operators must learn constantly, even as they continue to perform their job duties year in and year out.

An extension of Jack Doheny, a sewer cleaning and maintenance equipment dealer, the Doheny Technical Institute offers a number of courses for operators to stay on top of their game.

“We’ve been doing training at Doheny since we started selling trucks, and we realized quickly that when we sell a truck, if a guy doesn’t fully understand how to utilize it, he will not fully get the benefit out of that truck,” Renner says.

Doheny Technical Institute offers five courses focusing on sewer cleaning and inspection:

  • Operation and maintenance.
  • Inspection operation.
  • Advanced pipe cleaning.
  • Confined-space entry.
  • Pipeline Assessment Certification Program, Manhole Assessment and Certification Program, and Lateral Assessment and Certification Program.

Operation and maintenance

Their core class is the operation and maintenance program, which covers “the basics of safely and effectively running the trucks that we offer,” Renner says.

The key word there is “effectively.” It’s not just a low-level sweep of running a truck, it’s making sure the operators know how to get the most out of their truck.

“Both the practical side and the theoretical knowledge of how the truck works ... not just how to run the truck, but techniques on how to make the truck run more efficiently in different applications,” Renner says.

Inspection operation

Similar to the operation and maintenance class, inspection operation covers the use of inspection equipment.

“It is basically operation maintenance, but inspection is such a different animal than running a truck. Because of the technical nature of it, we’ve separated that class out,” Renner says. “We teach practical and theoretical knowledge concerning the safe operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of various inspection equipment. Setup procedures, mainline operation, lateral, digital inspection, software, locating, and accessories — we go through all of that.”

Advanced pipe cleaning

Unlike the rest of the institute’s offerings, which are comprehensive base-level trainings, the advanced pipe cleaning class is high-level sewer cleaning — advanced techniques covering every imaginable scenario.

“It’s based all around sewer cleaning and how to clean every type of sewer. So you’ve got large-diameter pipe; we talk about how to do the step-cleaning methodology; we talk about the nozzles, with their applications and their capacities. We do a review of the specialty sewer tools that are out there, and we talk about best management practices for pipe cleaning,” Renner says.

An above-ground mock sewer system, which the institute’s team refers to as its pipe cleaning proving ground, is used during the training to demonstrate the concepts being introduced.

Confined-space entry

“This is an OSHA permit required confined-space training. It’s an eight-hour, interactive, hands-on class that will provide those enrolled with a full understanding of permit preparation duties, fall protection, and air monitoring,” Renner says.

Doheny Technical Institute has a mobile simulator for confined-space training that they can take around to classes, allowing the attendees to perform full manhole entry.

“We can go through all the OSHA stuff in the classroom and then actually go out in the truck and perform a full drop into a manhole: how to effectively do it, fill out the paperwork, put the air monitor in, and put the harness on,” Renner says.

NASSCO programs

The institute offers PACP, MACP and LACP training through NASSCO, but the master trainer is employed by the Doheny Technical Institute.

“Everything is run through NASSCO; we just have our own on-staff trainer,” Renner says. “So we schedule all our stuff through NASSCO; everyone gets a certification from NASSCO. It’s just a part of our training offering.”

Getting started

There are essentially two options for training: traveling to one of Doheny Technical Institute’s many locations for a prearranged training session or, if you have 10 or more employees to enroll, having the institute come to you.

In 2017, Doheny Technical Institute hosted 137 training opportunities for a total of 1,278 people, not counting the complementary training that comes with purchasing a machine.

The normal sessions can be found on the website, www.dohenycompanies.com, and registration can be completed online. For an on-site session, email dti@dohenycompanies.com.

“Our mission statement is to train the operators on how to safely and efficiently do their job,” Renner says. “These trucks can be dangerous if you don’t run them correctly, and they can also be costly if you don’t run them safely and effectively. So we try to go in there and give them all the knowledge they need — on the one side to operate and manage a truck safely, and on the second side, advancing over that is to efficiently do the job that they’re going to do.”


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