Badge Velasquez equated it to one of the most difficult things he’s ever done. Attaining STIHL Gold Level Certification is a process not all technicians pass. Velasquez, however, is one of two techniWilliamscians at Williams’ Farm Machinery in Charlotte to be able to hang the plaque in his office.
Velasquez was joined by tech Chris Taylor in attaining Gold Level Certification following three days of intense training and testing recently in Virginia Beach. Williams’ Farm Machinery techs, Jim Patterson and Chris Taylor also advanced in their level of expertise with Patterson attaining Bronze Level Certification and Taylor achieving Silver Level.
“I recently came from the automotive service industry and I am an ASE Certified technician,” said Aaron Smith, STIHL Territory Manager for Byran Equipment. “I can honestly say this STIHL Gold Certification is a much harder, more intensive, and difficult award to achieve.”
Smith said at least 15 percent of all technicians that work toward Gold Level don’t pass all portions of the certification process.
“It’s certainly something to be proud of,” Smith said. “You have two of the best techs in the state right here at Williams.”
To achieve Gold Level Certification a STIHL technician must first attain Bronze and Silver Level Certifications before entering the three-day advanced training. The final exam consists of product troubleshooting, a hands-on practical exam and a written exam. The certification must be renewed every three years through a one-day update school.
This latest training included work with a new STIHL diagnostic tool, which allows technicians to connect a STIHL chainsaw to a laptop computer to update calibrations and perform any needed carburetor tweaks.
“The old days of using screwdrivers and adjusting the carburetor based on the noise the engine made and how it felt are quickly going away,” Smith said. “This jump in technology is a direct result of meeting ever tighter EPA emission regulations, and has really benefited the consumer with better running and longer lasting equipment.”
Williams Farm Machinery, located at 1115 Lansing Road in Charlotte, provides products and services in the agricultural and lawn and garden industry. For more information, visit or call (517) 543-4770.