Irving Service Technician Apprentice Competes in National Tractor Restoration Competition
Leo Davila is currently an intern at the Irving store part time while he attends Dubiski Career High School. It is an innovative technical school for high school students that equips them with the skills they need for the 21st century professions.
Through his involvement with the school’s FFA program, Leo made it as a finalist for the national Delo Tractor Restoration Competition. Leo fully restored a 1966 John Deere 3020 Row Crop Utility (Propane).
This is the second-time Leo has competed in this national competition. Last year, Leo and a small group of students restored a 1946 Farmall “B” tractor.
This competition is designed to give high school students an opportunity to restore aged tractors – real antiques in some cases – to working condition. And contestants are not judged solely on the quality of the restoration. They also must document their projects and demonstrate good shop safety practices. They have to raise their own funding and manage their budgets. If they make the final round, they have to deliver a presentation and go through a rigorous question-and-answer session with the judges.
Leo’s 3020 Row Crop Utility was one of only sixteen tractors ever made. The tractor's rarity made the restoration very difficult, but Leo was determined to complete this tractor and enter it so he could compete again.
Leo prepared and presented a formal presentation to a panel of judges in late October. While he didn’t place in the Top 3, the judges were incredibly impressed, and told him that they expect to see him back next year.
“This process would be daunting for a professional service technician, who has years of experience, and these are high school students,” commented Rob Duckett, Service Advisor. “Our team is incredibly proud of Leo and the commitment and dedication he has to this competition is the same he shows us in the shop.”
“This is the second year I’ve made it as a finalist, and each time I’ve learned many new things. It’s a rewarding experience to complete the restoration and to be able to present it to industry experts. I credit Dubuski and RDO Equipment Co. for helping me grow my skills and abilities,” added Leo.