The daughter of a self-proclaimed “gearhead,” Evelyn Bangs always had a passion for all mechanical things. Growing up, she often tinkered in the shop alongside her dad and brother, fixing and adjusting cars until they ran like new. But despite her love for fixing things, she never considered a career in heavy equipment until she stumbled upon the Access Your Future Intern Program at RDO Equipment Co.
As part of the program, she worked alongside experienced technicians and learned the ins and outs of heavy equipment repair. Despite initially feeling overwhelmed, Evelyn persevered and quickly excelled in her role.
“It can be very overwhelming when you start out, but I just have kept showing up every single day, and eventually, I have figured out a way to do things myself,” she said.
She remembers her first couple of months at the RDO store in New Braunfels, Texas, where she learned from two lead technicians.
“They were using Service Advisor to diagnose machines. Shortly after that, I went to class, and the assignment was to use Service Advisor to troubleshoot an issue,” she said. “I felt pretty confident because of my experience.”
Her hard work and dedication paid off, and she received an “A” in that class.
“Working with the lead technicians helped me so much to find a way to do things on my own,” she said. “Sometimes, I have to do jobs in different ways, like pulling axles and engines with tools instead of brute strength.”
She says her team members’ support, her own perseverance and a little ingenuity helped her continue learning and growing.
“After working on cars with my family, heavy equipment was a change. It weighs so much more,” she said. “But I figured it out. I have grown to overcome the fact that I’m not as strong as any of the other guys, so if I need a bigger tool, a longer bar, or some kind of special tool, it’s not a big deal.”
Today, she has completed the AYF program and works full-time in the shop. As a heavy equipment technician, repairing and maintaining construction machinery, from bulldozers to excavators.
“I love the variety of jobs I get to work on and the opportunities to learn from so many people,” she explained. “In the last year, I’ve come so far, and I’m excited to be exposed to many different projects and specialized technicians daily.”
Evelyn Bangs, a heavy equipment technician, works with her coworkers to keep machines up and running.
Bangs proves that anyone can succeed in a non-traditional field with a solid work ethic and determination. Her unique journey inspires others, especially young women, who may be considering a career in heavy equipment or another male-dominated industry.
“I would tell anyone that it will be so worth it in the end when you're persistent and realize you can do all these things,” she said.
This week (and every week), we celebrate women in construction. From March 5 through 11, RDO Equipment Co. joins with our manufacturing partners to celebrate and promote the role of women in the construction industry. Since 1998, the National Association of Women in Construction has grown and expanded its programming yearly.