Caleb Dover

Caleb smiling next to a yellow and green barrel with the Deere logo on it

Meet Caleb Dover

As he shares what it means to be the 2021 Australia and New Zealand Parts Apprentice of the Year Winner.

At 21 years old and living in Sheffield, Caleb Dover, is a proud third-year apprentice working at Latrobe's Midland Tractors where he started his apprenticeship in 2018 after finishing Year 12.

Mr Dover visited the Tasmania's Ulverstone Show as a boy, sparking an interest in machinery that would see him forge a career in spare parts and earn the title of 2021 Australian and New Zealand John Deere Parts Apprentice of the Year at the inaugural John Deere Technician Awards.

"As a child, my dad took me to the local agricultural show where I vividly remember being intrigued by all the old engines on display," he said.

"Dad encouraged me to approach the men who were showing the machinery and have a chat with them, and from then on I was hooked."

The conversation prompted a membership with the local historical machinery club, where Caleb was mentored by the older retired gentlemen who also gifted him a few engines and used their expertise to teach him how to fix them. Now a proud restorer and collector of historical machines, Caleb said the experience gave him a strong appreciation of the importance of spare parts.

"Through all my restorations, I have had some real insights into the important role parts play in making something work, and how rewarding it is when you find a part you've been searching for," he said.

"When the opportunity came up for an apprenticeship working with John Deere parts, I jumped at it, and haven't looked back.

"As I was growing up, I thought about pursuing a career as a mechanic, but now I wouldn't trade their job for mine any day.

"I love the interaction with customers and seeing that look of joy in their eyes when I tell them we have, or can get, the part they've been looking for. It is so rewarding."