With 40 years as a technician at Western States under his belt, Master Equipment Technician Tim Oman knows the importance of teamwork when it comes to being safe.

Tim started his career in Pennsylvania before moving west. He began working in Long Machinery’s truck shop in Missoula, Montana in 1981, and moved over to the equipment side of things in 1995. After Western States purchased Long Machinery, Tim said he was happy to continue to work in the same place for a dealership that valued its people.

“When he was getting ready to sell, Jack Long—who owned Long Machinery—talked to a lot of different shops, but he found Western States to be the one that was most favorable to the current employees,” he said, “I’ve always worked for Cat Dealers, and I’ve always enjoyed working on Cat equipment, so working here seemed like a no-brainer!”

Looking back on his 40 years, Tim talked about the camaraderie with his fellow technicians and the emphasis on safety as highlights in his career so far.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with everyone,” he said, “People look out for each other, help keep each other safe. Especially when you’re in a shop, you’re always learning new ways to be safe.”

For anyone starting their career as a technician, or thinking about joining Western States, Tim says the best thing to do is to keep an open mind and always be willing to learn.

“Don’t be afraid to take care of yourself, and take the initiative to be safe. It’s the kind of career where you’ve got to be ready to keep training and ask lots of questions,” he said, “About the time you think you’ve seen it all, you realize you haven’t!”

Outside of work, Tim enjoys hiking, fishing, and spending quality time with his family.