Dakota County Technical College

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Heavy Duty Truck Technology  

The Heavy Duty Truck Technology program at Dakota County Technical College teaches students all aspects of heavy-duty truck service and repair, specifically large Class 7 and Class 8 trucks.

Through classroom instruction and hands-on training each student will gain specialized knowledge about electrical systems, electronic systems, foundation brakes, air brakes and anti-lock braking systems, steering and alignment systems, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Student learn how to properly test, diagnose, and repair electronic and mechanical engines as they perform tune-ups and overhauls.

Students enrolled in the Heavy Duty Truck Technology program will also learn and develop skills in clutch, transmission, and drive axle repair as well as diesel mechanic welding and preventive maintenance. Each student will also be given the opportunity to obtain their Minnesota state commercial driver license (CDL).

The Heavy Duty Truck Technology Classes

The Heavy Duty Truck Technology program consists of the following career-specific classes:

  • Truck Technology Fundamentals
  • Air Brake Systems
  • Fluid Power Systems
  • Suspensions and Steering Systems
  • Electrical Systems
  • Truck A/C
  • Drive Train I
  • Drive Train II
  • Diesel Fundamentals
  • Diesel Fuel Systems
  • Diesel Engine Fundamentals
  • Diesel Electronics
  • Heavy Duty Truck Industry Training
  • Welding Procedures
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Heavy Duty Truck Internship

Students will also be required to take Composition I, Interpersonal Communication, and two General Education electives to fulfill the requirements of the Associate of Applied Science Degree program. All students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be eligible to graduate.

What to Expect After Graduating

Graduates of the Heavy Duty Truck Technology program at Dakota County Technical College will be well-equipped with the knowledge, skills, and training needed to secure employment as an entry-level heavy-duty truck mechanic at fleet companies, truck dealerships, and truck repair shops.

As the diesel industry continues to grow rapidly, job opportunities for qualified diesel mechanics is expected to increase 11% by the year 2020, as fast as average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mean annual wage for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists working in the United States in 2014 was $45,160, while the mean salary for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists employed in the state of Minnesota was $45,780 yearly and $22.01 hourly, 1% higher than the national average.

The Associate of Applied Science Degree, Heavy Duty Truck Technology Diploma, and Undergraduate Certificate

Dakota County Technical College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Heavy Duty Truck Technology as well as a 21-month Heavy Duty Truck Technology Diploma. Dakota County Technical College also offers an Undergraduate Certificate in Heavy Duty Truck Technology with an emphasis in Truck Fleet Maintenance. All three programs are Pell Grant eligible.

Heavy Construction Equipment Technology

The Heavy Construction Equipment Technology program at Dakota County Technical College is designed to help students gain the knowledge and skills they need to become highly qualified, mechanically-inclined, job-ready construction and heavy equipment technicians. Students will be taught diesel theory in the classroom and learn through live demonstrations and hands-on training in the shop as they operate, inspect, and repair heavy equipment currently in use in the diesel industry. Industry-experienced instructors will train each student how to properly use the manuals, machinery, computers, and tools needed to successfully and safely diagnose and repair diesel engines and equipment. Students will also receive hands-on experience in basic mechanic welding and preventive maintenance. 

The Heavy Construction Equipment Technology Curriculum

The Heavy Construction Equipment Technology curriculum contains the following career-relevant classes:

  • General Shop Mechanics – Introduction
  • Welding and Flame Cutting
  • Heavy Duty Electrical
  • Diesel Engine Overhaul I
  • Applied Failure Analysis
  • CAT Basic Training I
  • CAT Basic Training II
  • CAT Advanced Training III
  • Heavy Duty Electronics
  • Diesel Engine Overhaul II
  • Brakes
  • Diesel Engine Tune-up
  • Differentials
  • Transmissions
  • Hydraulics I
  • Hydraulics II
  • Hydrostatic Systems
  • Machine Electronics I
  • Machine Electronics II
  • Track Drive Systems
  • Steering Systems
  • Climate Control
  • Preventative Maintenance

Students will also be required to take Composition I or Technical Writing, Interpersonal Communication, Critical Thinking, Environmental Science, and U.S. History in order to fulfill the requirements of the Associate of Applied Science Degree program. All students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in order to graduate.

What to Expect After Graduating

Students who graduate from the Heavy Duty Truck Technology program at Dakota County Technical College can expect to find entry-level employment with top heavy equipment dealers and construction contractors. Other possible job options include mining and logging companies. Whether they prefer working indoors as a service and repair diesel mechanics, or outdoors as experienced field service technicians, graduates of the Heavy Duty Truck Technology program at Dakota County Technical College will have the specialized skills, knowledge, and training to get them where they want to go.

As the diesel industry continues to grow rapidly, job opportunities for qualified diesel mechanics is expected to increase 11% by the year 2020, as fast as average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mean annual wage for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists working in the United States in 2014 was $45,160, while the mean salary for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists employed in the state of Minnesota was $45,780 yearly and $22.01 hourly, 1% higher than the national average.

The Associate of Applied Science Degree, Heavy Construction Equipment Technology Diploma, and Undergraduate Certificate

Dakota County Technical College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Heavy Construction Equipment Technology as well as a 21-month Heavy Construction Equipment Technology Diploma. Dakota County Technical College also offers an Undergraduate Certificate in Heavy Construction Equipment Technology with an emphasis in Heavy Construction Equipment Maintenance. All three programs are Pell Grant eligible. 

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