Hennepin Technical College

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Medium/Heavy Truck Technology  

The Medium/Heavy Truck Technology program at Hennepin Technical College provides students with the entry-level knowledge and skills necessary to gain employment in the trucking industry. The Medium/Heavy Truck Technology Associate Degree program differs from most other diesel mechanic programs in that it allows students to split their education between taking classes at the college and developing their skills through paid internships at local truck repair companies.

Students study and train at the college during the first-half of the semester and then further develop their skills in a paid internship during the second-half of the semester. The same schedule is repeated during the second year of the two-year program. Each student will obtain a truck industry sponsor with the college’s assistance for the paid internship portion of the program. 

Students study diesel theory in the classroom and gain important hands-on skills in testing, inspecting, and repairing diesel engines, electrical systems, electronic systems, steering and suspension systems, air and hydraulic brake systems, as well as performing routine vehicle maintenance and even preventive maintenance. Students also acquire effective communication and leadership skills as they work independently and as a team, troubleshooting, disassembling, repairing, and reassembling, and fine-tuning diesel engines and equipment that is still in operating condition.

Through live shop demonstrations and personal hands-on training, students learn how to perform clutch, transmission, and drive axle diagnosis and repair using the latest computerized equipment, shop manuals, power tools, and hand tools. 

The Medium/Heavy Truck Technology A.A.S.Degree Program

The curriculum of the Medium/Heavy Truck Technology A.A.S. Degree program is made up of industry-relevant courses that include:

  • Truck Technology Fundamentals
  • Electricity in Truck Technology I
  • Electricity in Truck Technology II
  • Vehicle Service
  • Internship/Industry Partnership I
  • Hydraulic Brake Systems
  • Air Brake Systems and Controls
  • Internship/Industry Partnership II
  • Steering and Suspension Systems
  • Clutch and Driveline
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Internship/Industry Partnership III
  • Diesel Engine II
  • Transmission Technologies
  • Drive Axles
  • Internship/Industry Partnership IV
  • Diesel Engine III
  • Diesel Engine IV
  • Internship/Industry Partnership V

Required General Education classes include Writing and Research or Technical Writing Gen Ed, as well as two General Education electives. In order to graduate, students must complete every course and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

Students will also be required to undergo drug screenings and background checks, and pass a DOT physical in order to be eligible to obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL) as a condition of employment for the paid internship portion of the Medium and Heavy Truck Technology program.

The Medium/Heavy Truck Technology Maintenance Technician Diploma

The Medium/Heavy Truck Technology Maintenance Technician Diploma program consists of the following classes:

  • Truck Technology Fundamentals
  • Electricity in Truck Technology I
  • Electricity in Truck Technology II
  • Vehicle Service
  • Internship/Industry Partnership I
  • Hydraulic Brake Systems
  • Air Brake Systems and Controls
  • Internship/Industry Partnership II
  • Steering and Suspension Systems
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines
  • Heating and Air Conditioning

Required General Education classes include Communication in the Workplace and Math for the Trades. Students are required to complete every class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

Students will also be required to undergo drug screenings and background checks, and pass a DOT physical in order to be eligible to obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL) as a condition of employment for the paid internship portion of the Medium and Heavy Truck Technology program.

The Medium/Heavy Truck Technology Drivetrain Technician Diploma

The curriculum of the Medium/Heavy Truck Technology Drivetrain Technician Diploma program contains the following classes:

  • Clutch and Driveline
  • Internship/Industry Partnership III
  • Transmission Technologies
  • Drive Axles
  • Diesel Engine II
  • Internship/Industry Partnership IV
  • Diesel Engine III
  • Diesel Engine IV
  • Internship/Industry Partnership V

Students are also required to take two General Education Electives in order to fulfill the graduation requirements of the Diploma program. Students must finish every class and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

Students will also be required to undergo drug screenings and background checks, and pass a DOT physical in order to be eligible to obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL) as a condition of employment for the paid internship portion of the Medium and Heavy Truck Technology program.

From Graduation to Occupation

Graduates of the Medium/Heavy Truck Technology program at Hennepin Technical College will have the mechanical skills and technical training needed to secure an entry-level position as a qualified truck technician at truck dealerships, leasing companies, trucking fleets, truck service and repair shops, locomotive repair companies, mining companies, construction companies, and even marine diesel repair shops. Thanks to the advancements in electronic diesel engines, transmissions, and ABS brake systems, there is a growing demand for highly skilled truck technicians in today’s fast-paced diesel truck industry.

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 and Medium/Heavy Truck Technology Diploma

Hennepin Technical College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Medium/Heavy Truck Technology. Hennepin Technical College also offers a 16-month Medium/Heavy Truck Technology Diploma with a Maintenance Technician option as well as a 16-month Medium/Heavy Truck Technology Diploma with a Drive Train Technician option. All three programs are Pell Grant eligible. 

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