Forsyth Technical Community College

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Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology  

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology program at Forsyth Technical Community College is designed to provide students with the written, oral, and hands-on testing and training needed to properly service and repair today’s diesel-powered trucks and heavy equipment.

In the classroom, students are taught the fundamentals of the diesel engine. Through class discussions and written assignments, each student will develop important thinking and reasoning skills, as well as verbal and written communication skills.

In the laboratory, students develop their analytical and mechanical skills, through hands-on training, as they learn how to properly inspect, troubleshoot, and repair diesel engines, air brake systems, diesel electronic systems, medium and heavy duty hydraulic systems, transport climate control systems, transmissions, power trains, transport electrical systems, and suspension and steering systems. Students also learn the proper preventive maintenance techniques for diesel and heavy equipment vehicles, as well as basic welding techniques for diesel mechanics.

Using the latest computerized diagnostic machines, technical manuals, wiring diagrams, and hand tools, students learn diesel engine overhaul by disassembling, diagnosing, repairing, and reassembling various diesel engines and their integrated systems.

Students also develop the strong communication, leadership, and time management skills critical to succeeding in today’s workplace, as they learn to complete every task assigned to them, both independently, and as a team.

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology A.A.S. Degree

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology A.A.S. Degree program is made up of the following career-focused classes:

  • Diesel Engines
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Intro to Transport Tech
  • Basic Transport Electricity
  • Diesel Electronics System
  • Mechanical Transmissions
  • Transport Climate Control
  • Transport Climate Cont Lab
  • Power Trains
  • Suspension and Steering
  • Hydraulics/Med/Heavy Duty
  • Air Brakes
  • Basic Welding for Transport
  • Tractor Project
  • Machine Processes I
  • Basic Welding Processes

Students are also required to take Writing and Inquiry, Introduction to Computers or Basic PC Literacy, Interpersonal Psychology or General Psychology, one Natural Science/Mathematics Elective, one Humanities/Fine Arts Elective, and one English Option, in order to meet the 71 credit hour requirements of the Associate in Applied Science Degree program. In order to graduate, students must complete each class and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Diploma

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Diploma program is comprised of the following industry-relevant courses:

  • Diesel Engines
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Air Brakes
  • Basic Transport Electricity
  • Diesel Electronics System
  • Mechanical Transmissions
  • Transport Climate Control
  • Power Trains
  • Suspension and Steering
  • Hydraulics/Med/Heavy Duty

Students are also required to take either Applied Communications I or Writing and Inquiry, and either Mathematical Measurement and Literacy or Quantitative Literacy in order to meet the 41 credit requirements of the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Diploma program. In order to graduate, students must finish each course and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Certificate

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Certificate program consists of the following career-specific classes:

  • Diesel Engines
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Air Brakes
  • Basic Transport Electricity
  • Transport Climate Control

Students are required to complete each class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

Occupational Outlook 

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 North Carolina was $42,510 yearly and $20.44 hourly, just 5% lower than the national average.

Upon graduating from the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology program at Forsyth Technical Community College, students will be prepared for entry-level employment as qualified diesel mechanics, servicing and repairing heavy equipment such as medium and heavy duty tractor trailers, earth moving equipment, agricultural equipment, diesel locomotives, and other diesel-powered vehicles.

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

Forsyth Technical Community College offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology as well as a one-year Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Diploma. Forsyth Technical Community College also offers a 9-month Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology. All three programs are Pell Grant eligible.

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