Forbes Road Career & Technology Center

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Diesel Technology  

The Diesel Technology program offered at the Forbes Road Career & Technology Center trains individuals in the repair and servicing of diesel-powered equipment, placing emphasis on the needs of local business and industry. Students split their time between academic study in the classroom and hands-on training in the shop, which involves working on school owned vehicles, engines, and equipment, including a 900 horsepower V12 diesel tank engine. While diesel engines and equipment are the focus of the course, gasoline powered vehicles and equipment are also included as part of the training. Students are also given the opportunity to obtain their safety inspection licenses.

In the classroom, students develop skills in reading, written communication, computation, and critical thinking. Through in-depth lectures, class participation, detailed textbooks, and written assignments, students gain a basic understanding of diesel engine theory, as well as the construction, design, and principles of operation of the diesel engine system. Technical topics, such as gear ratios, cubic inch displacement, electrical circuitry, alignment angles, and the U.S. standard and metric measuring systems, are just a small part of the curriculum of the Diesel Technology program offered at Forbes Road Career & Technology Center.

Inside the shop, students acquire valuable job-specific training, learning hands-on, how to properly diagnose, repair, and maintain both diesel-powered and gasoline-powered trucks and equipment. Students develop analytical, technical, and mechanical skills as they are carefully guided by their instructors, training in all areas of the diesel engine and gasoline engine systems, including diesel engines, gasoline engines, electrical systems, electronic systems, heavy duty power trains, fuel systems, exhaust systems, brake systems, steering systems, suspension systems, cooling systems, and climate control systems. Students also gain hands-on experience in arc welding and oxyacetylene torch welding, as well as power train inspection and service and engine inspection and service.

By disassembling, inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and reassembling various diesel-powered and gas-powered engines using advanced diagnostic equipment, service manuals, wiring diagrams, electronic volt meters, precision measuring devices, power tools, machine tools, and hand tools, students gain a basic hands-on understanding of diesel engine and heavy equipment service and repair procedures, as well as engine rebuild.

Working both independently, and in teams, students learn the importance of interpersonal communication and effective time management, completing each assignment given to them by their instructors in a thorough and accurate manner.

The Diesel Technology Courses of Study

The Diesel Technology program consists of the following industry-relevant courses:

  • Operation of Diesel Engines
  • Engine Components
  • Service Lubrication
  • Test Equipment and Service Tools
  • Engine Inspect and Service
  • Cooling Systems
  • Welding‐Arc
  • Oxyacetylene Fuel Systems
  • Electrical Systems
  • Engine Rebuild
  • Fuel and Exhaust Systems
  • Inspect and Service Power Trains
  • Climate Control Systems
  • Brakes & Steering System

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

Graduation and Beyond

Students who finish the Diesel Technology program at the Forbes Road Career & Technology Center will be well-qualified to secure an entry-level position as a:

  • Bus and Mechanic
  • Truck Mechanic
  • Diesel Engine Specialist
  • Farm Equipment Mechanic
  • Heavy Equipment Mechanic
  • Recreational Vehicle Technician
  • Tire Repairer
  • Tire Changer
  • Transportation Inspector
  • Diesel Engines Repairer
  • Trailer Mechanic
  • State Inspection Mechanic
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • Parts Supply Technician
  • CDL Truck Driver

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 Pennsylvania was $42,770 yearly and $20.56 hourly, just 6% lower than the national average.

The Undergraduate Certificate

The Forbes Road Career & Technology Center offers a 36-week Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel Technology. Students of the program may also obtain their Pennsylvania State Safety Inspection
Mechanic Certification and Pennsylvania State Emissions Inspector Certification if they so choose. This program is Pell Grant eligible. 

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