Johnson College

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Diesel Truck Technology  

The Diesel Truck Technology program offered at Johnson College is designed to prepare students as entry-level diesel technicians equipped with the latest information on diagnosis, service and repair procedures, preventive maintenance, and critical safety applications in the field of diesel technology. By the end of the program, students will be prepared to take the voluntary mechanic certification test in Heavy Trucks, administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). 

In the classroom, students learn diesel theory and the fundamentals of the diesel engine, including the construction, functions, and principles of operation of the entire diesel engine system. Each student will develop critical thinking, writing, and mathematical computation skills, through class lectures, detailed textbooks, and written assignments. Topics of study include an in-depth look at the truck/trailer service field, microcomputers, business management, diesel truck principles and applications, and more.

In the laboratory, students will acquire the hands-on training needed to properly inspect, troubleshoot, and repair diesel engines, air brake systems, electrical systems, automotive and diesel electronic systems, diesel fuel injection systems, manual transmissions, automatic transmissions, differentials, drive lines, hydraulic systems, steering and suspension systems, refrigeration systems, and heating and air conditioning systems. Students will also gain hands-on experience in performing diesel engine performance and tune-up procedures.

By disassembling, inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and reassembling various diesel engines and their integrated sub-systems using advanced diagnostic equipment, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, machine tools, pneumatic wrenches, precision measuring instruments, lathes, service manuals, wiring schematics, and electronic multi-meters, students will learn hands-on how to properly perform diesel engine overhaul, diesel engine tune-up, and manual transmission overhaul.

Professionalism, shop safety awareness, and a positive workplace attitude will also be stressed throughout the program. Students will be expected to work both independently and as a team to successfully complete each task assigned to them by their instructors in an efficient and speedy manner, learning the importance of interpersonal communication, teamwork, and effective time management. Thanks to the diesel internship, students will have the opportunity to develop vital job skills working with local businesses before they graduate.

The Diesel Truck Technology Curriculum

The Diesel Truck Technology program contains the following career-focused courses:

  • Introduction to Truck/Trailer Service Field
  • Air Brake Systems
  • Steering & Suspension
  • Introduction to Automotive & Diesel Electronics
  • Electrical & Electronic Systems
  • Diesel Fuel Injection Systems
  • Diesel Engine Overhaul
  • Diesel Engine Performance & Tune-up Procedures
  • Manual Transmission Overhaul
  • Differentials & Drive Line
  • Automatic Transmission Diagnostics & Basic Hydraulics
  • Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
  • Applied Diesel Truck Principles & Applications or
  • Internship or
  • Co-op Educational Experience

Students are also required to take Freshman Seminar, College Algebra I and Trigonometry, Microcomputer I, English Composition I, Introduction to Business, Public Speaking, and two Course Electives in order to meet the 72 credit requirements of the Associate in Applied Science Degree program. To be eligible to graduate, students are required to complete each course and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Diesel Preventative Maintenance Technology Curriculum

The Diesel Preventative Maintenance Technology program contains the following career-relevant classes:

  • Introduction to Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Tech
  • Brake Systems
  • Steering & Suspension Systems
  • Intro to Auto & Diesel Electronics
  • Electrical & Electronic Systems
  • Diesel Fuel Injection Systems
  • Diesel Engine Overhaul

Students are also required to take Microcomputer I, English Composition I, Introduction to Business, and College Prep Algebra in order to meet the 31 credit hour requirements of the Undergraduate Certificate program. In order to graduate, students must complete each class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

College and Beyond 

Graduates of the Diesel Truck Technology program at Johnson College can be confident that they possess the appropriate skills, safety awareness, and decision-making abilities to secure an entry-level position as a qualified diesel mechanic in the diesel technology job field. Occupational opportunities include, but are not limited to, agricultural, truck, and heavy equipment dealerships, truck equipment distributors, commercial trucking companies, construction companies, mining companies, oil and natural gas extraction companies, oceanic freight shipping companies, rail transportation companies, farms, ranches, truck service centers, engine repair/machine shops, independent service garages, automotive parts manufacturers, sales representatives, and insurance companies.

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 Associate in Applied Science Degree and Undergraduate Certificate

Johnson College offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree in Diesel Truck Technology. Johnson College also offers a one-year Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel Preventative Maintenance Technology. Both programs are Pell Grant eligible. 

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