Upper Bucks County Technical School

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Diesel Equipment Technology  

The Diesel Equipment Technology program at the Upper Bucks County Technical School is designed to prepare diesel mechanics for the 21st century by emphasizing the skills needed to service, maintain, and repair all types of on-road and off-road diesel-powered equipment, including dump trucks, bulldozers, earth-movers, and graders, as well as exploration and extraction equipment, over-the-road trucks, buses, locomotives, and ships. Students experience a mixture of classroom lectures and instructor-guided hands-on training.

In the classroom, students receive in-depth lectures on diesel equipment theory and electrical/electronics theory, including the study of the diesel engine, fuel systems, and computerized management systems. Class discussions, detailed study materials, handouts, class projects, and homework assignments, all work together to give the student a basic understanding of the diesel equipment technology repair field. Students develop critical thinking and reasoning skills, while strengthening their computer skills, technical writing skills, and comprehension of trade mathematics. Various topics of study include gear ratios, U.S. Standard and Metric measuring systems, effective shop management, shop safety protocol, interpreting schematics, systems troubleshooting, and more.

In the lab, students observe live demonstrations and gain practical hands-on training, carefully guided by their instructors, as they learn how to troubleshoot, test, and repair diesel and gas-powered engines, fuel systems, brakes, electrical systems, electronic systems, suspension and steering systems, drive trains, hydraulic systems, and heating and air conditioning systems. Students also acquire valuable hands-on experience in applied welding for diesel mechanics as well as preventive maintenance and inspection procedures.

Using sophisticated diagnostic equipment, schematics, wiring diagrams, hand tools, machine tools, power tools, lathes, torch cutters, welding equipment, gauges, lab scopes, and electronic multi-meters, students disassemble, inspect, diagnose, repair, and reassemble diesel engines and their integrated system components, learning first-hand how to perform diesel engine rebuilds and tune-ups.

Each student will strengthen their mechanical aptitude and develop important analytical, technical, and interpersonal communication skills. Students will also be expected to practice shop safety and effective time management as they work together to complete each task assigned to them by their instructors with speed, accuracy, and thoroughness. Work ethics, professionalism, and maintaining a positive workplace attitude will also be stressed throughout the Diesel Equipment Technology program at the Upper Bucks County Technical School. 

The Diesel Equipment Technology Course Outline

The Diesel Equipment Technology program consists of the following units of instruction:

  • Introduction to Diesel Equipment Technology
  • Diesel & Gasoline Engines
  • Brakes
  • Preventive Maintenance Inspection
  • Suspension & Steering
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems
  • Drive Train
  • Heating & Air Conditioning
  • Advanced Hydraulics
  • Applied Welding
  • State Safety Inspection

In order to graduate, students are required to complete every class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

Graduation and Beyond

Students who finish the Diesel Equipment Technology program at the Upper Bucks County Technical School will be equipped with the skills, education, and training needed to qualify as entry-level marine service technicians employed by marinas and shipyards.

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 Certificate of Vocational Studies

The Upper Bucks County Technical School offers a two-year Certificate of Vocational Studies in Diesel Equipment Technology. Students will also have the opportunity to obtain their Pennsylvania State Safety Inspection license. The Diesel Equipment Technology program at the Upper Bucks County Technical School is only available to high school students. 

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