Spokane Community College

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Diesel/Heavy Duty Equipment  

The Diesel/Heavy Duty Equipment program at Spokane Community College offers individuals in-depth technical training on a wide range of trucks and heavy equipment, combining classroom instruction with practical hands-on training with industry standard equipment. Graduates of the program have gone on to secure entry-level jobs in Alaska, Hawaii, and all over the West Coast.

Through class discussions, course projects, and written assignments, students develop critical thinking and reasoning skills, as they strengthen their mathematical computation and English comprehension skills. Students receive in-depth lectures on diesel theory and are given a basic understanding of the construction, function, and service of heavy duty components. Topics of discussion include gear ratios, U.S. Standard and Metric measuring systems, effective shop management, proper customer service protocol, and more.

Students gain practical hands-on training in the lab, observing live demonstrations before acquiring carefully guided hands-on training as they learn how to inspect, diagnose, and repair diesel engines, fuel systems, brakes, electrical systems, diesel electronic systems, suspension and steering systems, power trains, hydraulic systems, and air conditioning and heating systems. Students also acquire valuable hands-on experience in welding for diesel mechanics as well as preventive maintenance and inspection. 

Each student will learn how to interpret repair manuals and gain experience using hand tools, power tools, machine tools, computerized diagnostic equipment, precision measuring instruments, electronic multi-meters, circuit diagrams, and more as they learn, hands-on, how to perform diesel engine rebuilds and tune-ups by disassembling, inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and reassembling various diesel engines and their integrated component systems.

Each student will strengthen their mechanical aptitude and develop important analytical, technical, and problem solving skills. Students will also be expected to practice shop safety and effective time management as they complete each task assigned to them by their instructors with proficiency and speed. Work ethics, professionalism, and maintaining a positive workplace attitude will also be stressed throughout the Diesel/Heavy Duty Equipment program at Spokane Community College.

The Diesel/Heavy Duty Equipment Course Outline

The Diesel/Heavy Duty Equipment program is made up of the following industry-relevant classes:

  • Basic Electrical Theory
  • Basic Electrical Applications
  • Basic Principles of Engine Theory
  • Basic Engine Applications
  • Principles of Power Train Theory
  • Power Train Applications
  • Heavy Equipment Hydraulic Theory
  • Heavy Duty Equipment Hydraulic Application
  • Practical Shop Procedures I
  • Practical Shop I
  • Practical Shop Procedures II
  • Practical Shop II
  • Cooperative Education Work Experience (No Seminar)
  • Special Problems

Students are also required to take Mathematical Models, English 114, English Composition, Communications, Psychology, and Fine Art, in order to meet the minimum 70 credit hour requirements of the Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree program. Students are required to finish each course and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

What to Expect After College

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 Washington was $53,570 yearly and $25.75 hourly, 19% higher than the national average.

Graduates of the Diesel/Heavy Duty Equipment program at Spokane Community College will possess all the basic skills necessary to gain entry-level employment in the fields of heavy construction, mining, logging, shipping, agriculture and trucking.

The Two-Year Associate of Applied Science Degree

Spokane Community College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Diesel/Heavy Duty Equipment. This program is Pell Grant eligible. 

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