Blackhawk Technical College

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Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician  

The curriculum of the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician program at Blackhawk Technical College prepares students to service and repair diesel trucks, diesel-powered farm equipment, and diesel-powered industrial machinery. Students not only receive a strong foundation in the latest diesel technologies and industry techniques, they also acquire a broad base of skills such as properly interpreting complex technical manuals, collaborating with co-workers, and communicating effectively with customers, equipping them with the technical knowledge and specialized skill every diesel mechanic needs to penetrate the diesel and heavy equipment job field. 

Students are taught such topics as diesel theory and the fundamentals of the diesel engine in the classroom, learning about the design, functions, and principles of operation of the entire diesel engine system through in-depth lectures and class discussions. Students will strengthen their comprehension of English and writing as well as their mathematical computation skills, while developing strong communication, analytical, and problem solving skills through lively discussions, detailed study materials, class projects, and homework assignments. 

Inside the state-of-the-art training facility is where students obtain valuable hands-on training,  as they learn how to inspect, diagnose, and repair diesel engines, brakes, electrical systems, diesel electronic systems, diesel fuel systems, transmissions, drive trains, hydraulic systems, truck steering systems, truck suspensions systems, and heating, cooling, and air conditioning systems. Students will also gain hands-on experience in welding for diesel mechanics as well as inspection and maintenance procedures, and electronics troubleshooting.

Students will learn on the most up-to-date computerized diagnostic equipment as they diagnose and repair the computerized auxiliary systems found on today’s diesel engines. Technical manuals, circuit diagrams, wiring schematics, precision measuring instruments, machine tools, power tools, and hand tools will also be used throughout the program as students learn how to repair and rebuild diesel engines and their integrated system components by disassembling, inspecting, testing, repairing, and reassembling various diesel engines.

Students will learn the value of teamwork and time management as they work both independently, and in groups to successfully complete every task assigned to them by their instructors with speed, accuracy, and thoroughness. Shop safety, professionalism, and workplace ethics will also be stressed.

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician Course Outline

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician program consists of the following courses:

  • Brake Service
  • Truck Steering & Suspension
  • Inspection & Maintenance Procedures
  • Electrical Systems
  • Diesel Fuel Systems
  • Electronic Systems Troubleshooting
  • Drive Train Service
  • Heating,Cooling & Air Conditioning
  • Hydraulics I
  • Hydraulics II
  • Engine Fundamentals
  • Equipment Welding
  • Diesel Engine Service-Heads
  • Diesel Engine Service-Blocks

Students should take 835-103 Student Success either prior or during the first semester of the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician program. Students will also be required to take Communication, Math Fundamentals, and Applied Science in order to fulfill the 55 credit hour requirements of the Undergraduate Certificate program. To be eligible to graduate, students must finish each class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

Occupational Outlook

Students who finish the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician program at Blackhawk Technical College will be equipped with the mechanical skills, comprehensive education, and job-specific training needed to qualify as entry-level diesel and heavy equipment mechanics. Employment opportunities include working for trucking fleets, construction companies, farms, ranches, agricultural equipment dealerships, logging companies, mining companies, oil and natural gas extraction companies, railroads, marine transportation companies, factories that use diesel power generators, and independent service garages.

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 Wisconsin was $42,710 yearly and $20.54 hourly, just 5% lower than the national average.

The Two-Year Undergraduate Certificate

Blackhawk Technical College offers a two-year Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician Undergraduate Certificate. This program is Pell Grant eligible. 

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