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November 23, 2015 4:00 AM, EST

Letter: Thanks for Helping Train Technicians

Letter: Thanks for Helping Train Technicians

This Letter to the Editor appears in the Nov. 23 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

The Diesel Equipment Technology program at Northeastern Junior College in Colorado has come a long way in the four years that I have been teaching here. It went from two graduates to about 14.

To see truly what our programs has to offer and its accomplishments, check out our Facebook NJC Diesel page. There you will see our recent Freightliner Trucks sponsorship and our class project, “RAT SEMI” — which is a 1947 Diamond T truck placed on a school bus frame with a DT 466 engine made by Navistar Inc. Our students are designing every aspect of the build.

You also will see a post that explains, “Miss Raley Shaffer has never driven a semi until she came to the diesel program. Now she can back it in the shop like a pro!”

I owe a big part of these accomplishments to being a member of American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council. I have met so many people and their companies that have contributed to our program with training and donations.

For example, Hunter Wheel Alignment and Stemco provided training and certification for our students. TravelCenters of America and Simon Contractors came to recruit students for a career with them. We also received help from SAF Holland, Meritor Inc. and Carrier Transicold.

Our NJC Diesel Facebook page has videos that show students starting their diesel engines after they were completely torn down — and understanding how they operate.

A lot of them never overhauled an engine. Watching the smiles on their faces is really rewarding. It’s like watching a kid ride a bike for the first time. I took these small engines out of old Thermo King reefer units.

You’ll see local companies such as agricultural equipment makers John Deere, Case IH and Massey Ferguson bring their latest technology to our program. This gives our students an idea of what to expect from technology in the agricultural field.

We have a small budget, so what we do to help us buy equipment is fix up and put up for auction equipment that we have repaired and learned from. The JCB backhoe is one of them.

We also have taken students on field trips to companies such as Caterpillar dealer Wagner Equipment Co.

We really appreciate everyone that helps make this program possible.

If you have any questions or wish to contribute to the education of our students, please call me at (970) 520-9387.

Jimmy Atencio

Diesel Equipment Technology Coordinator

Northeastern Junior College

Sterling, Colorado