Salina Area Technical College’s Diesel Department is the first to benefit from a new nationwide initiative by truck manufacturer Kenworth to improve the education of the next generation of Diesel mechanics.
The PACCAR MX-13 engine, donated by Kenworth through the local MHC Kenworth dealership in Salina, is a six-cylinder, 13-liter engine generating just under 500 horsepower. It spent several years in a PACCAR testing center before being donated to the college recently. PACCAR is Kenworth’s parent company.
“We have lots of engines, but our big issue is getting the newer stuff,” said Mac Loucks, Diesel Technology instructor at Salina Tech. The engine was made in 2012.
Such large modern engines aren’t cheap; Mark Dyal, district service manager for Kenworth in Kansas City and John Logan, service manager for MHC Kenworth in Salina, said the donated engine is worth about $40,000.
Now in Salina Tech’s Diesel shop, the engine is undergoing a total rebuild, with students getting hands-on experience with the engine. Once it has been rebuilt, Loucks said it will be used to train students on troubleshooting engine problems.
Logan said he was working with the Kansas Board of Regents a couple of years ago on aligning the Diesel curriculum in the state’s technical colleges with industry needs when “I saw they had lots of old and outdated equipment. We wanted to do something about that.”
So when Kenworth announced a new nationwide push to donate equipment to Diesel education programs, Logan, Dyal and Loucks jumped at the opportunity.
The second engine being donated through the program is going to North Central Kansas Technical College in Beloit.
Salina Tech’s Diesel Technology program offers students a two-year program leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree; this degree has an optional pathway that is transferable to multiple Kansas universities to obtain a bachelor of technology leadership or technology management degree. High school students enrolling in the program at the start of their junior year can return to Salina Tech and complete the remaining requirements for the degree in one year after graduation. Tuition is not charged to students who are enrolled in high school.
Story by: Mike Strand