SIUC receives expensive commercial trucks for training - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIUC receives expensive commercial trucks for training

(Source: Justin Fischer/KFVS) (Source: Justin Fischer/KFVS)

Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Department of Transportation Technology has received nine commercial trucks for students to learn on, as well as additional engines, transmissions and technology packages.

According to Mike Behrmann, chair of the Department of Automotive Technology, the trucks can range in price from $60,000 to $200,000.

"The commercial truck market drives and moves not only our economy but the global economy," Behrmann said.

Behrmann said the donation will help his students get the hands-on experience they need to succeed.

"It's going to give them a great learning tool to accelerate their learning, so when they're getting ready to graduate, they're going to be that much further ahead," Behrmann said.

"It's just really cool that people care about us that much at companies that they give us such a huge donation and we can have the latest technology to learn on," SIU senior Hannah Lamb said.

Senior Walter Huff graduates in December. He's used to working with much older equipment, so he knows how important these trucks will be for his future.

"Without the donations, we wouldn't really have much of a class to do," Huff said. "We have a couple engines on stands, but that's not a real word application unlike these."

The trucks, engines and needed technology all came from two companies: Navistar and Rush Enterprises.

"They actively seek the graduates from this program for a variety of different positions," Behrmann said. "Our graduates go to work for serviceability engineering, training development types of positions with those corporations."

Behrmann said the trucks will be modified to let students go to the technology easier, so they can have simulated problems, and diagnose what might go wrong.

"They're going to have access to the immediate technology that's out there on the road today, they're also going to be able to run their experiments on these trucks as they're learning their diagnostic thought processes," Behrmann said.

Behrmann also said the trucks will be used anywhere from three to seven years, and then will be crushed, as the equipment will be used many times and it would not be safe to be sold for road use.

He also said the department works with several other companies, who donate smaller vehicles for students to train on.

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