Dec. 07–MOUNT VERNON — For the diesel engine industry, changes to environmental standards mean technology — and work in the industry — has to change to keep up.
“It’s changed so dramatically over the last 10 years,” said Burt Barnes, creative services director with truck manufacturing company Kenworth.
Over the past year and a half, Barnes has organized the donation of about $125,000 in equipment to Skagit Valley College’sDiesel Power Technology Department, allowing students to learn on newer technology they’ll see in the field.
Department chair and instructor Bernie Andringa said the program was in need of the donated equipment — two modern engines, a truck and a transmission.
In August 2017, Barnes visited the program with his son, who later enrolled. He said walking into the department’s shop felt like walking into a museum.
“Burt didn’t have to ask; he could see we needed some updates,” Andringa said.
Andringa said it was difficult teaching students about modern standards using antiquated equipment.
He said he mostly used photos and parts of newer engines to illustrate modern emission requirements.
The donations have improved the learning experience for students, he said.
“Now all the pieces are together which is why this is such a valuable donation,” Andringa said.
The engines and transmission were donated from vendors that supply parts to Kenworth and PACCAR, its parent truck manufacturing company, Barnes said.
“The vendors were as eager as anyone to help out,” he said. “They need people to support their product.”
The truck, a cobalt blue T8, was a test truck at the PACCAR Technical Center near Skagit Regional Airport, Barnes said. At 8 years old, the truck was nearing the end of its lifespan for PACCAR.
“Technology marches on,” Barnes said.
The company had plans to scrap the truck before Barnes stepped in and suggested it be donated to the college.
Now, it’s serving a new purpose as a training tool for students.
“Working on newer technology like this gives us a more rounded knowledge,” first-year student Sarah Osgood said.
— Reporter Julia-Grace Sanders: 360-416-2145, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @JuliaGrace_SVH
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