On Friday, Feb. 26, students in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Mechanic program instructor Mike Sartore’s class went on a field trip to the Pierce Transit maintenance facility. When they arrived, a bus was waiting to transport them to the garage, where the department’s training supervisor, Brent Riffle, and senior technician Pat, joined the group.
“We were first introduced to the body repair\paint booth part of the shop. It was explained to us that this was the area in the facility where body repairs, interior seat\floor repairs, glass and painting was done,” said Sartore. “We then moved into the transmission\engine rebuild area. Mr. Riffle explained that, unlike most other shops, they still perform major repairs and rebuilds of these components,” he said.
The students were taken to the repair area of the shop, which consisted of approximately 12-15 drive-in bays, each with an in-ground, two-post lift that were hydraulically operated.
“We noticed several techs moving from vehicle to vehicle performing repairs and making adjustments. The students were given time to speak with the techs, who were polite and interested in the student’s questions,” noted Sartore. “We continued our tour into the parts department, the motor pool, the ‘quick repair’ department, and finally, out to the fueling station.”
Overall, what impressed the students was the size and complexity of the operation, added Sartore.
“Many students commented on the organization of the operations, and found our tour guide, Pat, to be very informative. The students were impressed and probably motivated by what they saw. For some, it was the first time they had been exposed to a shop of that caliber,” he said. “The students were interested in learning what it would take to become qualified for an entry-level position in a shop such as this one. My impression was that they were introduced to a higher-level of expectation from a potential employer,” concluded Sartore.
For more information about the Diesel and Heavy Equipment program, visit www.bates.ctc.edu/Diesel.