Heavy Construction Equipment Technology: Caterpillar Equipment Emphasis (CH)

Accredited by AED

(Effective Fall 2018)

Students develop the skills necessary to maintain and repair heavy construction equipment. Students gain additional skill development in maintaining, diagnosing, and repairing Caterpillar equipment. Advanced equipment maintenance techniques and principles are applied in diagnosing malfunctions and prescribing corrective action. Specific instruction in equipment systems includes engine overhaul, manual transmission repair, chassis maintenance, hydraulic component testing and overhaul, hydrostatic and powershift transmission repair, electrical troubleshooting, electronic controls diagnostics and preventative maintenance. The student is exposed to all facets of the industry with emphasis on problem solving and transferability of skills. Each student must successfully complete an internship.

Career Opportunities

Heavy construction equipment technician for a Caterpillar or other heavy construction equipment dealership, mine, quarry or natural gas industry; forestry equipment dealer; leasing company or contractor; field service/CAT sales representative for an equipment or engine distributor; service occupations such as service writer, warranty writer, parts manager, and assistant service manager.

Recommended High School Subjects

Four years of English, two years of algebra, and one year of science.

Remediation Strategies

Students must remediate all deficiencies prior to admission to the major.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:
  • practice approved safety procedures in various work situations.
  • read and interpret equipment manuals and write clear, accurate, and complete service reports.
  • demonstrate the correct use of basic hand tools, special tools, and testing equipment.
  • describe the operation of diesel engines, overhaul a diesel engine, and demonstrate skills in problem solving, maintaining, and repairing diesel engines.
  • troubleshoot, maintain, adjust, and repair basic chassis systems including standard transmissions, clutches, drive lines, braking systems, tracks, steering systems, and differentials.
  • identify, troubleshoot, and repair various types of hydraulic systems, hydrostatic and powershift transmissions, torque converters, fuel systems, and electrical systems.
  • explain the principles of planned preventative maintenance and the economic benefits of proper equipment maintenance scheduling.
  • diagnose and repair malfunction of engine and chassis electronic management systems found on Caterpillar equipment.
  • retrieve and record accurate technical information from a computer-based system and demonstrate proper communication techniques for customer assistance and reporting.


First Semester Credits
FYE101 First Year Experience 1  
DSM141 Heavy Duty Brake Systems 2  
DSM155 Powertrain and Brake Systems Lab 4  
DSM160 Fundamentals of Powertrain Technology 4  
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3  
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1  
MTH124 Technical Algebra and Trigonometry I 3  
MTH180 College Algebra and Trigonometry I 3  
Second Semester Credits
DSM154 Diesel Engine Technology 5  
DSM116 Diesel Engines Laboratory 4  
DSM120 Basic Electricity 4  
DSM121 Hydraulics I 3  
DSM119 Fuel Systems 2  
Summer Session Credits
DSM153 Internship 2  
HEO153 Internship 2  
Third Semester Credits
DSM122 Hydraulics II 4  
DSM242 Diesel Equipment Air Conditioning Systems 2  
DSM284 Introduction to CAT Vehicles 1  
DSM286 CAT Vehicle Machine Electronics and Diagnostic Procedures 3  
DSM285 CAT Vehicles Laboratory 1  
PHS103 Physics Survey 3  
PHS114 Physics with Technological Applications 4  
ENL111 English Composition I 3  
Fourth Semester Credits
DSM230 Hydraulics III 6  
DSM288 Caterpillar Electronic Engine Management Systems 3  
ENL201 Technical and Professional Communication 3  
HUM Humanities Elective 3  
SSE Social Science Elective 3  
ART Art Elective 3  
FOR Foreign Language Elective 3  
AAE Applied Arts Elective 3  
IFE International Field Experience Elective 3  
WEL100 Introduction to Welding Processes 3  


AED Accredited by The AED Foundation.


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