Pickens Technical College’s Diesel Technology Pathway: The Trucking Industry’s Response to COVID-19
With many industries reeling or shutting down completely in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Pickens Technical College itself is closed, with students taking classes online. The Diesel Technology course at Pickens is difficult to take online because it usually features hours of hands-on, in-shop experience, but students and instructor Randy Kubick are making the most of a difficult situation.
It’s fair to wonder how the industry you’re trying to break into with an education from Pickens will be affected when this pandemic finally recedes, but the trucking industry and the diesel technology experts who support it are stepping up to help everyone survive these strange times.
Diesel Technology Meeting Unique Demands
The COVID-19 pandemic has created new, unique demands on the healthcare system and global supply chains. The reason why you can still buy toilet paper after weeks of panic-buying is because of truckers working hard to deliver needed supplies to grocery stores all over the United States. Diesel technology experts make sure those trucks are operating properly so they can do their necessary work.
If you’re interested in diesel technology, you know that you’ll be working on large trucks at some point in your career. According to Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, an educational organization made up of manufacturers of diesel engines and other diesel technology, 75% of all commercial vehicles in the US are powered by diesel engines, while 97% of Class 8 tractor-trailers are diesel-powered.
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, diesel manufacturers have been working hard to reduce carbon emissions. Right now, greenhouse gas emissions are down around the world because people aren’t allowed to use their cars nearly as much. But diesel technology experts and manufacturers have been developing advanced biofuels and renewable diesel fuel for regular use.
“As state leaders look for near-term, proven and available strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they will find that diesel engines, vehicles, and equipment using blends of biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels are contributing the greatest benefits to reduce transportation sources of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Shaeffer.
California, which implemented aggressive new carbon emission reduction rules in 2011, has seen drastic reductions in greenhouse gases. Last month, Oregon implemented a similar law, requiring all transportation fuels sold in the state to achieve a 20% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030.
No matter how you look at it, diesel technicians will be at the forefront of helping the world recover from this deadly pandemic and ensure that the lifeblood of the US’s supply chain stays healthy. And when we emerge from the cloud of COVID-19, we’ll have cleaner air and create less of an environmental impact going forward.
Even though educational institutions and programs are hamstrung by the pandemic, you can still get in line to become a professional diesel engine technician. Contact Pickens to find out more.