TWIN FALLS — The Daimler Corporation donated a new freightliner truck to the College of Southern Idaho to help students in CSI's Mobile Training and Deisel Technology Programs.
The 2019 $100,000 Freightliner Cascadia Semi Truck was previously used for training at the Daimler Bridgeport Training Center in Logan Township, New Jersey. The truck is on loan to CSI for the next 10 years and will be used to teach students the latest technology, electronics, and truck systems currently available.
“It helps elevate our program and helps these students prepare for and recognize that they can go anywhere coming out of this program," said Kory Lloyd, the chair of Trade and Industry for CSI. "That they don’t have to feel limited because they’re in rural Idaho.”
The system used in this semi is called a P4, and all of the technology that comes with this truck will be a major focus area for students.
“It’s all computer-based, and these students, when they work on a truck like this, they have to be able to troubleshoot the electronics part of it. They’re literally plugging in a laptop and going through using software to scan different systems and the different computers that are in the truck,” said Lloyd.
Students involved in both the Mobile Training and Diesel Technology program are excited to get their hands on this equipment and get the experience they need to be successful while out in the field.
“The old stuff will help you get the basics, but when you go out there, you’re going to be working on a lot of newer stuff," said Brek Sanderson, a student at CSI. "Without it, I mean you’re kind of lost once you get there because it’s completely different.”
Ryan Bingham, another student at CSI involved in these programs, also mentioned how important it is to be receiving this education as early as possible.
“When we go out in the field, we’re going to see more of the newer stuff than older stuff per se," said Bingham. "You’ll still see the older stuff, but I feel like we’re going to benefit a lot more getting our hands on something a little bit newer coming out of school instead of getting it all thrown at us in the beginning.”
With the addition of this new truck, CSI hopes it can help inspire the next generation of mechanics and technicians to help combat the labor shortage. And many students within these programs do go on to fill in positions needed around the state.
But that's not where the issue lies.
“We have a problem in that we can’t get enough students into these programs to fill all of the gaps that are in the industry,” said Lloyd.
To try and get more kids interested in this profession, CSI is working with Jr. High and high school programs to showcase the equipment those students would be working with if they decided to pursue a career in this field.
“Eventually, we’re going to be paying a truck technician as much as we pay a doctor and same with mechanics and plumbing specialists and electricians," said Lloyd. "That gap is going to only elevate and increase those opportunities for young people, but they need to be told that it’s an opportunity and they need to recognize that this is a valid and rewarding career."