Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News @ PSU

News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

College of Technology welcomes big donation

Thanks to a gift from Caterpillar and Martin Tractor Co., students in Pittsburg State University’s Diesel and Heavy Equipment Program will soon be learning the inner workings of one of the construction industry’s most important workhorses.

Company representatives will present their donation of a 160 M motor grader at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 8. The presentation will take place in the Southwest Rotunda of the Kansas Technology Center. Harry Craig, president of Martin Tractor, as well as nearly a dozen PSU alumni who work for the company, will attend the presentation.

“It’s a phenomenal donation,” said Tim Dell, assistant professor of automotive technology and the college’s diesel and heavy equipment coordinator. “It adds credibility to our program, it helps with recruiting students and building relationships with other industries, and it continues to grow an already strong program.”

Caterpillar and Martin Tractor began discussions about the donation last fall. Motor graders, which are often used to smooth the ground during road maintenance, are commonly used at construction sites and by municipalities to improve streets or remove snow. The donated motor grader, which is the newest technology on the market, has 220 horsepower, is controlled with a joystick (rather than a steering wheel) for easier control and can be equipped with laser beam and GPS systems. The machine is nearly 30 feet long, weighs more than 35,000 pounds, and is a value of nearly half a million dollars.

Dell says that combined with earlier donations of a Challenger tractor and a D6 dozer, the companies have been responsible for nearly $1 million in equipment gifts to the university. Pitt State features the only four-year Caterpillar “Think Bigger” program in the world, which allows students who have graduated from one the accredited Caterpillar two-year programs to complete their bachelor’s degrees in four semesters.

“With the motor grader, students are going to be learning about an advanced hydraulic system, engines, mechanical systems, and more,” Dell said, adding that construction students may be able to use the machine in the future.

“When you follow the trends of education, you’ll see that necessary equipment like cars, trucks and tractors are very difficult to obtain for classroom and laboratory instruction. It’s a tremendous benefit when you can get that kind of machine donated.”

---Pitt State---