Diesel Technology

posted on Thursday, April 22, 2021 in  College News

Ask Glen Adolphs about the career opportunities for a trained diesel technician, and he’ll ask you how much time you have.

“The wonderful thing about the diesel field is that there is always a demand for diesel technicians,” Adolphs said. “In every field, the options are endless.”

Adolphs is program advisor and instructor for the Ag Power Technology and Diesel Truck Technology programs at Hawkeye Community College, which will merge to become the Diesel Technology program this fall.

“In the past, we had two programs, but both take you down the same path of coursework,” Adolphs explained. “To make things easier for the students and instructors, we combined them into one.”

The Diesel Technology program prepares you to maintain, troubleshoot, and repair diesel engines on a variety of heavy-duty trucks, as well as agriculture and construction equipment. Students learn how to work with and repair gas and diesel engines, hydraulics, diesel fuel systems, electronic systems and components, power trains, and computer diagnostics. Much of the training is hands-on, giving students real experience in the work they’ll encounter in their careers.

Pay $0 in tuition for Diesel Technology with the Last-Dollar Scholarship.

“In our field of work, the best training is always going to be hands-on training,” Adolphs said. “We aim to cover everything you will see in the field using the very products that students will be working with once they choose their career path.”

It’s the hands-on experiences that Chaska Hunt liked best about Hawkeye. Hunt grew up in Nashua, where his father owns and operates a trucking service. Diesel trucks were always part of his life, but it was during high school that he realized he wanted a career working on them. He came to Hawkeye because it was affordable, close to home, and offered the training he needed.

“[I liked] getting in there and knowing how things work,” Hunt said. “You take transmissions and pumps apart, you figure out how they work, and you rebuild them.”

Careers in this field are projected to continue growing through 2028, according to Iowa Workforce Development. When Hunt graduated in 2019, he found he didn’t have to travel far from home to find a lot of great prospects.

“Getting a job after I graduated was actually pretty easy,” he said. “There are a lot of choices out there. It’s just about picking which one you want to do. After school, I had probably six or seven to choose from. I had interviews with all of them. All great companies.”

Hunt is now a service technician for Ziegler Cat in New Hampton. He works mostly with agricultural equipment, which keeps him busy – especially in the fall when harvest approaches. Hunt says he loves the work he does and the reward that comes from fixing things and solving problems.

“Whether you go out to a job site in the field or if you’re in the shop, you’ve got a job to do: repair or fix something,” he said. “When it’s a big job you complete and all checks out fine, that’s rewarding in itself. It’s a good feeling.”

For more information about the Diesel Technology program at Hawkeye Community College, call 319-296-4000.


  1. Ag Power Technology
  2. Alumni
  3. Chaska Hunt
  4. Connect Magazine
  5. Diesel Technology
  6. Diesel Truck Technology
  7. Glen Adolphs
  8. Zeigler Cat
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