Program Spotlight – Diesel Technology

Cody Barrick and Tom Wolfe are CPAVTS’ Diesel Technology instructors. Mr. Barrick teaches 1st year students while Mr. Wolfe instructs students in their 2nd and 3rd years in the program. Mr. Barrick is a graduate of CPAVTS and a former student of Mr. Wolfe! While a student here, he worked for Keen Transport through the cooperative education program. After graduation, Mr. Barrick attended The Pennsylvania College of Technology, where he received his Associate’s Degree in Diesel Technology. Mr. Barrick continued working for Keen and was promoted to foreman before coming back to CPAVTS as an instructor. He is in his second year as an instructor and has 10 years’ worth of experience as a truck mechanic.   Mr. Wolfe earned a certificate in Diesel Mechanics at Williamsport Area Community College and has worked as a truck and trailer mechanic, shop foreman, and manager. He is an ASE certified Master Truck Technician and Master Truck Equipment Technician and holds an advanced electronic engine diagnostics certification.  Here is what these two well-qualified men have to say about their program:

CPAVTS: What is the most significant new or different aspect to your program this year? Mr. Barrick: The shop has been rearranged and the shop floor is more efficient than ever! Mr. Wolfe: We have added more computerized engine controls to our curriculum.

CPAVTS: What are some of the more common career pathways your students take when they leave CPAVTS? Mr. Barrick: Highway diesel truck technicians and Fleet service technicians. Mr. Wolfe: A very high percentage of our graduates enter the workforce. Many of these students have worked through the cooperative education program at CPAVTS. These co-op positions typically transition to a full-time job with benefits.

CPAVTS: What particular training/unit do employers seek that helps students get their foot in the door? Mr. Barrick: How to be a professional and preventive maintenance. Mr. Wolfe: A strong work ethic. We strive to help our students develop this strong work ethic. A state safety inspection certification is also a credential that improves our students’ employability.

CPAVTS: Explain a typical day in your program. Mr. Barrick: 25% class time/75% shop time. Mr. Wolfe: Students arrive, change clothes, and complete a “warm-up” question. We typically have theory for approximately 30 minutes and then spend the rest of each session on the shop floor.

CPAVTS: What advice would you give students who have completed your program? Mr. Barrick: Keep an open mind and make it your goal to learn something new every day. Mr. Wolfe: Work hard. It is very important to continue to learn after you graduate. Technology will continue to change. In order to reach the top of your trade you will need to adapt to the new technology.


Here is what our students have to say:


Summarize what you learn in your program.

“In this program we learn everything associated with the diesel engine and heavy duty trucks and trailers.”


What is the most fun part of your program?

                “Taking things apart and then putting it all back together and seeing it work.”

                “When something you are working on comes together nicely and functions beautifully.


What is your plan for after high school?

                “I hope to be a mechanic and then get a CDL.”


What are you proud of learning to do in your program?

                “Disassemble an entire engine and put it back together.”

                “Completely tearing an engine down that did not run and then reassembling it and having it run.


Explain a typical day in your program.

                “First we go over homework and have theory and take notes. Then we go into shop and work on tasks that help us understand the truck systems more.”

                “We have a theory session and then diagnose and fix issues on the school’s trucks and trailers.


How is your program at CPAVTS different from other classes you’ve had in the past?

                “CPAVTS gives the student hands-on classes. It teaches us the skills that we will need to succeed in life.”

                “We actually get certifications and the training that we need as a mechanic.”