I-State and Daimler Donate Freightliner to HDTT

(left to right) Ken Klassen, HDTT faculty, Mark Olson, I State general manager, Lee Keener, I State service and body shop operations manager, Jordan Tenney, I State used truck manager, Ed White, HDTT faculty, Jason Wetzel, DCTC dean of transportation, construction & manufacturing, Carson Scheuffele, I State trainer, Brent Newville, HDTT faculty
(left to right) Ken Klassen, HDTT faculty, Mark Olson, I State general manager, Lee Keener, I State service and body shop operations manager, Jordan Tenney, I State used truck manager, Ed White, HDTT faculty, Jason Wetzel, DCTC dean of transportation, construction & manufacturing, Carson Scheuffele, I State trainer, Brent Newville, HDTT faculty

College, truck center and truck manufacturer split cost of semi-tractor

I-State Truck Center in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, and Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) each donated $15,000 toward the purchase of a 2015 Freightliner for the Heavy Duty Truck Technology (HDTT) program at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC). DCTC provided $15,000 to cover the cost of the $45,000 vehicle, which was purchased through the DTNA Trucks for Training Program.

The HDTT program at DCTC became eligible for the Trucks for Training Program through its participation in Get Ahead, a partnership program between Daimler Trucks North America, diesel schools, and DTNA service network locations, e.g., I-State Truck Center, offering diesel schools access to Freightliner web-based training free of charge.

“I-State Truck Center and Daimler know we must invest in our students, our schools and training programs. We appreciate everything that I-State Truck Center and Daimler have done for our students and HDTT program. Thank you!”
— Ken Klassen, HDTT Faculty, Dakota County Technical College

“Online training has become an industry standard for today’s technician,” said Ken Klassen, HDTT faculty. “Online training modules must be completed and are a requirement of the technician’s employment package. Our HDTT students continue to utilize and excel in the Freightliner Get Ahead online modules. That training provides visually appealing and interactive content that helps students retain information better over the long term.”

Ken reported that the HDTT program is currently ranked #6 out of more than 200 schools participating in Get Ahead training. That ranking shows how committed HDTT students are to completing their education and following their chosen career path.

“I-State Truck Center continues to be a strong advocate for our students and the college’s HDTT program,” Ken added. “Our biggest hurdle is getting newer equipment to give our students cutting-edge, hands-on training opportunities. With I-State and Daimler’s support, our HDTT program has received two GHG 2015 Freightliner trucks in the last six months.”

“DCTC is grateful and fortunate to have a partnership with I-State Truck Center and Daimler. Demand for qualified heavy-duty truck technicians is exceptionally high in a field with nonstop technological advances.
“I-State Truck has made consistent and generous donations to our fine Heavy Duty Truck Technology program. These efforts, along with their commitment to hiring our students, has helped deliver the level of up-to-date training and employment the HDTT program needs to succeed.”
— Jason Wetzel, Dean of Transportation, Construction and Manufacturing
Dakota County Technical College

2015 Freightliner gallery

Industry perspective…

Mark Olson, general manager at I-State Truck Center in Inver Grove Heights, reported that the DCTC HDTT program deserved to be recognized for its #6 nationwide ranking on DTNA Get Ahead, which evaluates schools based on:

  • Student placement across the DTNA network of dealers and distributors
  • Number of instructors
  • Number of students
  • Number of Web-based training programs completed

“We are happy to donate funds toward the purchase of the 2015 Freightliner for the college’s Heavy Duty Truck Technology program,” Mark said. “Technicians are in high demand, and DCTC graduates are highly prepared when they come to us. We are going to need a lot of technicians going into the future.”

Lee Keener, service and body shop operations manager at I-State, reported that their location, including the body shop, employs 37 technicians and processes around 1,000 work orders a month.

“Having well-trained and responsible technicians is a vital part of our operation,” Lee said.

More about DTNA Get Ahead

Benefits for diesel schools…

Freightliner, Western Star, Detroit training

Free Web-based training developed for industry dealer and distributor technicians.

Allow your students to earn certifications

The courses comprise the core requirements of a Systems certification, which is necessary to perform warranty work.

Partner with local Daimler Trucks dealers/distributors

Forge relationships with industry employers to strengthen your program and increase enrollment.

Learn more by visiting:
DTNA Get Ahead

More about I-State Truck Center…

I-State Truck Center Mission Statement

Creating customer satisfaction will ensure long term success for our company, employees and the manufacturers we represent. We commit ourselves to excellence, integrity, improvement and teamwork.

The first priority of each employee is to exceed our customers’ expectations. Our success depends on our efforts.

Learn more by visiting:
I-State Truck Center Inver Grove Heights

More about Daimler Trucks North America

Daimler Trucks North America is an automotive industry manufacturer of commercial vehicles headquartered in Portland, Oregon.


Learn more by visiting:
Daimler Trucks North America

Bus and Truck Mechanics

Maintain or repair any type of diesel engine.


Above the statewide median of $20.07/hour


Median: $23.93/hour
High: $29.04/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $26.10/hour
High: $30.15/hour


This career is currently in very high demand and is seeing very high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate is 9.9 percent, or above the statewide average. There will be a need for about 6,398 new Bus and Truck Mechanics to meet market demand between 2016–2026. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

Minnesota State CAREERwise Education

More about the Heavy Duty Truck Technology program…

As a student in the HDTT program at DCTC, you will learn all aspects of heavy-duty truck repair and maintenance. The program focuses on large trucks, typically class 7 and 8.

Areas of instruction include:
  • Electrical and electronic systems
  • Steering/alignment
  • Foundation brakes
  • Air brakes
  • Anti-lock brake systems

You will perform diesel engine troubleshooting as well as overhauls and tune-ups on both mechanical and electronic engines. Clutch, transmission, drive axle repair and overhaul are taught along with welding instruction, preventive maintenance and HVAC.

You will be given the opportunity to obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL) and become a state of Minnesota certified commercial vehicle inspector.

This program is accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Programs must undergo extensive evaluation and site visits by NATEF to receive and retain program accreditation.

Learn more about Heavy Duty Truck Technology at DCTC by contacting:

Kenneth Klassen
Heavy Duty Truck Technology Faculty

Brent Newville
Heavy Duty Truck Technology Faculty

Pete Szybatka
Heavy Duty Truck Technology Faculty

Edwin White
Heavy Duty Truck Technology Faculty