Student Spotlight: Trentin Ludewig

HCET major works at Hayden-Murphy while going to college

Trentin Ludewig, 20, is earning his diploma in the Heavy Construction Equipment Technology (HCET) program at Dakota County Technical College. Trentin helps out ISD 917 Heavy Duty Truck Instructor Tom Ledoux on top of his HCET coursework.

On schedule to graduate this May, Trentin also works 20–40 hours a week (sometimes more) as a heavy equipment technician at the Hayden-Murphy Equipment location in Minneapolis.

“I’ve worked on numerous pieces of equipment from our Wirtgen line to our all-terrain cranes, GMKs, and lattice cranes,” said Trentin, who started at Hayden-Murphy more than 15 months ago. “The environment is really great, my coworkers are great, and my bosses are great. It’s easy to get along with anybody, and it’s a really relaxed place to work.”

Trentin is focusing his career goals on becoming a field technician or taking on a management role. He’s interested in earning a management degree down the road, noting that the company sends employees to school for more advanced training.

The Heavy Construction Equipment Technology program at DCTC partnered with Hayden-Murphy to offer HCET students a weeklong training opportunity to work on a GMK 5150B craned donated by Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul.

Hayden-Murphy crane training at DCTC gallery

View the DCTC Flickr album for more crane photos:

HCET – Hayden-Murphy Crane Training Partnership

DCTC HCET and Hayden-Murphy partnership

Dale Schultz

Industry perspective: Dale Schultz

Dale Schultz works as a technical service rep at the Hayden-Murphy Equipment Company based in Bloomington, Minnesota. He has more than 25 years of experience in the heavy equipment maintenance industry.

Dale is GMK (Grove All-Terrain Cranes) certified and an authority on the technical service of mobile hydraulic cranes. Grove manufactures some of the largest heavy equipment in the world.

Dale was instrumental in arranging for HCET students to have a full week to work on a five-axle, all-terrain crane with a 46-foot to 151-foot four-section, full-power boom and a gross vehicle weight nearing 118,000 pounds, or close to 60 tons.

Q & A
Why is Hayden-Murphy partnering with the HCET program to make sure student mechanics are getting industry-standard training?

We need technicians and helping the students get current info is important. We do hands-on repairs with students to pass on our knowledge.

What advice would you give HCET students trying to keep up with continually evolving technology?

Always study, get faculty training when available, and ask the senior guy for their knowledge.

What are some challenges mechanics tackle when working on very large heavy equipment?

You can’t set up in a shop, which means weather and job conditions vary from dry ground to a foot of mud, making repairing cranes difficult. You need to have the correct tools and knowledge when you get to a down piece of equipment.

Having whole crews relying on you to get the crane repaired so they aren’t standing around or getting sent home can be very stressful. You also have to deal with risk of accidents or injury because most of the time you are by yourself doing repairs.

Dale Schultz
Certified GMK
Technical Service Rep
Hayden-Murphy Equipment Company

Hayden-Murphy Equipment gallery

More about Trentin…

Originally from Farmington Minnesota, Trentin graduated from Farmington High School, Class of 2021. His immediate family includes his mom, Melissa, who works with special-needs children, his dad, Jesse, who’s an architect for an engineering company, younger sister, Lottie, 17, and , and younger brother, Jackson, 14.

“I have way too many fish—a happy accident,” Trentin said, “and we have a rabbit named Hershey. He’s really soft and really fat ?.”

In his free time, Trentin enjoys hanging out with friends, hunting, fishing—basically doing anything outside. He also likes watching a good movie or TV show, but that’s mainly during the winter months.

Trentin resides in Farmington.

One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:


Trentin Ludewig Q & A

Trentin Ludewig

Why did you choose to enroll in the DCTC Heavy Construction Equipment Technology (HCET)?

Because the college was close to home, and I thought I would save money.

What do you like best about the HCET program?

It’s a very relaxed program. The contacts I’ve received for industry partners are fantastic. The people who take the course are a great, fun group.

What advice would you give students thinking about a career as a heavy equipment technician?

If the old timer is trying to teach/tell you something, you better listen—common sense goes a long ways. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; some people might make fun of you, but it’s better in the long run to ask. Don’t be intimidated, but don’t be cocky and act like you know everything.

Three words that describe you as a heavy equipment technician:

What are the most challenging aspects of working on heavy equipment?

Not knowing enough information. You will never know everything—it’s endless learning—you just need to retain it. And being a contortionist when trying to reach a hose or bolt.

What type of heavy equipment do you like best and why?

I really like working on cranes. It’s a toss-up between our Grove cranes and our Crawler cranes. I like both.

What person has influenced your life the most and why?

There are multiple people—my grandparents, my parents, and a few random people who gave me good advice.

Where do you hope to find yourself in 20 years?

I hope to find myself with a family I love, doing what I love.

Trentin Ludewig 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Baseball
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Caribbean and Germany
  3. Most exciting thing you’ve ever done: I don’t know to be honest; I’ve had a lot of great times and memories—too many to number and pick favorites
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Save 2) Invest 3) Buy land
  5. Best book or movie you’ve read or seen lately: Probably Good Fellas
  6. Time period (past or future) you would explore if you could time travel: Preferably both, but I would much rather travel to the past
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in your life: Just be happy and enjoy the little things
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Still a bald eagle because they are cool ?
  9. Dream occupation: Hunting and fishing
  10. Person/people you would most like to meet: Demolition Ranch or WhistlinDiesel
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Play the guitar
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: The lack of common sense and everyone being in everyone else’s business; just worry about yourself and I’ll worry about me; don’t tell me what I can and can’t have, and I won’t tell you; a respectful, honest, hardworking person is hard to find
Learn more about Heavy Construction Equipment Technology at DCTC by contacting:

Room 2-110

More about Heavy Construction Equipment Technology

HCET coursework prepares you to succeed as a well-trained, mechanically minded, hardworking technician with heavy equipment dealers and contractors.

Your training will involve classroom theory, live shop demonstrations, and hands-on repair of heavy equipment currently used in industry. Making repairs on actual equipment is vital to your skill development.

Heavy equipment dealers and earth-moving contractors will be your top employers. Jobs are also available with mining and logging companies. Most technicians work in indoor shops, but experienced field service technicians travel to job sites to perform repairs.


Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics

Repair and maintain very large vehicles, such as cranes, bulldozers, graders, or conveyors.

This career pays above the statewide median of $23.81/hour


Median: $31.52/hour
High: $38.63/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $32.15/hour
High: $39.10/hour


In Minnesota, there are 1,670 workers employed in this small, which is seeing very high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate is 11.7 percent in the U.S.

There will be a need for about 3,789 new Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics to meet market demand between 2020–2030 This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

— Minnesota State CAREERwise Education (April 11, 2023)