HDTT Partners with I-State Truck Center and DTNA to Purchase New Truck

(left to right) Ed White, HDTT faculty, Jordan Tenney, I-State Truck Center general manager, Hannah Mancha, I-State Truck Center body shop manager, Ken Klassen, HDTT faculty

Technical college, truck dealership, and truck manufacturer split cost of 2019 Freightliner Cascadia

I-State Truck Center in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, and Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) each donated $15,000 toward the purchase of a 2019 Freightliner Cascadia conventional cab tractor 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 has been a powerful partner of our program,” said Ed White, HDTT faculty. “Many of the wonderful opportunities afforded to our students wouldn’t exist without them—opportunities like online training, working on current equipment, and many of our training aids. We can’t thank them enough for all they do.”

Faculty perspective: Ken Klassen

Ken Klassen

Elite Industry Partners: I-State Truck Center and Interstate Power Systems

Ken Klassen has been teaching in the Heavy Duty Truck Technology (HDTT) program at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) for 16 years as the second year, second semester instructor.

“From day one, I-State Truck Center and Interstate Power Systems have openly and without hesitation supported our HDTT program. I knew most of the leadership team as I had worked at their Inver Grove Heights facility for seven years before becoming an HDTT faculty member.

“Below is a small list of the support our students and HDTT program have received from I-State Truck Center and Interstate Power Systems:

  1. Continues to hire and mentor our HDTT students at all of their locations within the Twin Cities and is our top employer.
  2. Always attends our HDTT advisory board meetings and actively participates in our program accreditation reviews.
  3. Supports our annual career fair with donations to the student raffle
  4. Interstate Power Systems provides free industry training and certification to HDTT faculty on all their product lines at their Lakeville facility.
  5. Has provided industry training to our HDTT students.
  6. Shares all training material with HDTT faculty.
  7. Has donated several diesel training engines and parts.
  8. Is our HDTT program sponsor with the Daimler Get Ahead online training website. This platform provides HDTT faculty and students access to bumper-to-bumper training and industry certifications on Daimler products, covering engine, transmission, electrical, electronics, drivetrain, multiplexing, brakes, air conditioning, natural gas, EV vehicles, Cascadia Truck systems, and more.
  9. With our national ranking—6th out of more than 285 schools—using Get Ahead, our HDTT program is able to three-way cost split a truck purchase. DCTC pays up to $15,000, I-State Truck Center and Interstate Power Systems pays up to $15,000, and Daimler pays up to $15,000 on a five-year and newer truck. We have purchased four trucks this way and have been able to keep our training current with industry. Our HDTT program just purchased another truck using this three-way cost spit. Without this training and the ability to update our fleet for a minimum cost, our HDTT program would be a shell of what it is today.
  10. With our national ranking, we are able to purchase Daimler training aids at half price up to $20,000. We have purchased air disc brake assemblies, electrical training boards, driveline analyzer, HVAC components and training aids, and a Cascadia cab simulator. These training aids have provided our students current and up-to-date industry training.
  11. With I-State Truck Center and Interstate Power Systems sponsorship, our HDTT program is able to gain access to Daimler online service, parts, and troubleshooting information.
  12. Twenty (20) free subscriptions to Daimler DL8 diagnostic software. This allows each student to utilize DL8 on their assigned laptop. This is a game changer to training on Daimler software.  Students are troubleshooting a no-start logfile on DL8, basically troubleshooting a truck symptom virtually.
  13. Sponsor of our Allison Transmission online training platform. This provides our HDTT faculty and students access to the Allison Transmission products and training.
  14. Gives shop tours of their facilities with lunch provided.
  15. Sponsors our SkillsUSA students by providing funds needed to attend the SkillsUSA National Conference. Provided funds to purchase red blazers for faculty and students that are the official SkillsUSA dress code.
  16. Provided networking and interview workshops for our HDTT students to be prepared for job interviews.
  17. Continues to donate truck parts with current technology for our HDTT students to train on.
  18. With the training I have received from Bob Stevens at Interstate Power Systems, I put many of the same bugs in components that are used in the advanced training classes at Interstate Power Systems.

“Thanks to this Elite Industry Partnership with I-State Truck Center and Interstate Power Systems, our HDTT program is one of the best, most up-to-date programs in the state of Minnesota.

“As you can see above, our HDTT program is in this great position because of I-State Truck Center and Interstate Power Systems unconditional support of our HDTT students and faculty. They believe in what we do and support us.

“As I mentioned earlier, our HDTT program would be a shell of what it is today without their support. Our students would not have had the training and access to today’s modern equipment and technology.”

Ken Klassen
Heavy Duty Truck Technology Faculty
Dakota County Technical College

Freightliner Cascadia gallery

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

Daimler Trucks North America

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is an automotive industry manufacturer of commercial vehicles


Learn more by visiting: Daimler Trucks North America

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

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

Room 2-110

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.

Bus and Truck Mechanics

Maintain or repair any type of diesel engine.


This career pays above the statewide median of $25.22/hour.


Median: $30.90/hour
High: $37.65/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $31.70/hour
High: $39.30/hour


In Minnesota, there are 6,360 workers employed in this medium-sized career, which is currently in very high demand and is seeing high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate is 6.4 percent, or above the statewide average.

There will be a need for about 7,083 new Bus and Truck 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.

SOURCE: Minnesota State CAREERwise Education (June 5, 2024)

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