Truck donation goes to LCCC helps diesel tech students

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (RELEASE) - Any diesel technology program needs trucks on which students can work. That's a simple concept, but it's not an easy order to fill. Thanks to a tremendous donation of trucks to Laramie County Community College’s diesel technology program, these students have some of the best hands-on opportunities in the region.

At a special event this month, LCCC and its Foundation celebrated the donation. Held at the campus’ new Flex Tech Building, Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr and others spoke about how this will help the college and ultimately the community.

Medium-duty and over-the-road diesel trucks, like the ones delivering packages or pulling trailers down the highway, can cost around $50,000 for used trucks or more than $100,000 for new ones, according to Lisa Murphy of the LCCC Foundation said.

But thanks to NaviStar International, LCCC's diesel tech program is now the proud owner of seven different trucks. These range from a "cab chassis" to a pair of ProStar tractors with sleeper cabs, as well as DuraStar box trucks with large cargo holds.

"The biggest setback we face is having current mock-ups the students can work on," says LCCC instructor Larry Van Why. "In the past, we've had to rely on funds to go buy a truck or get one loaned."

To award ASE certifications to the students, program vehicles cannot be 10 years older (or six years, in some cases) than the most current models. These donated models are all between 2012 and 2014.

It's an incredibly generous gift, Van Why says, made even more so because NaviStar and Lariat included the software licenses required to run the vehicles' computer diagnostic programs.

“With the recent budget cuts faced by the college, donations like this can change the entire direction of the program,” Murphy said.