19:15 PM

College Announces $175,000 John Deere 850K Dozer Donation from Doggett Heavy Machinery, LLC

Donated dozer targets skills training of Diesel Applied Technology Program students learning to become diesel mechanics and heavy equipment technicians

Article by Melinda Eddleman

As construction continues to boom in the Coastal Bend, the need for technicians or mechanics to repair diesel engines and heavy equipment used in the industry is pertinent to keeping things running. A donation from one of Del Mar College’s (DMC) Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) industry partners and area John Deere heavy equipment dealership, Doggett Heavy Machinery, LLC (Doggett), is now giving students in the Diesel Applied Technology Program access to a resource that expands their hands-on skills training.

The company is the premier dealer for John Deere construction equipment and the largest dealer in North America for three different first-tier manufactures, an accomplishment no other dealer has achieved.

Brad Penick_South Texas District Manager with Doggett Heavy Machinery LLC

With the latest training resource staged in the background, College and Doggett representatives announced on June 30 the donation of a John Deere 850K Dozer valued at $175,000 that the company gifted to DMC. Both Diesel Mechanic and Heavy Equipment Technician students with the College’s program can prepare for the field using the same training resource for specific types of hands-on training. 

“Doggett’s donation demonstrates the strong partnerships that Del Mar College and our industry-specific programs have built to support a well-trained workforce that meets employers’ needs,” says Davis Merrell, Dean of the College’s Industry and Public Service Division. “The company’s generosity is helping our Diesel Applied Technology Program fill a training gap identified in our AED accreditation requirements.”

Merrell adds, “This single piece of equipment satisfies those training gaps that would otherwise cost our program significantly more than $250,000 in various types of training aids.”

DMCDoggett Dozer Donation_Student Speakers Shariel Gonzalez Collazo and John Swift

Two students with the program––John Swift, a 48-year-old nontraditional student focused on diesel training, and Shariel Gonzalez Collazo, who started the program as part of the first cohort with Tuloso-Midway High School and has continued training at DMC to become a heavy equipment technician––also spoke during the announcement and both thanked Doggett for the dozer and relayed shared sentiments that the piece of equipment will prepare them for the workforce and employers’ expectations.

In 2021, the DMC Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technician Programs both received their AED accreditation, an organization for which Doggett is a member and among other AED industry advisors who support the College’s program to ensure training meets the educational and technical skills required by the heavy equipment industry. 

“Doggett John Deere sits on our Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technician Advisory Board; and as one of the lead advisors, Doggett guides faculty on curriculum, participates in program recruitment and offers paid internships for DMC dual credit and traditional heavy equipment technician students at their local dealership, along with continued employment,” notes Dara Betz, Director of Workforce Programs with DMC Corporate Services.

The dozer can be used in all the program’s Heavy Equipment Technician classes and in most Diesel classes because training required in both areas is much the same and ranges from heavy duty batteries, charging systems, electrical wiring and diesel engines to general and electronic troubleshooting, preventative maintenance and more.

DMC_Doggett Dozer Donation_Students Working on New Heavy  Equipment

In fact, students’ skills training is much more extensive, and the hands-on experience that the dozer will provide includes working on the hydraulic components (pumps, valves, reservoirs, actuators and accumulator); hydrostatic drive and all the components associated with it; hydraulic troubleshooting and diagnostic testing; hydraulic cylinder removal and replacement; final drives and the components associated with it; undercarriage components (tracks, rollers, sprockets, idlers and more); measuring and adjusting track tension; splitting the track; reassembling the track; and undercarriage ware and inspection.

Betz adds, “During the program’s initial audit for accreditation, AED identified a few training gaps , but the donated dozer serves as a training resource that satisfies ALL the gaps, along with some other benefits that include the hands-on experiences our students now have while preparing for the workforce.”


About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.