A photograph of a CAT excavator

Diesel Technology (Caterpillar Program)

Program Type: Associate In Applied Science

Program Level: UG

Division: Career & Technical Education

Program Duration: 23 months

Program Contact: Stephen Murphey

Credit Requirement: 69

Program overview

The Caterpillar Dealer Academy, a partnership between local Caterpillar dealers and Florence-Darlington Technical College, builds the foundation for technicians to service Caterpillar equipment with excellence and professionalism. The Caterpillar Dealer Academy is a cooperative two-year college-level student technician education program, which leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree with a major in Caterpillar Service Technology. Florence-Darlington Technical College, working in close relationship with the sponsoring Caterpillar dealers, administers the program activities. The program is exclusively by and for the sponsoring Caterpillar dealers.

Courses Required

Semester 1

Cooperative Work Exp. I

Course Code: CWE-114

This course includes cooperative work experience in an approved setting.

Introduction To Diesel Engines

Course Code: DHM-101

This course is an introduction to diesel engine design and operation principles.

Introduction to Caterpillar

Course Code: DHM-111

This course provides instruction and lab experience in shop safety, shop operations and how to obtain Caterpillar service information.


Course Code: WLD-116

This course is designed to acquaint students with common welding and techniques/equipment used currently in trades and industry. Students are expected to develop basic skills in general welding. Consideration is given to welding with arc and oxyacetylene in various positions, hard surfacing, brazing, cutting, electrode selection, and metal identification.

Semester 2

Cooperative Work Exp. II

Course Code: CWE-124

This course includes cooperative work experience in an approved setting.

Electrical Systems I

Course Code: DHM-173

This course is a study of basic electrical theory as applied to truck and heavy equipment batteries, starters, and alternators.

Hydraulic Systems

Course Code: DHM-265

This course is a study of the theory, application, testing, and repair of diesel and heavy equipment hydraulic systems.

Semester 3

Diesel Fuel Systems

Course Code: DHM-125

This course is a basic study of diesel engine fuel systems including pumps, governors, and injectors.

Fund. of Transmission/Torque Converters

Course Code: DHM-156

This course provides a study of various transmissions, torque converters, and differentials used in Caterpillar equipment, including constant mesh, sliding gear, hydrostatic, and synchromesh and newer transmissions involving planetaries. An understanding of the operation, maintenance, and adjustment of the clutch and brakes will be an integral part of this course.

Diesel Air Conditioning

Course Code: DHM-231

This course is a study of diesel air conditioning theory, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair procedures.

Machine Hydraulic Systems

Course Code: DHM-266

This course is a study of inspecting, testing and servicing hydraulic circuits, systems and components unique to Caterpillar equipment. Appropriate testing procedures and equipment are utilized in the course.

Semester 4

Cooperative Work Exp. IV

Course Code: CWE-214

This course includes cooperative work experience in an approved setting.

Undercarriage/Final Drive

Course Code: DHM-267

This course is a study of the suspension systems found on Caterpillar equipment. The course will cover brakes, tracks, suspension, and steering components.

Electrical Systems II

Course Code: DHM-273

This course covers advanced electrical/electronic controls for diesel trucks and heavy equipment (Catepillar machines, electronic engines and monitoring systems). Troubleshooting and repair techniques are included.

Semester 5

Cooperative Work Exp. V

Course Code: CWE-224

This course includes cooperative work experience in an approved setting.

Caterpillar Engine Performance

Course Code: DHM-268

This course is a study of diagnostic skills required to properly troubleshoot Caterpillar engines and fuel systems. Emphasis is on assuring product reliability and performance.

Diagnostic Testing

Course Code: DHM-269

This course will study the practical use of specific diagnostic equipment for analyzing and repairing Caterpillar machine and engine systems.

Caterpillar Machine Specific Systems

Course Code: DHM-270

This course is designed to develop knowledge and skills used to test and adjust machine systems on various different types of Caterpillar machines.

Economic Concepts

Course Code: ECO-201

This course is a study of micro-and macro- economic concepts and selected economic problems.

Entry Requirements

To see a list of entrance requirements for this program, please check the FDTC Course Catalog.

Download Catalog

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Practice professionalism in the workplace.
  • Participate in safe work practices at a dealership.
  • Apply knowledge of engine systems to repair related problems.
  • Demonstrate repair of electrical/electronic machine systems.
  • Apply hydraulic fundamentals to repair machine systems.
  • Service mobile air conditioning systems.
  • Identify, break down, assess, repair powertrain, and machine system faults at the root cause.


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