Highland Community College

Highland Students Selected for International Technical Competition

Highland Students Selected for International Technical Competition

Highland Student Selected for International Technical Competition

When Dustin Mortsolf (Leavenworth) started taking diesel technology classes at the Highland Community College Technical Center while he was still in high school, he had no idea that three years later he would be representing the United States in an international competition.  In the three years the Mortsolf attended the Tech Center – two while in high school and one post-secondary – he placed first at the SkillsUSA state level in the diesel equipment competition all three years.  Last year at the National competition, he took first on the national level.  Based on that performance and follow-up interviews and investigation, Mortsolf was selected for the U.S. heavy equipment team that will be competing in the WorldSkills Competition to be held in August in Sao Paula, Brazil.

Mortsolf will be working with the WorldSkills heavy equipment instructors to prepare for the international competition.  Following the completion of his studies under Highland’s diesel technology instructor Fred Moranz, Mortsolf went to work for Foley Equipment Company in St. Joseph, MO, and they are supporting him as he prepares for the competition and excited he has this opportunity.

The WorldSkills Competition occurs every two years and is the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world. This year’s 1,200 competitors from 50 countries and regions competing in 50 different technical skill areas represent the best of their peers and are selected from WorldSkills' member countries and regions. They will demonstrate technical abilities both individually and collectively to execute specific tasks for which they study and will perform in the future.

The heavy vehicle maintenance technician maintains and repairs large and heavy equipment. This equipment can be stationary (for example: diesel electric standby generators) or mobile (for example: road building equipment, and mining and forestry machines). 

The technician diagnoses and corrects the vast variety of faults that can occur in any of the components or systems of heavy equipment. This demands knowledge of engines, hydraulics, electronics, braking systems, and much more. Also, it is vital to measure precisely using specific tools and to interpret technical manuals, write service reports, and ensure that work meets specifications. 

The technician must adapt to the diversity of heavy equipment, rapid changes in technology, and the need for quick intervention. Technicians must be able to work at varied hours and locations, because equipment can require quick intervention, often at the worksite or the customer’s shop.

The trade of heavy vehicle maintenance technician is very rewarding for those with mechanical aptitude who enjoy problem-solving and achieving expertise with precision work.

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