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Pictured left to right are HEDST students Phillip Jones, Korey Bond, Cody Medley, Brian Burke, Jeff Morris, Sean Price, Grady Page, Jason Cleckley, and Taylor Brunson with their completed projects.

SGTC Caterpillar students weld heavy equipment replicas
Monday September 28, 2009
South Georgia Technical College Caterpillar Heavy Equipment Dealers Service Technology (HEDST) students expressed their creativity and showed off their welding skills recently by re-creating Caterpillar equipment using tools and materials from their Introduction to Welding Technology class.

As part of their curriculum for the Associate of Applied Technology degree, HEDST students take a welding class with Welding and Joining Technology instructor Duane Register. “We’ve had larger classes in the past, but this has been one of the best classes so far,” said Register. “They were really into the project and showed great enthusiasm.”

HEDST students have been completing this project every quarter since the inception of the HEDST/Caterpillar program at SGTC. “I wanted to come up with something unique for them to practice their welding skills on, and I came up with the idea for them to re-create the pieces of heavy equipment they would soon be working with,” said Register. The students worked in teams of three to complete their projects.

Students who participated in the project were Phillip Jones of Moulton, AL; Korey Bond of McHenry, MS; Cody Medley of Eufaula, AL; Brian Burke of Bluff City, TN; Jeff Morris of Sumrall, MS; Sean Price of St. Augustine, FL; Grady Page of Yulee, FL; Jason Cleckley of Clanton, AL; and Taylor Brunson of Starkville, MS.

The current HEDST class consists of students from five Caterpillar dealers, including Puckett Machinery Company of Jackson, MS; Ring Power Corporation of St. Augustine, FL; Stowers Machinery of Knoxville, TN; Thompson Machinery Company of LaVergne, TN; and Thompson Tractor Company of Tarrant, AL.

South Georgia Technical College serves as the Southeastern Caterpillar Dealers College of Technology and offers extensive technician training for Caterpillar Dealers as part of the specialized Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician Program. Students selected for the two-year program receive practical work experience from their sponsoring dealership during paid internships.

The Caterpillar program, which has the theme, “Think Big About Your Future,” features alternating sessions in eight-week increments of classroom instruction and “hands on” experiences for students at participating dealerships. Upon graduation from the program, the student receives an Associate Degree in Applied Science and a job can be offered at his/her sponsoring dealership.

For more information on how to enroll in the HEDST/Caterpillar program, contact Raymond Holt at SGTC at 229-931-2001 or your local Caterpillar Dealers or go online at or

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