Thomas Built Buses and Detroit Diesel Corporation Contribute to College Curriculum

Companies Help to Educate the Next Generation of Diesel Engine Technicians at Sheridan College

High Point, N.C. – Most days those yellow and black Thomas Built school buses deliver students to school, but this fall Thomas Built Buses and Detroit Diesel Corporation were able to contribute to the education of the students at Sheridan College with the delivery of a new engine for the Diesel Program. The donation, a 2004, chrome covered, six-cylinder version of a Mercedes Benz 900 engine (MBE 900) has ratings from 170 - 330 horsepower and up to 1000 LB FT of torque.

“Wyoming is an industrial state and there is tremendous demand for trained engine technicians,” said John Sikkenga, program coordinator for the Diesel Program at Sheridan College. “The MBE 900 has allowed me to update the program curriculum to include more computer controlled and diagnostic education. The result is students who are even better prepared for a career.”

“Our dealers like I State Truck, Inc. in Billings, Mont. are always looking for trained technicians, so when I learned that the Sheridan College Diesel Program didn’t have a Mercedes Benz engine, Thomas Built worked with its business partners to ensure the school would have new equipment with the most current technology,” said Rich Thornburg, a district service manger for Thomas Built Buses.

Scott Fredricksen, a sales manager for Detroit Diesel Corporation added, “Detroit Diesel engines lead the industry in fuel economy and technology but, as with any piece of machinery, our engines require proper care and maintenance. When Thomas Built approached us on behalf of Sheridan College for an engine, we leapt at the chance to contribute, train and support the technicians that will help to keep our motors running.”

Available for more than a decade, the MBE 900 is ideal for use in many different medium-duty applications including food service, beverage, general delivery, refuse, towing and school transportation.

Detroit Diesel Corporation ( is a leading manufacturer of on-highway diesel engines for the commercial truck market. Headquarters in Redford, Mich., Detroit Diesel Corporation is engaged in the design, manufacture, sale and service of these products in addition to supporting alternative and hybrid engine strategies for the commercial truck marketplace.

Thomas Built Buses ( is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, with more than one-third of the market. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line in 1936, the company has focused on delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America.

Thomas Built Buses, Inc. is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer on the continent and a leading manufacturer of class 3-8 vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America and Detroit Diesel Corporation are Daimler companies.

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