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Navistar International Donation of Vehicles Boosts Ferris' Heavy Equipment Technology Program

Ferris State UniversityStudents and instructors in Ferris State University’s Heavy Equipment Technology program are excited to be working with semi-tractors and a vocational truck, donated by Navistar International, of Lisle, Illinois, and facilitated by West Michigan International and K&R Truck Sales.

Gary Maike, an associate professor and program coordinator for Ferris’ HEQT, said five of the six vehicles donated by the manufacturer are on campus, with two of them already before students on the service floor.

“These are vehicles that International had submitted for testing, to verify that their emission systems met federal regulations,” Maike said. “The corporate donation has been valued at $250,000, but if we were to have gone into the market to purchase these vehicles, the cost would have been much more.”

Ed Reitman, President and Dealer Principal for West Michigan International and K&R Trucks, said their company has more than 25 years serving the region, from four locations, and is proud to collaborate with the university on this project.

“We are committed to providing important opportunities to today’s students, which provides a sustainable and progressive future,” Reitman said. “We are proud members of our industry and brand, as well as what we have accomplished with the Ferris HEQT program. We look forward to a productive future together.”

Maike said their vocational, or box truck, is easily accessed by their students as it consists of the cab, engine and chassis. The contribution from Navistar International of this vehicle and the semi-tractors will benefit their program for years to come.

“This is a great addition of current technology, and increases our diagnostic capability,” Maike said. “This offers us access to manufacturer’s data, and our students can plug in, and go through the appropriate reviews for this equipment. They can now access the most modern connectivity, as part of their learning.”

Ferris President David Eisler will be joined by executives from Navistar the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 1:30 p.m., as they offer comments on the cooperative effort to bring the vehicles to the university campus. All of the donated trucks will be on display outside the HEQT building, near West Knollview Drive and Sports Drive. Students, faculty, staff and the public will be welcome to walk around and look over these vehicles following the opening program on Oct, 4, and continuing to 3:30 p.m.

PHOTO CAPTION: A total of six Navistar International trucks have been donated by the Illinois-based manufacturer to Ferris State University’s Heavy Equipment Technology program. University and corporate officials will celebrate their collaboration at an event beginning at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, outside the HEQT building on Ferris’ campus.