Deere donates flood-damaged equipment to college

During the 2008 floods in the area, Iowa-based heavy equipment major John Deere was forced to leave some of its equipment at a business in Cedar Falls, 150km northeast of Des Moines.The machines were completely submersed in floodwater, but instead of scrapping the equipment, John Deere decided to donate it to the college’s Heavy Equipment, Truck & Diesel Programs. The donated excavators were a Deere 75D crawler excavator, Deere 190DW and 220DW wheeled excavators and a Hitachi ZX190W-3 wheeled excavator. John Deere product engineer Mark Tilson said the excavators had been tested and photographed and were in the workshop for final updates when flooding put the machines in 6ft-deep water.“The amount of water, muck and damage, especially to complex electronics, was just too much for Deere to really gain anything out of rehabbing them ourselves for resale,” Tilson said. “Scrapping them seemed a shame too. But letting students get a real-world lesson on how to rebuild them was a great way to make something good come out of the flooding.” Dennis Wallace, Truck & Diesel Program instructor at NCC, said there was more than just repair work involved in getting the excavators running again, and eventually fully functioning on a job site. “Students are managing the project from the ground up,” Wallace said. “The students will have to take things apart, identify what is working, what isn’t, what needs fixing and what needs replacing. “They will put together a detailed plan of repair, a timeline and a full estimate of the cost of repairs – as it is, we’ll probably invest $10,000 per unit in the materials needed to do the repairs.” NCC students come out of the 23-month course with a working knowledge of both the equipment and the kinds of job sites they are likely to work on, according to Wallace. “Now they will have seen just about the worst you can do to a piece of machinery,” Wallace said. “Other repair jobs in their career might not seem so daunting.”

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