Port machinery donation big boost for polytechnic

Emalee Millar (26) and fellow Otago Polytechnic automotive students show off the programme's...
Emalee Millar (26) and fellow Otago Polytechnic automotive students show off the programme's Clark 55 loader, donated by the Port of Otago. Photo: Gregor Richardson
When Otago Polytechnic automotive lecturer Rob Roderique visited the Port of Otago, he mentioned he was interested in buying some of the older gear there to use in classes.

What happened next was a big surprise.

The port contacted senior management at Otago Polytechnic to say it would donate the gear — four massive diesel engines and a Clark 55 loader.

"We’re pretty stoked with that," Mr Roderique said.

"It’s actually going to save us a lot of money and also gives us huge investment in our training resources here."

He said the donated goods would easily have cost $60,000.

The engines and loader would be used to help teach skills such as diesel component diagnoses, repairing transmissions, axles, hydraulics and more.

"[It] enables us to do a lot more so we don’t have to hire something or buy in components.

"We’ve got a complete working unit."

The gear will be inspected by staff before it is used in teaching in next year’s courses.

Bradley Benington is an Otago Polytechnic student finishing a one-year automotive course and said the equipment would be a great benefit.

"This here [the Clark 55 loader] will be quite good because a lot of the main structure of things will stay the same.

"It’s just there’s a lot more electronics in the new things. The main body of everything is the same. You can’t change a brake drum to anything else."

"The way that the polytech do their work, it’s all very relevant."

 

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