Chattahoochee Students Learn Skills in Cat Loader

Fri February 15, 2008 - Southeast Edition
CEG



Chattahoochee Technical College has a new machine to help prepare its students for a career in environmental horticulture.

Instructor Bejie Herrin has added a Caterpillar 257B multi-terrain loader to the one-year-old program’s fleet, purchased from Yancey Bros. Co.

Approximately 20 students are currently enrolled in the program at the Paulding County campus. While some have had experience working with this type of heavy equipment in the past and are taking classes to obtain certification, there are a few who had never been in the cab of a machine of this size before.

Herrin laughed as she recounted the experience of her first-timers.

The students climb into the cab, filled with awe and a hint of fear.

“They’re afraid they’re going to break it,” she said.

And the first time the machine lurches forward, most of them jump in their set.

But after getting acclimated to the cab and the controls, “most of the them seem to love it,” Herrin said.

She starts out with the basics, but will eventually teach her students how to use GPS.

In addition to the loader, the college purchased two attachments from Yancey. It will soon add an auger and a mulching head to run off the 257B.

“We chose to go with Yancey Bros. and Cat because of their reputation for heavy-duty, long-lasting equipment and because of the variety of the Cat-branded work tools Yancey Bros. Co. offers,” Herrin said.

Students studying for a two-year degree in environmental horticulture will use the machine to learn how to grade a slope, install irrigation systems and plant trees. They also will assist in projects to benefit the college, such as grading for a retaining wall on the main campus, putting in turf plots and cleaning up before installing a nursery.

Students can choose to move on to a four-year program to pursue degrees in such programs as general horticulture, urban forestry or sports turf management. CEG Staff