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Brubacher Excavating Lends Skidder to College Forestry Program

Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s forest technology major are experiencing the type of heavy machinery commonly used in the logging industry, thanks to an equipment loan from a longtime supporter of the institution.

Brubacher Excavating Inc., with main offices in Bowmansville and an Energy Services division in Liberty, allowed the instructional use of a John Deere 648G III skidder for eight weeks during the Fall 2014 semester.

The machinery has been used in two classes taught at the 409-acre Schneebeli Earth Science Center campus near Allenwood: Forest Equipment and Safety Operation, in which students learn to properly operate such machines as skidders, loaders and chain saws, and Timber Harvesting and Equipment, which amplifies basic skills before going into full production – similar to that of an actual operations site in the woods.

Penn College forest technology students are able to replicate real-world working conditions through an equipment donation from Brubacher Excavating Inc.
Penn College forest technology students are able to replicate real-world working conditions through an equipment donation from Brubacher Excavating Inc.

“Although too big for our skid trails, it has been valuable for students to realize the true differences of how a machine fully functions and operates,” said Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology. “It has presented an education for those students aspiring to work in the forests, and for foresters to fully understand the size of the machine and how it can have an impact on the forest land.”

Brubacher Excavating, a frequent presence at the college’s twice-annual career fairs, employs numerous Penn College alumni and established a scholarship fund a decade ago that regularly assists students in a variety of majors. Brubacher is also represented on the college’s Heavy Construction Equipment Technology Advisory Committee.

For more information about Penn College’s forest technology major, call the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies at 570-327-4516.

For more about the college, which is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2014, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Photo by Erich R. Doebler

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