(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Christian Gutierrez plans to continue the family business.
Gutierrez, who is studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Diesel Equipment Technology at Texas State Technical College, wants to take the skills he learns with him to his father’s business. Sergio Gutierrez is the owner and operator of Cuate Trucking in Miles.
“My dad has had a trucking company even before I was born,” Christian Gutierrez said. “I want to continue what he has started and follow in his footsteps. I hope to be able to expand on what he has started in our hometown.”
Lane White, a TSTC Diesel Equipment Technology instructor, said Gutierrez has acquired one particular trait from working with his father.
“He grew up in the trucking industry, so he is very confident in the work that he does,” he said.
Gutierrez said in order to expand the family business, earning a degree was the most important goal to set.
“I have always wanted to be a mechanic,” he said. “I have been able to learn the correct way to do things on a truck while I am in school.”
His father has noticed that Gutierrez’s knowledge has expanded since he began the program in August.
“My dad still knows a lot more than me. But he has noticed how much my base has expanded and how much I have learned here,” he said. “I like to jump in and help my dad out when I go home.”
Part of that knowledge expansion involves the equipment that Gutierrez is able to use in the TSTC labs.
“I have used a lot of tools I have never seen before,” he said. “I know when I complete my degree, I will be able to upgrade my dad’s shop.”
According to Gutierrez, his father gave him advice that he still uses today.
“My dad told me that the hands-on experience is the best experience to take away from learning your trade,” he said. “I follow that every day in the lab.”
Before he returns to his father’s business, Gutierrez wants to make sure he has all the skills needed to be successful.
“It is better to work in the lab and make a mistake,” he said. “There, you will be able to ask for help and our instructors will guide you through the process.”
Gutierrez is also able to learn different aspects of the diesel engine and how it works.
“The instructors give you unique ways to look at the job,” he said. “It may not always be the fastest way to complete an assignment, but it will be the correct way.”
Gutierrez said TSTC’s program offers students an advantage over mechanics who learn on their own.
“We do a deep dive into the engine,” he said. “At some shops, you get to look at the outside. But at TSTC, we look at the whole system and know what to do when something is wrong. More importantly, we are going to know how to fix that problem.”
That is what Gutierrez wants to take to his father’s business.
“I want my dad to know I am ready to work when I complete the program,” he said. “Right now I am still learning a lot about the industry, and I know he is proud of what I am able to do.”
White said Gutierrez has the ability to work alongside his father and continue the family business.
“Christian is one of the leaders in our class,” he said. “He makes sure to plan everything out and then assigns his classmates what they will need to do. He is going to make his father proud.”
According to onetonline.org, jobs for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists were expected to increase 19% in Texas from 2020 to 2030. Such technicians employed in Texas can earn an annual average salary of $47,850, the website stated.
Diesel Equipment Technology is available at TSTC’s Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses. Depending on campus location, the program offers Associate of Applied Science degrees with different specializations, as well as several certificates of completion and a Basic Diesel occupational skills achievement award.
It is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program. If a participating graduate does not find a job in their field within six months of graduating, TSTC will refund their tuition in full.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.