SkillsUSA Students Lending Hand To Local Fire Department

Students assess and disassemble the damaged parts.

A group of SkillsUSA students are taking on a project in Argusville, helping out the community’s volunteer fire department. The department purchased a 1966 Chevrolet 6-ton snow plow truck from another community to be used as Argusville’s first and only snow plow.  In the past, Argusville has relied on the county for snow removal, which leaves the town subject to response times that varying levels of severe winter weather can cause.

In a stroke of really bad luck, the truck’s engine caught fire while it was being driven to its new home in Argusville after being purchased. The truck’s carburetor caught fire, completely melting the secondary flow bowl and damaging other parts of the engine. 

Through a connection with the fire department, a team of five SkillsUSA students, along with instructor Tom Cross, traveled to the Argusville Fire Hall on October 8, to inspect the truck and do some preliminary disassembly work.  The students identified the parts that needed to be replaced, and took what they could back to the Auto Shop at South High to rebuild, including the truck’s radiator and the dashboard. 

Cross and the students contacted local salvage yards to find replacements.  The carburetor posed a particular challenge:  if they couldn’t come up with a used part, a new one would cost around $1,200.  After several weeks, the internet produced for the students the carburetor part they had been looking for.

On Sunday, Dec. 11, three of the students took their second trip up to Argusville and continued working on the truck.  December’s weather has been a blessing for both the City of Argusville and the SkillsUSA repair project.


Danny Sandbeck and Tyler Lilleoien assessing the damage.
Tyler Lilleoien, Stuart Pederson and Danny Sandbeck replacing previously damaged valve covers.