MEET THE PRO: Danny DeLapp, Diesel Technician

By Arkansas Next on Monday, October 25, 2021

Jacob Slaton

Hometown: Raytown, Missouri
Age: 22

Where I trained: Northwest Technical Institute

What I earned: Technical certificate in Medium Heavy Truck Technology Diesel program

Job title: Preventative maintenance (PM) technician
Employer: Walmart Supply Chain Division

Danny DeLapp is excited by how he never knows what his day will bring. He likes that he learns something new just about every day, whether that be a quicker way to accomplish a task or a method that is completely different to him. His job is a lot more than just looking at a truck or trailer and swapping parts. There is a meticulous process for running diagnostics and it must be followed precisely or the issue won't be resolved correctly. Technicians also have to determine the reason something failed and fix that instead of just fixing the symptom.

Danny liked that he was able to work while he trained, and that it only took him three semesters and a summer class to get through technical school. “By choosing this route, I was getting trained in school for exactly what my job was going to be,” Danny says.

"I really enjoyed fixing cars and spending time understanding everything about them. So, I challenged myself and went a step further to what I believed was a bigger and harder thing to learn." – Danny


Inspect trucks and trailers for potential flaws; make repairs


  • Diagnose causes of failure in A/C systems, tires, brakes and alignments
  • Make repairs to avoid breakdowns, change oil and fuel filters
  • Communicate with drivers
  • Write detailed reports on the computer for each repair

Education needed: A technical certificate or an associate degree, as well as Practical Experience in Med/HD Truck and/or Trailer Repair and Maintenance

Job Outlook

► +9% expected growth by 2028 in Arkansas

► 3,990 jobs in Arkansas by 2028

► 390 average annual job openings in Arkansas

Jacob Slaton

This option is for you if

  • Safety is a priority
  • You love finding problems and fixing them
  • You’re detail-oriented and observant
  • You ask for help or answers when you need to
  • You stay calm under pressure

High-end earners (top 10%) make

Median wages in Arkansas
$40,630 Annual
$19.53 Hourly

• Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation
• Arkansas State University–Beebe
• Arkansas State University–Mid-South
• Arkansas State University–Newport
• East Arkansas Community College
• Stribling Equipment
• Tyson Foods Inc.
• UAM College of Technology–McGehee
• University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton
• University of Arkansas Hope–Texarkana
• University of Arkansas–Pulaski Technical College
• Walmart Supply Chain Division

• Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation
• CalArk International
• McGeorge Contracting Company
• McKee Foods Corporation
• Stribling Equipment
• Tyson Foods Inc.
• Walmart Supply Chain Division

*Editor's note: The median wages data, featured above right, was gathered from the U.S. Department of Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some Arkansas companies pay more; Stribling Equipment, for example, reports the median salary of its high-end earners is $81,469.