2022 Compact Equipment Skills Activity

UPDATED October 07, 2021

Associate Superintendent Contact Information

  • Associate Superintendent:

  • Dustin K. Perry, Ph.D. – Associate Professor

  • Montana State University - Bozeman

  • Dept. of Agricultural and Technology Education

  • 230 Linfield Hall

  • Bozeman, MT 59717

  • Office: (406) 994-5773

  • Fax: (406) 994-6696


  • The purpose of the Compact Equipment Skills activity is to examine students’ ability to perform skills related to small gasoline and diesel engines of 30 horsepower or less.

  • Participants in this activity will work with compact engines and compact engines tools and equipment.

  • Students should be familiar with using precision measuring equipment, compact engine specialty tools, mechanics tools, and concepts related to theory and repair of compact engines.

General Information

  • No iPad, tablet and cell phone devices will be allowed in during this activity. The activity may involve problem solving and calculations. A calculator is highly recommended.

  • Participants in this activity will be expected to work with compact engines so that the engines operate optimally. Students might be asked to complete an activity that includes one or more of the following skills.

Possible Activities for the 2022 event

Note: Compact Equipment is defined here as being 30 horsepower or less.

  • Select and use appropriate measuring tools and test instruments, such as volt-ohm-amp meters and/or digital multi-meters, to accurately and precisely diagnose ignition systems.

  • Identify recommended periodic service jobs (as found in operator’s manuals).

  • Identify components of hydraulic systems commonly associated with compact equipment.

  • Participants should be familiar with the Cat(R) 301.5, 301.7, 301.8, and 302 Mini Excavator models.


  • Identify compact engines and engine parts.

  • Interpret compact engine model numbers.

  • Identify components in a typical hydraulic operation system.

  • Determine electrical defects using troubleshooting techniques.

  • Identify characteristics of various alternators.

  • Identify and describe basic principles of recharging of batteries.

  • Apply knowledge of ignition systems as they relate to compact equipment.

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Content Standards

  • CS.08.02.01.a. Use the appropriate procedures for the use and operation of specific tools and equipment.

  • CS.08.02.01.b. Demonstrate safety precautions when using tools for a specific task around bystanders.

  • PST.03.01 Troubleshoot, service, repair components of internal combustion engines using manufacturers’ guidelines

  • PST.03.01.01.a. Identify components and systems of internal combustion engines.

  • PST.03.01.01.c. Evaluate service and repair needs for internal combustion engines using a variety of performance tests (e.g., manuals, computer-based diagnostics, etc.).

  • PST.03.01.02.b. Utilize technical manuals and diagnostic tools to determine service and repair needs of spark-and-compression internal combustion engines used in AFNR power, structural and technical systems

  • PST.03.01.02.c. Inspect, analyze and repair spark-and-compression internal combustion engines used in AFNR power, structural and technical systems.

  • PST.03.02.02.c. Conduct testing procedures to evaluate and repair malfunctioning electrical components and systems used in AFNR power, structural and technical systems.

Suggested Resources for Activity

  • In addition to the general references specified for the Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems CDE, the following references are suggested for the Compact Equipment Skill Activity. Note: Specific references are listed below, but others may be added at a later date:

General references specified for the Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems CDE (ATMS handbook can be found at FFA.org)

Other Reference Material:

Manual to be posted at a later date. Contestants can generally reference the maintenance and operation of Caterpillar’s Mini Excavators.

Please review the general references for the CDE. - CDE rules

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