Diesel Technology Defined: Powerful Terms to Get Your Career Started


Diesel engines are amazing. They’re powerful, efficient and relied upon to help keep the country rolling.

In fact, it’s estimated that there are more than 2 million diesel-powered tractor trailers hauling products, equipment, and livestock across the country right now. Diesel also fuels farm and construction equipment, military tanks and vehicles and even generators that power hospitals and small towns in remote regions.

Yes, the country leans heavily on diesel power—and the men and women who keep the engines running.

diesel mechanic job growthIn fact, the need for diesel repair technicians and mechanics is expected to grow by 12 percent between now and 2024 (according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics). That’s good news for people interested in becoming a leader in the industry.

If that’s you, you’re going to want an education, experience and an in-depth knowledge of how diesel engines works—and that starts by being familiar with some common terms.

Here’s a look at some powerful terms that can help get your career off and running:


Biodiesel is a buzzword in the diesel-engine industry right now. Technically speaking, biodiesel refers to the mono alkyl esters of long-chain fatty acids derived from renewable lipid feedstocks.

But what really matters is that the diesel engine industry is exploding. The country currently produces about 100 times more biodiesel than it did just 10 years ago (according to the U.S. Department of Energy). Much of it is finding its way into the engines you’ll be working on—and it’s important to understand how that impacts an engine’s function and efficiency.


Turbocharging is the process of compressing an engine’s intake air charge so that it allows more air and fuel into the cylinder—which increases the engine’s overall power. In short: Turbocharging is what makes diesel engines so much more powerful than standard, gasoline-powered engines.

The sooner you understand how turbocharging works, the sooner you’ll be on your way to being able to maintain engines, diagnose problems and fix engines that aren’t operating properly.

Federal Test Procedure

If you’re going to be a diesel mechanic or technician, you need to be aware of the Federal Test Procedure (FTP). It refers to the test cycle or test cycles the federal government uses for emission testing and certification.

The people who own the trucks you’ll be working on will depend heavily on you to make sure their engines aren’t violating emission standards. If they are, your employer could face some hefty fines.

Light Duty Vehicle (LDV)

When it comes to diesel engines, tractor trailers and farming equipment get all of the attention. But there are a growing number of passenger cars and small trucks on the roads that use diesel engines. Light duty vehicles that use diesel are gaining popularity because they are clean, quiet, and environmentally friendly (according to the Diesel Technology Forum).

This is good news for aspiring diesel mechanics and technicians, because it means there will be more people in need of their services. After all, more light duty vehicles on the road mean more of a need for preventative maintenance, problem-solving and repairs. So if someone offers you a job working on LDVs that use diesel, at least you’ll know that it just might be a great opportunity.

Business Management

At first glance, the term “business management” might not seem to be all that important to an aspiring diesel mechanic. But if you want to be successful, you’re going to need to know the basics of business.

Yes, you’re going to need to have deep understanding and experience with diesel fuel systems, drivelines, and hydraulics and preventative maintenance inspections. But you’re also going to need to know how to source parts and equipment at the lowest possible cost. You’re going to need to understand billing and receivables so you can get paid. And you’re going to want to have a firm understanding of how to deliver customer service that will keep people coming back for more.

After all, most customers have many diesel repair mechanics and technicians from which to choose. You’re going to want their experience with you to be so great that they wouldn’t think of going anywhere else.

Get Your Education in Diesel Technology

If you are interested in joining a growing industry on which the country depends—and ready to get started in your career—connect with Advanced Technology Institute today to learn more about the Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management (AOS). Ask about how you can get practical experience working on engines, gain the knowledge necessary to get hired, and earn a degree in Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management.  Contact us by phone at 800-468-1093 or request information online.

Diesel/Heavy Vehicle Mechanic Training

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