A heavy vehicle maintenance technician’s duty involves maintaining and repairing industrial equipment and large machines used in various sectors. These can include material handling, agriculture, transportation, forestry, landscaping, and mining.
The technician should be able to repair and maintain both stationary and mobile internal combustion engines and their components. This includes earth-moving equipment, rubber-tired and tracked equipment, and ground-engaging equipment as well as on-highway and off-highway vehicles (whether motorized or towed).
What is Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Repair?
Heavy vehicle maintenance and repair may involve either individual components or entire systems. This calls for the technician to be competent with hydraulics, braking systems, engines, and electronics, among others. The technician is required to do the following:
- Use tools to diagnose function
- Replace or repair defective components
- Test repairs to ensure proper performance
- Make adjustments where necessary
- Interpret directions in technical manuals
- Write service reports
The technician also has the mandate to ensure that all work meets the requirements of legislation and the specifications of the manufacturer. They also frequently communicate with the manufacturer, the employer, and the customer. It could be easy for you to scale upwards to senior roles including a supervisor, trainer, or manager due to experience gained as a heavy maintenance and repair technician.
How is it Different from Regular Car Maintenance?
The difference between Heavy vehicle maintenance and regular car maintenance boils down to specialization. Heavy vehicle technicians deal with heavy vehicles including big trucks, motorhomes, RVs, trailers, buses, and big rigs. Other than that, they may deal with big specialized vehicles such as tractors, cranes, farm equipment, and military equipment. Heavy vehicle technicians need to know not only how to repair engines but also to diagnose and conduct repairs on brake lines, fuel, electrical, and hydraulics among others.
On the other hand, regular car maintenance involves minivans, SUVs, sedans, etc. Light vehicle technicians are usually referred to as mechanics. Mechanics specialize in one particular part of a repair. For instance, they may specialize in brake repair or suspension. Overall, the same principles apply, despite the difference in specialization.
Career Outlook for Heavy Vehicle Technicians
The employment rate of heavy vehicle technicians is projected to grow by 8 percent between years 2016 and 2026 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). The growth is believed to be about as fast as the average for all occupations. Technicians will be on demand as the stock of heavy vehicles continues to increase.
As of May 2017, the median annual wage for heavy vehicle technicians was $49,440 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). The lowest 10 percent is reported to have earned less than $31,450, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,200.
Why is Virginia Beach, Virginia a Great Place to Learn these Skills?
Besides having the longest pleasure beach the world has ever seen, Virginia Beach, VA is rife with blue-collar jobs. Heavy vehicle maintenance and repair is commonplace due to the abundant supply of heavy machinery operated both on land and water either by tourists or local residents.
Virginia Beach, VA is a great place to learn heavy vehicle maintenance and repair skills. This city could be the setting you need to launch a career, given the ready market. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia, attracts tourists from all corners of the world, and is a hub of international commerce.
Why is Education so Important to this Profession?
Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment technology are becoming increasingly sophisticated and that includes computerization. Therefore, a high school diploma or its equivalent may not be enough to secure you a job in future. While high school courses in physics, automotive repair, welding, and electronics provide a strong base for this career, further training is crucial if you want to be fully qualified. Most employers would prefer to hire technicians who have completed a formal training program at a post-secondary institution.
Heavy vehicle maintenance and repair technicians play a significant role in the economy and the contemporary society cannot do without them. If you think a career in heavy vehicle maintenance and repair would be ideal for you, perhaps you should consider pursuing an Associate of Occupational Science in Heavy Vehicle Technology at Advanced Technology Institute. For more information, connect with us today!