Our modern world continues to evolve. An endless supply of heavy vehicles (construction equipment, transport vehicles, and diesel-powered engines) are needed to keep up with the pace of progress. Heavy vehicle technicians are an essential part of this forward momentum. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for trained technicians will rise by 8% over the next decade. These skilled workers provide services that support the continued growth of almost all major commercial industries, including farming and railroads.
Heavy vehicle technicians enjoy secure careers that could be lucrative and exciting. What are some of the common responsibilities of these positions? What can you learn from a formal training program?
Daily Duties of Heavy Vehicle Technicians
Heavy vehicle technicians are mechanical engineers who specialize in large, diesel-powered engines. Instead of passenger cars and trucks, heavy vehicle technicians work on motorized equipment that is usually used for commercial purposes. This includes:
- Agricultural equipment
In their effort to keep diesel-powered machinery running at maximum capacity, technicians perform a number of different daily duties.
- Read and review manufacturer information like blueprints, manuals, and schematics to better understand the way their machinery works.
- Maintain logs that record equipment condition, service, and other metrics that need to be tracked.
- Perform basic maintenance tasks like oil changes, cleanings, and lubrication.
- Inspect malfunctioning machinery and make a plan to correct it.
- Repair damaged equipment and replace broken, missing, or worn out parts.
- Testing major system components like hydraulics and electrical.
Heavy vehicle technicians use computerized tools and their personal knowledge to keep the machines that business rely on running strong. People who love to work with their hands and are fascinated by intricate technology are especially suited for these positions. Technicians usually work as part of a team. Some are dedicated to one company or fleet. Others may offer their services in a community setting, travelling around the area to service family farms or clusters of small factories. Heavy vehicles are important to the continued potential of our world economies.
Do You Need a Training Program?
It is possible to start a career as a heavy vehicle technician with no prior training or education. However, these jobs are competitive. Attending a training course gives you an advantage over other applicants, making it easier for you to land one of these coveted positions. Also, graduates require less on-the-job training. Employers are willing to pay diploma holders a higher starting wage because they know the cost of training will be less.
But what exactly does a heavy vehicle technician training program teach? A vehicle technician-training program gives students a strong foundational knowledge of diesel-powered engine maintenance and repair. This includes:
- Preventative maintenance
- Electrical, diesel fuel, and environmental comfort systems
- Steering and alignment
- Brakes and suspension
After graduation, applicants are ready to assist company leads and fleet managers. Most companies require at least some on-the-job training, but your diploma makes you useful from the first day of hire. A formal training program prepares you to qualify for and excel in positions in any company’s service center.
Heavy vehicle technicians enjoy a wide variety of career options. Since almost every industry relies on diesel-powered machinery, motivated graduates can create their own unique career path.
- Farm equipment mechanics concentrate on the machinery that helps farmers feed the world. Harvesters, sorters, and tractors are just a few of the machines these professionals work on.
- Mobile heavy equipment mechanics work in the field to repair and maintain bulldozers, excavators, and other large construction equipment.
- Rail car repairers work on locomotives, subways, and other rail-dependent modes of transportation.
- Bus mechanics service vehicle fleets for school systems, municipalities, and private coach operators.
Managers are an important part of a mechanical engineering team. In addition to regular duties, these mechanics are also responsible for making sure their teammates have all the resources they need to get the job done. Managers use their interpersonal skills, business knowledge, and technical proficiency to manage inventories, communicate effectively with employees and clients, and keep shop finances in order. Those who are looking to advance quickly in their career should choose a training program that includes instruction in service management topics. This training makes graduates even more valuable to potential employers.
The Associate in Occupational Science in Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management degree from Advanced Technology Institute helps prepare students to fill apprentice management positions in garages and service centers that specialize in diesel-powered engines. Our courses are designed to give you hands-on instruction that is up-to-date. Contact our admissions counselors now to reserve your spot in upcoming classes.