With an ever-increasing demand for heavy vehicles in today’s commerce industry, employers are looking for the assistance of educated and certified heavy vehicle mechanics. The role of a heavy vehicle technician involves diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining, diesel engines such as trucks, drills, forklift, shovel, tractors, and tracked vehicles. Heavy vehicle technicians work on a variety of heavy commercial, industrial and construction vehicles used in land clearing, landscaping, material handling, forestry, and construction.
Maintaining heavy vehicles so they stay in good repair can be a tough job, but also crucial in ensuring our roads are in good order, keeping agricultural equipment operating, and ensuring that transport vehicles are moving and in good conditions. The career path may not be the easiest but can be a rewarding one for those with a flair engaging their minds and hands in technical work. Formal training in heavy vehicle technology may be the right career path for you if maintaining big engines that power heavy vehicles appeals you.
Heavy Vehicle Tech Training
Heavy vehicle technicians do more than just repairs, they must also be well versed in fuel, drivelines, hydraulics, comfort systems, brakes and suspension, electrical systems, and more. Heavy vehicle training gives students a strong theoretical and practical knowledge of diesel-powered engine repair and maintenance.
The goal of training programs in this field is to transform students into qualified and all-rounded technicians, in the most efficient manner possible. Vehicles are becoming increasingly complicated and students must be equipped with the latest training that equips them with even greater information in less time. Typically, training takes at least one or two years before one can be considered qualified for an entry-level technician position. In addition to classroom instruction and developing an honest work ethic, training provides students with hands-on diagnostic and repair experience.
Students are exposed to drawings, equipment operating manuals, and blueprints. They are also taught how to identify and diagnose malfunctions, clean and lubricate parts, disassemble or reassemble heavy components, repair or replace worn out parts, maintain the equipment, and logs of equipment condition and work performed. Training involves the use of sophisticated and computerized technology.
Benefits of Going for the Heavy Vehicle Training
It is possible to jump-start a career in diesel engine mechanics with a high school diploma or on-the-job training. But most employers often prefer technicians who have completed a formal training program, because they are better qualified and prepared to work in any company’s service center.
Therefore, attending a formal training course makes it easier for you to land and excel in one of these coveted positions. This career can potentially expose a person to hazardous materials and cramped workspaces and formal education comes into play with safety training. After graduation, applicants could be ready to assist company fleet managers and leads.
Some Important Skills and Qualities for a Heavy Vehicle Tech
From shipping fleets to semi-trucks, no matter what the available positions are, heavy vehicle mechanics need to have the necessary qualities and skills to effectively perform their duties and be successful in the diesel mechanical industry.
- Attention to detail: Various components need to be in the exact right place and in favorable conditions or they will not work. Diesel mechanics need to be able to pay attention to the minute details of heavy vehicle repair.
- Electronic skills: With advancements in diesel technology, diesel-powered engines can constitute both electrical and mechanical components. Heavy vehicle techs need to have a core understanding of the inner workings of electronic components. This also covers various software programs and computer systems.
- Mechanical skills: Diesel mechanics will need expertise in components and parts of complex engines, machinery, and the tools required to fix them.
- Technical skills: Diesel mechanics should be able to use electronic diagnostic equipment to troubleshoot problems and identify possible repairs in addition to reading blueprints.
- Interpersonal skills: Heavy vehicle techs will deal with employers, fellow employees, and customers on a daily basis and for this reason, one should be able to relate to various personalities by practicing proper communication, willingness to listen to others, and courteousness.
- Troubleshooting skills: Diesel mechanics should be in a position to look at mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic systems, identify problems, and come up with solutions.
Heavy vehicle techs with desirable qualities and skills can go a long way in the mechanical industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in this field is expected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026. With so many job opportunities available, earning the right formal education and acquiring the right skill set can mean great success to a heavy vehicle tech.
If you’re interested in a career as a diesel mechanic, consider enrolling in the Associate of Occupational Science Degree Program in Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management at Advanced Technology Institute. Contact us today to learn more about the program.