What Does a Heavy Equipment Mechanic Do?
If you aren’t afraid of a little grease and you like the idea of getting your hands on some powerful equipment, a heavy equipment mechanic job might be a great fit. Also known as heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians, these mechanics inspect, maintain and repair machinery such as bulldozers, cranes, graders, excavators and other equipment used in the construction, farming, mining and railroad industries. They repair engines, hydraulic systems and other key components of heavy machinery to keep them operating safely.
- Inspect heavy equipment
- Diagnose problems, often using computerized tools
- Repair or replace defective parts using hand tools and power tools
- Test repaired equipment
- Clean, lubricate and perform other routine maintenance work
- Disassemble and reassemble equipment
- Consult equipment operating manuals and blueprints
- Travel to worksites to repair equipment
- Maintain equipment repair logs
Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent. Entry-level workers receive on-the-job training. Employers often seek postsecondary specialization in diesel technology, heavy equipment mechanics or small engine repair. Courses are offered by technical schools and community colleges and cover the basics of diagnostics and electronics. Programs last one to two years, and some lead to an associate degree. Some equipment manufacturers offer specialized training.
- Are detail-oriented
- Understand engine components and systems
- Have good eye-hand coordination
- Have excellent troubleshooting skills