What Does a Diesel Mechanic Do?
Diesel is considered the ideal fuel to power the nation’s buses and tractor-trailers, and keeping those vehicles on the road requires a steady flow of diesel mechanics. Sometimes referred to as diesel service technicians, diesel mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing vehicles and machinery that run on diesel fuel. A diesel mechanic may work in a variety of industries on many different types of heavy equipment, including trucks, buses, bulldozers, cranes and tractors. These mechanics possess in-depth knowledge of vehicle electrical systems, diesel engines and parts.
- Diagnose engine fault codes, wiring diagnostics, air brake system, exhaust filtration and regeneration systems
- Perform thorough inspections of vehicle systems including steering and brakes
- Carry out in-depth repairs
- Replace malfunctioning parts
- Perform basic maintenance
- Test-drive vehicles to ensure everything is working properly
Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent and provide on-the-job training. Some look for applicants who have completed training programs in diesel engine repair or service technology. These programs may lead to a certificate or an associate degree, depending on the program. New mechanics can expect about three to four years of on-the-job training to reach journey-level status. Training through a focused, brand-specific diesel engine repair program — which may be shorter — is another path to employment opportunities. Continuing education is encouraged, and many manufacturers offer special training classes that cover the latest innovations.
- Have strong analytical skills
- Have the ability to think on your feet
- Possess mechanical and technical know-how
- Have good attention to detail
- Have good hand-eye coordination
- Have strong communication skills
- Are comfortable with changing technology