A heavy equipment mechanic must know how to properly maintain and repair the equipment. Mechanics work not only on diesel engines but may work on construction equipment maintaining the hydraulic, and electrical systems.
A heavy equipment mechanic needs a good understanding of how diesel engines work. Diesel mechanics work to keep engines in top repair. A heavy equipment mechanic not only works on engines, but on the working parts of the equipment as well. This may involve working on a variety of pieces of equipment, such as earth movers, excavators, bulldozers, cranes and rollers. In addition to repair work, routine maintenance is part of the job.
While a heavy equipment mechanic may have the opportunity to do some of the work inside a shop, much of the work as a equipment mechanic involves work on job sites in all types of weather. This keeps the mechanic on his feet most of the working day. Some of the work is in cramped spots, while other work may be from ladders.
It’s necessary to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times. Safety rules are in place and all employees must follow them. The heavy equipment mechanic must also follow safety rules for working on engines.
Preparation for the job begins in high school with mathematics, physics, chemistry and industrial technology courses. On-the-job training opportunities are available, but it’s easier and faster to learn the necessary job skills by attending a vocational school or community college that offers diesel mechanic training or heavy equipment training. The two-year course of study not only offers an associate’s degree but also provides hands-on training.