Heavy Equipment Mechanic
Repair and maintain big tools like backhoes, fire trucks, and cranes.
Little kids love big trucks — the power, the noise of the engine and the air horn, the sheer size. If you still have that same love of these huge machines, then you might be right for a career as a Truck Service Technician. In this job, you diagnose, repair, and perform preventative maintenance on the diesel trucks that are the backbone of this nation’s transportation infrastructure. Without you, the shipping world would grind to a screeching halt.
Being a Truck Service Technician can take a variety of forms. You can work for a trucking company and spend your days maintaining the fleet from a central base. In this role, you may also make emergency calls out in the field to get disabled vehicles back up and running. If you operate your own small business, you may specialize in these kinds of rapid-response calls, and not even have a large garage facility.
Either way, you need a wide variety of skills, from engine repair to electrical systems, to meet the needs of your clients or employer and adapt to new technology. Independent Truck Service Technicians frequently work more than 40 hours per week. If you work in a company-owned facility, you typically work eight-hour shifts, with normal time off for weekends and vacation.
Wherever you work as a Truck Service Technician, you are going to get dirty. Taking apart engines and wriggling around under trucks all day can be lots of fun for the right person, but you’re going to get greasy and probably sweaty. Modern shop facilities are usually well ventilated, climate controlled, and even boast showers for getting clean after work. But when you’re working out in the field, you’ll have to deal with the weather.
Following safety procedures is a vital part of your daily activities. Protective coveralls, gloves, and goggles can go a long way towards preventing minor nicks, cuts, and burns, but your coworkers will depend on your caution and care to prevent major accidents. It’s a big job working on big trucks, so you need to be able to get along well with your teammates, assistants, and Supervisors — you can’t always do it alone.