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Heavy Truck Maintenance

The Heavy Vehicle Maintenance Technician maintains and repairs large machines and industrial equipment, both towed and self-propelled, used in mining, forestry, agriculture, landscaping, material handling, and transportation. The technician must be able to maintain and repair internal combustion engines and components, both stationary and mobile, as well as on-highway and off-highway vehicles, both motorized and towed; tracked and rubber-tired equipment; ground-engaging equipment; and earth-moving equipment.

Maintenance and repair can involve individual components or entire systems, requiring the technician to have skill with engines, hydraulics, electronics, braking systems, and much more. The technician must use specific tools to diagnose function, make adjustments, repair or replace defective components or systems, test repairs for proper performance, interpret instructions in technical manuals, write service reports, and ensure that the work meets manufacturers’ specifications and the requirements of legislation. The technician is frequently the interlocutor between the employer, the customer, and the manufacturer. This experience can allow the technician to advance to senior roles such as trainer, supervisor, or manager.

Although technicians often specialize in certain machines or equipment, either by choice or as a result of employment, the diversity of heavy equipment, along with rapid changes in technology, require broad knowledge and adaptability. Technicians must also be able to work alone or as part of a team, at a variety of hours, and in an employer’s shop, a customer’s building, or outdoors in urban or rural locations, regardless of weather. Machines often require quick intervention to enable interrupted activity to resume.

The work is most rewarding for those who enjoy working with their hands and are logical, curious and interested in problem solving. The technician also needs good vision, hearing, and sense of smell to diagnose problems. The occupation requires strength and stamina. Proper safety standards must be maintained at all times to avoid risk of injury involved in working on heavy equipment and with power tools.