What They Do
Heavy-duty equipment mechanics repair, troubleshoot, adjust, overhaul and maintain mobile heavy-duty equipment used in construction, transportation, forestry, mining, oil and gas, material handling, landscaping, land clearing, farming and similar activities. They work for companies that own and operate heavy equipment, and heavy equipment dealers, rental and service establishments, and urban transit systems.
Heavy-duty equipment mechanics may do all or some of the following tasks:
- Check bulldozers, cranes, graders and other heavy construction, agricultural, logging and mining equipment for proper performance and inspect equipment to detect faults and malfunctions
- Diagnose faults or malfunctions using computerized and other testing equipment to determine extent of repair required
- Adjust equipment and repair or replace defective parts, components or systems, using hand and power tools
- Test repaired equipment for proper performance and to ensure that work meets manufacturers' specifications
- Clean, lubricate and perform other routine maintenance work on equipment
- Perform repair work on heavy trucks
- Attach components and adjust new equipment.
Heavy-duty and farm equipment mechanics may specialize in specific types of machinery such as combines or tracked vehicles, or in engine overhaul, power shift transmissions, fuel injection, hydraulics or electronics.
Trends and Projections
The future job openings for this type of job are in High demand.
This is a good opportunity for people in rural Yukon as this job is required in most Yukon communities. Earnings in this type of job are close to the average for all workers. The average annual earnings for all workers in this group was $51,200 in 2011.
Heavy-duty equipment mechanics can work in a variety of conditions. Some will work mainly indoors, in repair shops, plants and other buildings, but many will work outside at least part of the time. Mining machinery mechanics, for example, will be required to work outside in all weather, and their work sites are often remote. Most heavy-equipment mechanics work in camp settings. Some of these positions are unionized.
All workers will likely be exposed to noise, vibration, fumes or chemicals.
How Do I Get There
Students interested in becoming heavy-duty equipment mechanics should complete high school and will need to complete a trade qualification, usually through apprenticeship.
In Yukon, heavy equipment mechanic apprenticeships are available. They require a minimum of Grade 10 for entry, although Grade 12 is preferred.
These apprenticeships take four years, and are a combination of on-the-job and classroom training. Trades training is often paid by an employer and in-class work takes place outside Yukon.
Yukon College offers a 20-week pre-employment program for heavy equipment mechanics.