A heavy duty equipment technician is a tradesperson who possesses the full range of knowledge, abilities and skills required to diagnose, repair, adjust, overhaul, maintain, operate and test mobile heavy duty off-road equipment.
Heavy duty equipment technicians are employed by companies that own and operate heavy equipment, heavy equipment dealerships, rental and service companies, construction contractors, forestry companies, mining companies and government departments that service and repair their own equipment. Technicians can work in the following industries: construction, forestry, mining, marine, oil and gas, material handling, landscaping and land clearing. Many heavy duty equipment technicians have experience on a wide variety of equipment types and manufacturers.
Although it is recognized that heavy duty equipment technicians work with different prime movers such as electrical, the focus of this analysis is based on the internal combustion engine as the prime mover.
Heavy duty equipment technicians work in the full range of environmental conditions: from comfortable shops to remote sites where inclement weather can affect the technician's performance of his/her duties. Good physical condition and agility are important because the work often requires considerable standing, bending, crawling, lifting, climbing, pulling and reaching.
Due to the size and complexity of the equipment, safety is of prime importance. Technicians must be conscious of the impact on people, equipment, work area and environment when performing their work. There is some risk of injury when working with heavy equipment.
Though not described in this analysis as knowledge or abilities, some important attributes of the heavy duty equipment technician are: mechanical and mathematical aptitude, an ability to communicate effectively, to work with little or no supervision, to work as a team player and to plan and work sequentially. This analysis recognizes similarities or overlaps in the work of other tradespersons, such as automotive service technicians, agricultural equipment technicians, truck and transport mechanics and truck trailer repairers.
Experienced heavy duty equipment technicians may advance to shop supervisor or service manager positions. With additional training they can transfer their skills and knowledge to positions in sales, purchasing, planning or preventative maintenance or related occupations such as truck and transport mechanic, agricultural equipment technician, truck trailer repairer, aircraft maintenance engineer, industrial mechanic (millwright) or automotive service technician.
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