Diesel mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing vehicles and other machinery that run on diesel fuel. A diesel mechanic has the opportunity to work in a variety of industries on many different types of equipment, which provides several compelling career options.
For our low-end power fans out there, we decided to dive into what diesel mechanics do and give you a glimpse into this growing career field.
Sectors that Run on Diesel
To better understand what being a diesel technician is all about, it helps to look at the type of machinery they work on. You likely think of diesel engines as being in big tow trucks or bulldozers, but did you know the following sectors operate vehicles and equipment that run on diesel?
- Transportation: school busses, regional transit busses like SEPTA, 18-wheelers carting goods, commercial cargo boats, freight locomotives, and local shipping companies like the US Postal Service.
- Agriculture: tractors and harvesters, irrigation pumps that water crops, fertilizer spreaders, and more.
- Construction: cranes, dump trucks, pavers and excavators, road rollers, etc.
- Commercial Generators: backup power for hospitals, housing complexes, and business parks.
Heavy-duty movers like these rely on diesel for its durability, efficiency, and high torque output that enables increased towing and payload capabilities.
Diesel Mechanics & Technicians: Daily Duties
Now that you have an idea of what types of equipment diesel mechanics may spend their days fixing, you may be wondering which tasks might fill a diesel technician’s work day.
- Diagnose: Use scan tools and diagnostic software to identify an issue under the hood.
- Inspect: Perform thorough inspections of vital systems including the suspension, steering, brakes, exhaust system, and emissions.
- Repair: Carry out in-depth repairs as needed to overhaul the engine, replace the transmission, or replace a damaged part.
- Maintain: Perform preventative maintenance procedures such as oil changes, brake checks, wheel alignments, tire rotations, and fluid flushes.
Qualities of a Successful Diesel Mechanic
- Knowledgeable: Of all things related to diesel engines, vehicles, and equipment, as well as the procedures required to keep them running their best.
- Problem Solvers: Diesel mechanics must think through all components of the issue at hand with a level head, and they must know which solution will achieve the longest-lasting result for the customer.
- Communicators: Whether it’s updating a service advisor on the time estimate for a new job request or talking out a procedure with a fellow technician or equipment owner, being able to talk about technical topics in a way that a vehicle owner would understand is key.
- Tech-Savvy: As vehicles and equipment become more computer-based and electronically controlled, a comfort and knack working with technology helps diesel mechanics adapt.
Learn More about the Diesel Mechanic Role
With a variety of different vehicles and equipment to work on, plus many systems to tend to, diesel technicians enjoy a fast-paced, challenging, and dynamic career that brings something new to the shop every day.
We hope you enjoyed exploring this automotive career a little closer. If you’re interested in becoming a diesel mechanic, check out this Automotive Training Center post to see what it takes! Schedule a tour of our Diesel Mechanic School in Exton and Warminster!