Heavy equipment and machines are widely used in construction and mining industries. The equipments are very expensive and cost from hundreds of thousand dollars to millions of dollars. The work at these workplaces causes wear and tear, hence proper periodic maintenance of machines becomes necessary for the machine to be in good working conditions. If care is not taken, it will stop working and will lead to unnecessary delays. Most of the industries have heavy equipment repair technicians. These technicians install, maintain and service large industrial machines and vehicles designed for activities such as transporting objects, lifting material and earth-plowing. These workers are employed by equipment wholesale distribution firms, construction companies, mining industry, and other organizations which operate and maintain heavy duty equipment.
For a technician’s job a formal degree is not compulsory. Many technicians complete their high school diploma and undergo vocational training or obtain an associate degree in heavy equipment repair or are acquainted in handling of heavy duty machinery. They have to undergo several years of on job training. Most technicians start at entry level jobs where they work under experienced technician’s supervision. As they start gaining experience of wide variety of different equipments, they are given complex tasks to perform. Generally, it takes 3-4 years on job training to be qualified as a fully experienced heavy equipment repair technician. Salary for this profession is higher than average of all installation, maintenance and repair work.
Repair technicians generally work indoors but at times may have to work outdoors. To repair equipment they have to lift, handle greasy parts, stand and lie in awkward positions. Thus good physical conditions and agility are important. Due to size and complexity of equipment, safety is of prime importance. Small cuts, burns and bruises are common. Thus there is always risk while working with heavy equipment. Technicians use a variety of tools in their work: power tools, such as pneumatic wrenches to remove bolts quickly, machine tools, like lathes and grinding machines, to rebuild brakes, welding and flame-cutting equipment to remove and repair exhaust systems, and jacks and hoists to lift and move large parts. With many types of modern equipment, technicians use diagnostic computers to diagnose components which need adjustment or repair.
Additional qualifications required for the repair technicians are: they must develop good reading and interpreting ability. They should learn and become comfortable with the latest technology such as; computers and electronics since these are used to adjust and diagnose problems. Further they should have certain attributes such as; the mathematical, mechanical and analytical aptitude, to work as a team-player and work with little or no supervision. Highly adept and experienced heavy duty repair technicians may advance to service manager positions and some can even start their own business.