Technical Training

Technical Training Operator Skill Enhancement

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians, also called mechanics, inspect, maintain, and repair vehicles and machinery used in construction and other industries. Entry-level workers with no formal background in heavy vehicle repair often receive a few months of on-the-job training before they begin doing routine service tasks and minor repairs. Many employers send new technicians to training sessions conducted by equipment manufacturers. Training sessions may focus on particular components and technologies or types of equipment.

Heavy vehicles and mobile equipment are critical to many industrial activities, including construction and railroad transportation. Various types of equipment, such as tractors, cranes, and bulldozers, are used to haul materials, till land, lift beams, and dig earth to pave the way for development and construction.

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians repair and maintain engines, hydraulic systems, transmissions, and electrical systems of agricultural, industrial, construction, and rail equipment. They ensure the performance and safety of fuel lines, brakes, transmissions, and other systems.

Service technicians use diagnostic computers and equipment to identify problems and make adjustments or repairs. For example, technicians may use an oscilloscope to measure the voltage produced by electronic components. Technicians also use many different power and machine tools, including pneumatic wrenches, lathes, and welding equipment. A pneumatic tool such as an impact wrench is an air tool powered by compressed air.

Service technicians also use many different hand tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches, to work on small parts and in hard-to-reach areas. They generally purchase these tools over the course of their careers, often investing thousands of dollars in their collections.

After locating malfunctions, service technicians repair, replace, and recalibrate components such as hydraulic pumps or spark plugs. This may involve disassembling and reassembling major equipment or making adjustments through an onboard computer program.

Dexterity: Many tasks, such as disassembling engine parts, connecting or attaching components, and using hand tools, require a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination.

Mechanical skills: Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must be familiar with engine components and systems and know how they interact with each other. They must often disassemble major parts for repairs and be able to reassemble them.

Physical strength: Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must be able to lift and move heavy equipment, tools, and parts without risking injury.

Troubleshooting skills: Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must be familiar with diagnostic equipment, which can help find the source of malfunctions when they are difficult to identify.


Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians typically do the following:

  • Read and understand operating manuals, blueprints, and drawings
  • Perform scheduled maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating parts
  • Diagnose and identify malfunctions, using computerized tools and equipment
  • Inspect, repair, and replace defective or worn parts, such as bearings, pistons, and gears
  • Overhaul and test major components, such as engines, hydraulics, and electrical systems
  • Disassemble and reassemble heavy equipment and components
  • Travel to worksites to repair large equipment, such as cranes

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