What is a Diesel Mechanic?
Diesel mechanics maintain, repair, and rebuild vehicles – particularly heavy vehicles – and other machinery that run on diesel fuel. Diesel fuel is refined from crude oil and from biomass materials. A diesel engine is about 20% more thermal efficient than a gas engine, equating to more power and torque, a 20% increase in fuel economy, and lower operating costs.
What does a Diesel Mechanic do?
Diesel mechanics work in sectors which operate, manufacture, and sell diesel-powered vehicles and equipment. Many are employed in these industries:
• Transportation – regional transit buses, school buses, 18-wheeler trucks, commercial cargo ships, cruise ships, trains, some cars and light-duty trucks
• Agriculture – tractors, plows, seeders, fertilizer spreaders, combines, balers, irrigation pumps, and more
• Construction: excavators, bulldozers, graders, cranes, pavers, road rollers, compactors, dump trucks, pile driving equipment, and more
• Mining – mining trucks and excavators, underground loaders, earth movers, crushing equipment, and more
• Oil and Gas – oil drilling and fracking equipment
• Military – military light utility vehicles, tanks, armored combat earthmovers, and more
• Commercial Generators – backup power for the industries listed above, as well as for hospitals, housing complexes, and business parks
• Diesel Equipment Manufacturers and Dealers
Within these sectors, the work of the diesel mechanic involves:
• Diagnosing – using scan tools and diagnostic software to identify a mechanical or electrical problem
• Inspecting – performing comprehensive inspections of engine systems including the suspension, steering mechanisms, brake systems, exhaust system, vehicle lighting systems, and emission control systems
• Repairing – completing required repairs to overhaul the engine, replace the transmission, or replace a damaged part
• Maintaining – conducting preventative maintenance including oil changes, brake checks, wheel alignments, tire rotations, and fluid flushes
• Testing – test-driving vehicles and testing equipment to gauge performance
In addition to performing these primary job responsibilities, diesel mechanics maintain detailed records of serviced vehicles and machinery, manage a parts inventory, and ensure shop cleanliness. They use various kinds of tools including pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, grinders, drills, and lathes; and use testing equipment such as dynamometers to measure engine power. Some mechanics work on a variety of diesel engines while others specialize in the repair and maintenance of a specific type of equipment, such as diesel truck engines, or a specific system, such as diesel engine starting systems.
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What is the workplace of a Diesel Mechanic like?
The diesel mechanic’s typical work environment is indoors in a well-lighted and ventilated, but often noisy shop, or outdoors to repair trucks and other equipment on roadsides or at worksites. Lifting heavy parts and tools and handling greasy or dirty equipment is a regular part of the job. Working in awkward or tight positions is sometimes required. Most diesel mechanics work full time. Overtime is common, as many repair shops are open evenings and weekends and some provide 24-hour service.
Considering the dangers posed by the use of heavy parts, tools, and equipment, safety precautions are strictly enforced in the diesel mechanics workplace.
Diesel Mechanics are also known as:
Diesel Engine Mechanic Truck Mechanic