Heavy-duty equipment mechanics (NOC 7312)

About this job

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics repair, troubleshoot, adjust, overhaul and maintain mobile heavy-duty equipment used in transportation, construction, forestry, manufacturing, farming, mining, oil, gas, material handling, landscaping, land clearing and similar activities.

See what a day in the life of this job is like—watch WorkBC’s Career Trek video about this occupation.

Source: WorkBC’s Career Trek

People in this occupation:

  • work for companies that own and operate heavy equipment, and for heavy equipment dealers, rental and service establishments, railway transport companies and urban transit systems
  • must be comfortable working with delicate electronics as well as heavy, cumbersome mechanical linkages (i.e., bulldozer tracks), since heavy equipment also involves the use of micro-processor controls and high pressure hydraulics
  • have troubleshooting and problem-solving skills
  • have mechanical ability and pay close attention to detail
Common job titles
  • farm machinery wheelwright
  • mechanic, back hoe / excavating
  • mechanic, combination - heavy equipment
  • repairer, construction equipment / crane
  • repairer, diesel engine
  • servicer, fuel injection unit (diesel)
  • farm machinery wheelwright
  • mechanic, back hoe / excavating
  • mechanic, combination - heavy equipment
  • mechanic, construction
  • mechanic, felling equipment
  • mechanic, heavy-duty equipment

Duties

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics:

  • check bulldozers, cranes, graders and other heavy construction, agricultural, logging and mining equipment for proper performance and inspect equipment for faults and malfunctions
  • diagnose faults or malfunctions using computerized and other testing equipment
  • adjust equipment and repair or replace defective parts, components or systems using hand and power tools
  • test repaired equipment for proper performance and make sure that work meets manufacturer specifications
  • clean, lubricate and perform other routine maintenance work on equipment
  • service attachments such as harvesting and tillage equipment, blades, ploughs, winches and side booms
  • may perform repair work on heavy trucks
  • may attach components and adjust new equipment

Special duties

Heavy-duty and farm equipment mechanics may specialize in:

  • specific types of machinery such as combines or tracked vehicles
  • engine overhaul, power shift transmissions, fuel injection, hydraulics or electronics

Work environment

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics generally work a regular work week. However, overtime and extended hours are common when working to a deadline or if repairs to a critical piece of equipment are required. Some jobs require temporary relocation to remote work sites.

Some mechanics work outdoors at construction, mining and logging sites, where they are exposed to weather, and others work indoors in workshops and production plants. Work sites can be dirty, dusty and noisy, and weather conditions may vary.

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics are required to lift heavy parts and tools, handle greasy, dirty parts and stand and lie in awkward positions. Working around heavy machinery poses a hazard and mechanics take safety precautions to protect themselves from injury.

Insights from industry

Due to the large size of this occupational group, a significant number of jobs will become available due to worker turnover. Demand for heavy-duty equipment mechanics is driven by activity in a wide variety of industries, such as Transportation, Mining, Oil and Gas Extraction, and Construction. This broad employment base helps to vary the work opportunities for these workers.

Technological advances, such as the growing use of diagnostic computers, are making heavy-duty mechanics more efficient and reducing the number of workers required to do the same volume of work. As equipment becomes increasingly sophisticated, heavy-duty equipment mechanics with up-to-date electronics training are expected to be in greatest demand.

With the trucking industry increasingly moving towards new technology to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of diesel engines, heavy-duty equipment mechanics with skill in this area should have an advantage in finding work.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics may choose to specialize in specific types of machinery such as combines or tracked vehicles, or in diesel engines, power shift transmissions, fuel injection, hydraulics or electronics.

With experience, these workers may advance to senior positions, such as supervisor or service manager, or they may open their own businesses.

Additional resources