The Essential Diesel Mechanic Skill Set

With an ever-increasing demand for diesel-powered vehicles in today’s commerce industry, companies across America are seeking the assistance of certified diesel mechanics to diagnose, repair, and maintain diesel engines.

From semi-trucks to shipping fleets, diesel mechanics need to have the necessary skills’ set to effectively perform their duties.

Some skills are intrinsic to each diesel mechanic, while others are taught or learned along the way through a diesel technology program or on-the-job training.

Diesel Mechanic Skill Set

In order to become a successful diesel mechanic, individuals need to possess a particular set of mechanical skills, which can be learned in apprenticeship programs or at a diesel mechanic college.

With so many companies turning to diesel-powered vehicles to transport goods across the country, diesel mechanics deal mainly in diesel engine repair and vehicular component maintenance, requiring them to possess a core understanding of part functions.

Crucial parts on diesel-powered vehicles include:

  • Fuel injection systems
  • On-board computers
  • Batteries
  • Electrical networks
  • Ignition systems

Diesel mechanics who are just starting out in this industry should be able to assemble and disassemble the entire engine or parts of the engine, depending on the available position. Most companies prefer to hire those who are knowledgeable in the usage of welders, pressure gauges, specialty wrenches, and calipers.

No matter what the available position is at the company, diesel mechanics should hold a variety of mechanical and interpersonal skills to be successful in the diesel mechanic industry.

Electronic Skills

diesel mechanic training in ohioBecause of the technological advancement in diesel technology, diesel-powered engines can be made up of mechanical and electrical components.

Diesel mechanics need to have a core understanding of the inner workings of the electrical components, including the computer system and software programs. Some software programs cover databases, enterprise management, and word-processing.

Understanding the diagnostic reports and technical manuals is vital to effectively maintaining diesel-powered engines.

Many modern diesel engines consist of electronic programs that monitor and control the electronic systems and main engine.

For this reason, diesel mechanics need to have a thorough knowledge of computerized systems, allowing them to read and understand any electronic reports issued by the diagnostic equipment. Individuals will also need electronic knowledge in:

  • Handheld diagnostic equipment usage
  • Detroit diesel electronic reader interpretation
  • Dial gauge understanding
  • Engine diagnosis

Analytical Skills

Analysis plays an essential role in diagnosing diesel engine malfunctions, even if the diesel mechanic utilizes electronic diagnostic equipment.

Whether it is a railway car or a semi-truck, diesel mechanics need to be able to thoroughly exam and diagnose diesel-powered vehicles to identify the source of the malfunction.

In order to successfully identify diesel engine malfunctions, mechanics need to rely on their previous educational training and hands-on experience.

Troubleshooting Skills

Troubleshooting skills work directly with the mechanic’s analytical skills to successfully repair diesel-powered engines.

Once the malfunction is analyzed, diesel mechanics need to implement the correct repair plan, taking into account any components that are potentially aggravating the malfunction.

Interpersonal Skills

Dealing with consumers and other diesel mechanics is something that diesel mechanics need to face on a daily basis.

For this reason, mechanics need to be able to successfully relate to various personalities by practicing basic people skills, such as courteousness to clients and coworkers, a willingness to listen to others, empathy for clients’ concerns, and proper communication to answer customers’ questions.

Diesel mechanics should be able to write up the necessary technical reports and be willing to cooperate with other colleagues.

Leadership Skills

For those who wish to obtain a leadership position at a diesel corporation, having the proper leadership skills is vital to increasing one’s chances of being promoted.

Many of the older mechanics may not possess modern computer knowledge or skills, and younger diesel mechanics can take the reins and teach new and old employees the necessary computer skills to effectively diagnose and repair diesel-powered vehicles.

Career Longevity

Diesel mechanics who hold the proper skills’ set can go a long way in the mechanic industry, allowing them to increase their standing in the company and potentially ascertain a management position.

Being able to endure a career as a diesel mechanic is something that all mechanics need to possess, and most diesel mechanics are marked by their lifetime fascination with diesel-powered vehicles.

After diesel mechanics have five years of experience, they can consider becoming a specialist in diesel technology, and they need to be willing to complete continuing education courses because of the technological advancements in diesel technology.

Upon 10 years of experience, ambitious diesel mechanics can choose to open their own mechanic shops, and those who work for diesel corporations may rise to a supervisory position.

Diesel mechanics can also certify in a specific sector of this industry by taking an examination through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This will open many new career opportunities in America’s top-paying mechanic industries.

According to a recent study released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national employment levels for diesel mechanics are approximately 230,030, with an expected increase of 15 percent by 2020.

With so many jobs opportunities available to diesel mechanics across the nation, earning the right education and learning the right skill set is essential to becoming a successful diesel mechanic.

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