Diesel mechanics are sometimes referred to as bus mechanics, truck mechanics, but they can end up working on many different types of engines. They work on a wide variety of diesel engines, including those found in buses, trucks, RVs, bulldozers, cranes, road graders, farm tractors, combines, and even trains.
Most of the work involves tuneup and maintenance to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of the engine. Routine maintenance can involve more than just checking out the engine, such as inspecting the brake, steering, and electrical systems.
Tools used include jacks and hoists, lathes and grinding machines, pneumatic wrenches, and welding and flame-cutting equipment. With the increasing use of electronics in diesel engines, a diesel mechanic’s job is becoming increasingly complex. These new technologies often require the use of computerized diagnostic systems that must be properly programmed to perform their task.
Diesel mechanic schools prepare the student by providing them the hands-on training needed to be comfortable using this type of equipment. In addition, a diesel mechanic may need to use a variety of power tools, machine tools, and lathes and grinding machines. Diesel mechanic schools have these types of tools in-house so that students will have practical experience using them before entering the workforce.
Graduates of diesel mechanic schools find employment in a wide variety of places, including traditional auto repair shops, with bus companies, school systems, government agencies, and freight trucking companies. Diesel mechanic training can take from 6 months to 2 years. Most employers have a strong preference for hiring a mechanic who has completed formal diesel mechanic training.