Nature of the Work
Diesel-powered engines are more efficient and durable than their gasoline-burning counterparts. These powerful engines are standard in trucks, locomotives, and buses. They are becoming more prevalent in light vehicles, including passenger vehicles, pickups, and other work trucks. Diesel service technicians and mechanics repair and maintain the diesel engines that power transportation equipment. Other diesel technicians and mechanics work on other heavy vehicles and mobile equipment, including bulldozers, cranes, road graders, farm tractors, and combines. Others repair diesel-powered passenger automobiles, light trucks, or boats.
Increasingly, diesel technicians must be versatile enough to adapt to customers' needs and to new technologies. Diesel maintenance is becoming increasingly complex as more electronic components are used to control the operation of an engine. New emissions standards may require mechanics to retrofit engines with emissions control systems to comply with pollution regulations. Diesel service technicians use a variety of tools in their work, including power tools such as pneumatic wrenches that remove bolts quickly; machine tools such as lathes and grinding machines to rebuild brakes; welding and flame-cutting equipment to remove and repair exhaust systems; and jacks and hoists to lift and move large parts. Diesel service technicians and mechanics also use a variety of computerized testing equipment to pinpoint and analyze malfunctions in electrical systems and engines.