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Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics

Mobile heavy equipment mechanics repair and maintain a variety of heavy and mobile machinery including cranes, excavators, bulldozers and graders. They also work on farm equipment and railcars. Mobile heavy equipment mechanics maintain and repair engines as well as transmission, hydraulic and electrical systems.

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics utilize diagnostic computers and they use a wide variety of tools. Some heavy equipment mechanics specialize in one or two types of repairs such as electrical systems and brake systems. They may also specialize in a particular type of equipment.

Some sample job titles include heavy equipment mechanic, field service technician, mechanic, field mechanic, heavy equipment technician and construction equipment mechanic.

Service technicians perform routine maintenance checks on industrial, agricultural, rail and construction equipment. They service brake, transmission and fuel systems. They perform routine checks to keep the equipment safe and performing properly and also to ensure the longevity of the equipment. They also clean, lubricate and replace parts.

Farm equipment mechanics repair, service and maintain a wide range of equipment including large vehicles used on farms and lawn and garden vehicles used by the public. Farm equipment mechanics also perform routine maintenance on engines and hydraulic, transmission, brake and fuel systems. They also work on electrical problems. Some farm equipment mechanics work on irrigation systems and dairy equipment.

Railcar repairers service railroad locomotives and other rolling stock as well as subway cars, streetcars and mine cars.

Responsibilities

  • Repair, overhaul and maintain heavy equipment
  • Confer with customers to locate and diagnose problems
  • Reassemble machines and equipment
  • Record details of repair work
  • Test and replace electrical components
  • Replace or repair defective parts
  • Tune or overhaul engines
  • Inspect and operate heavy equipment in order to diagnose problems
  • Test heavy equipment after repairs are performed
  • Inspect parts for excessive wear and damage

Job Characteristics

Mobile heavy equipment mechanics should have mechanical aptitude and basic computer and math skills. They should also be good at solving problems. A heavy equipment mechanic needs to be able to interpret complex service manuals.

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics typically work indoors. They need to follow safety practices. They usually work a standard 40 hour week. When heavy equipment breaks down at a construction site the mechanics often travel to the site to fix the equipment.

Farm equipment mechanics typically work 6 or 7 days a week and often 10 to 12 hours per day during the busy planting and harvesting seasons. During the slow months, they might work less than 40 hours per week.

Employment Outlook

The employment of heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics has been projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by 8 percent between 2008 and 2018. The median hourly wage in 2008 for mobile heavy equipment mechanics was $20.59. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $30.57 per hour.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Community colleges and vocational schools provide certificate and associate degree programs in diesel technology and heavy equipment mechanics. The programs teach students the basics of diagnostic and analytical techniques, hydraulics and electronics.

Some workers qualify for service technician positions by training on the job. Many employers require their trainee technicians attend training sessions sponsored by heavy equipment manufacturers. Some manufacturers provide certificates for working on specific equipment or for specific types of repairs.

Resources

Major Employers

The primary employment sectors are machinery equipment and supply merchant wholesalers, specialty trade contractors and highway, street and bridge construction companies; commercial and industrial machinery and equipment rental, leasing and repair; and local, state and federal government agencies.

Schools for Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics Skills

Below are the skills needed to be mobile heavy equipment mechanics according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Troubleshooting4.124
Repairing4.124
Equipment Maintenance43.88
Operation Monitoring3.753.5
Operation and Control3.623.38

Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be mobile heavy equipment mechanics according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Control Precision44
Manual Dexterity44
Extent Flexibility3.884.25
Finger Dexterity3.883.75
Near Vision3.883.88

Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be mobile heavy equipment mechanics according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Mechanical4.766.23
Customer and Personal Service3.293.17
Mathematics3.273.48
Computers and Electronics3.063.45
Public Safety and Security3.012.8

Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being mobile heavy equipment mechanics according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment4.645.45
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment4.464.6
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material4.413.73
Making Decisions and Solving Problems4.244.59
Handling and Moving Objects4.225.82

Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being mobile heavy equipment mechanics according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Attention to Detail4.44
Dependability4.32
Integrity4.32
Independence4.12
Initiative3.85

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics jobs , as of 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land4,700 $51,650
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim3,790 $69,100
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington3,110 $50,500
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale2,750 $50,420
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue2,220 $61,340
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson1,850 $52,190
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario1,810 $61,190
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach1,500 $47,720
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood1,440 $50,850
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell1,330 $46,670

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to mobile heavy equipment mechanics

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.