Although the position for a truck mechanic is similar to that of a normal automotive technician, there are some key differences. For example, a number of safety and maintenance regulations are incredibly different for large shipping vehicles as compared to the standards of a typical, commercially available car. Regardless of the manufacturer and government regulations, the biggest difference is the diesel engine. Emission standards have to be met, the engine must be able to haul a full bed, and regulations are more stringent because accidents with large trucks are far more dangerous.
This specialization is what keeps truck mechanics in work. Job duties will typically involve anything from repairing heavy and light gauge diesel engines, gas powered tractors, and normal trucks. While working, you will need to be able to read codes and instructions, work in conjunction with computers, handle client questions and concerns, and bring trucks up to proper operational parameters. A lot of the work will be conducted with your own set of basic tools as well as a number of power tools provided by the garage. The environment can be noisy and a bit stressful, but anyone who loves diagnosing mechanical errors or detective work will feel right at home.
Job Qualifications and Compensation
The job is only very rarely entry level. Typically, the companies hiring truck maintenance personnel prefer to see at least a few years of experience, the ability to perform duties of a heavy truck mechanic, and repair experience with a number of makes and models. Additionally, applicants will need to be 18 or older. It may be helpful during the hiring process to have knowledge of computers, repair systems, any vocational or college training, and automotive certifications. Finally, it’s necessary for almost everyone working in the automotive industry to have a valid driver’s license and this position is no exception.
How Much Money Can a Truck Mechanic Make?
That being said, however, truck mechanics are typically well paid and have extensive benefits packages. These technicians usually have health and life insurance, paid time off, a 401(k), and a number of other employment perks. The average salary for a truck mechanic is around $17 to $22 an hour and the position is almost always full-time.