What they do
These heavy vehicle motor mechanics test, diagnose, repair and maintain diesel motors and the mechanical parts of heavy vehicles. As well as the engine, systems worked on can include electrical, transmission, fuel injection, suspension, steering and brakes. Vehicles worked on can include trucks, buses, plant equipment, tractors and also stationary engines such as generators, pumps and drilling rigs. They may need to work with a variety of welding and processing tools.
Specialisations include: Automotive heavy mechanic
Heavy vehicle motor mechanics normally work 38 hours per week, Monday to Friday. If they work on a Fly-In/Fly-Out basis, they generally work longer hours or shift work. Their work environment tends to be dirty and noisy.
They may also be required to travel to the country if they work on plant or agricultural machinery. They usually wear a uniform and may need to wear special safety clothing. They need to be safety conscious when dealing with chemicals and specialised equipment.
Tools and technologies
Heavy vehicle motor mechanics are required to use a wide range of tools and technologies to diagnose and repair engines and their associated systems. Computerised diagnostic equipment may need to be used. A wide range of welding equipment, including oxy, electric, MIG and TIG may need to be used, as well as a variety of common and specialised hand and power tools.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a diesel motor mechanic, you usually have to undertake an apprenticeship in automotive technician (heavy vehicle road transport). The apprenticeship usually takes between 42 and 48 months to complete, and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing
To work as a diesel motor mechanic in Western Australia, you will need to obtain a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate from the Commissioner of Consumer Protection at the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, or work under the supervision of someone who holds a current certificate. A National Police Certificate is required to gain a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate.