Monday, September 6, 2010

Become a Heavy Duty Equipment Technician And Get Your Hands Dirty

We’ve all walked by construction sites, near forests or farms and noticed the monstrous machines that are used to construct buildings, cut down trees, landscape and generally shape our cities. But who are the people taking care of the inner workings of these important vehicles? They’re Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians and they’re not afraid to get their hands dirty.

Having the right training to become a technician in heavy duty equipment is essential. Centennial College offers a two-year Heavy Duty Equipment Technician Co-op program for those interested in this field. In order to apply, you must present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or General Educational Development (GED) or equivalent. Non-academic requirements include: satisfactory results in a program admission session, experience and mechanical aptitude, resumé and English proficiency.

Once you have been accepted into the Heavy Duty Technician Co-op, you will experience a combination of in-school training and practical on-the-job experience through co-op placement. During the 16 combined months of in-school training, you will take courses in advanced electrical/electronics, logistics, hoisting, rigging, trade practices, fixed operations management, occupational health and safety and more. During the school portion of the program, you will also have the opportunity to train on heavy duty equipment assemblies in fully-equipped heavy duty equipment labs. Meanwhile, the eight months of practical training sees you at a heavy equipment facility, working among professionals in the field. Successful Centennial College students graduate with an Ontario College Diploma.

Aside from the right training, Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians should also possess some personal qualities that will make them successful in the field. As a tech, you should like working both in and outdoors with your hands, have the stamina to be on your feet for long periods of time, use physical strength on the job, like to learn new things on a consistent basis (as equipment changes frequently) and be able to work with computers and computerized equipment.

Once you’ve taken the right training and possess the necessary skills, you can be employed as a heavy duty equipment technician, service writer or coordinator, service manager, college or industry teacher, or equipment company representative. As there are a variety of job titles within the field, there are also multiple industries in which graduates find work. They include: construction, transportation, forestry, mining, landscaping, land cleaning, farming and more. As a heavy duty equipment technician, you will have a variety of tasks. One of the most important is to check bulldozers, cranes, graders and other equipment for proper performance and inspect them for faults and malfunctions. You will then diagnose the faults using computerized and other testing equipment. The next step is to adjust equipment and repair or replace defective parts, components or systems using hand and power tools. Lastly, the repaired equipment is tested to ensure that it works.

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