Monday, March 7, 2011

Service the Machines that Build Our Cities as a Heavy Duty Equipment Technician

We see them everywhere — huge machines that are used to cut down trees, form landscapes, build buildings and shape the places in which we live. But the inner workings of these machines are just as important as the work they perform. In order to make sure that they are running efficiently, Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians are responsible for inspecting and fixing mechanical problems under the hood and within these machines.

There are a few qualities that make Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians successful. First and foremost, much of the job of a professional in this field is carried out outdoors, on construction sites, in forests and in other locations. Therefore, the person who enters the heavy duty equipment world must enjoy working in adverse conditions. As the Heavy Duty Equipment Technician performs repairs, he or she must also be comfortable using his or her hands on a constant basis. In addition, he or she must like to learn, as equipment is upgraded and evolves quite frequently.

As there are a variety of job titles within the field, there are also multiple industries in which Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians find work. They include: construction, transportation, forestry, mining, landscaping, land cleaning, farming and more. One of the most important tasks of these professionals is to check bulldozers, cranes, graders and other equipment for proper performance and inspect them for faults and malfunctions. They must 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.

Before one can enter the field, he or she must obtain the right education. Heavy duty equipment courses are offered at Centennial College via its Heavy Duty Equipment Technician (Apprenticeship Co-op), which takes a total of two years to complete and results in an Ontario College Diploma. 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.

The heavy duty equipment technician program consists of a combination of in-school training sessions and practical on-the-job experience through co-op placement. The 16 combined months of in-school training offer the basis for being successful during your placement. That’s because you study Heavy Duty Equipment Courses such as: advanced electrical/electronics, logistics, hoisting, rigging, trade practices, fixed operations management, occupational health and safety and more. In addition, you obtain hands-on training before your placement through training 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 alongside trained professionals.

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