Could This Be Your Calling?

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson December 7, 2018 14:39 Updated

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U.S. agriculture is among the most productive and economically valuable sectors in the world thanks in part to the advancement of machines and equipment that do the tending, planting, and harvesting of our crops.  Today, diesel engines power more than two-thirds of all farm equipment, transport 90 percent of all ag products, and run 96% of the trucks that move these commodities to railheads and warehouses.  Heavy vehicle equipment such as cranes and bulldozers are a crucial component to moving construction materials, lifting beams, and digging up earth for the development and construction industries.  And 100 percent of freight locomotives, marine river grain barges and ocean-going vessels that move products at home and abroad are powered by diesel.

These diesel engines will always require maintenance and repair no matter how advanced they’ve become, so the diesel mechanic is an integral part of  both the agricultural and construction picture.  If you or someone you know is pondering your career future, consider the diesel mechanic position.  The program offered at many technical colleges across the U.S. would prepare you for the maintenance of trucks, trailers, farm and construction equipment among other things and includes education in:

  • Diesel engines
  • Clutches and transmissions
  • Starting and suspension systems
  • Wheel alignment
  • AC and refrigeration systems
  • Drive lines
  • Differentials
  • Hydraulic and air brake systems
  • Electrical systems
  • Electronically controlled fuel systems and transmissions

On-the-job duties for diesel mechanics may include reading and understanding operating manuals, drawings, and blueprints; inspecting and repairing worn and defective parts; diagnosing malfunctions with computerized equipment; testing/overhauling/disassembling-reassembling equipment components; and traveling to work sites for large equipment repairs.

Along with many other technical roles, the diesel mechanic field is becoming increasingly diverse.  Here’s a story about Claire Voigt, a young woman from Australia who’s day-to-day tasks now include overhauling, servicing and repairing agricultural equipment like headers and tractors, and working on engine transmission and suspension systems.  She hopes to be fully qualified in 5 years.  https://www.skillinvest.com.au/news-and-blogs/first-female-heavy-diesel-mechanic-joins-o-connors

And if you’re wondering about compensation, the graph below provides general guidelines for earnings potential as an experienced diesel mechanic in agriculture or construction in the United States:

 

ag-and-ce-diesel-mech-pay-2018

 

So take a look at the video below and give some thought to becoming a diesel mechanic.  The opportunities are abundant, and many employers looking for people like you offer internships and scholarships to help you in your endeavors.  Could this be your calling?

 

-Terry Olson, Titan Outlet Store Team

Resources:

https://www.dieselforum.org/about-clean-diesel/agriculture

https://www.minnesota.edu/programs/diesel-equipment-technology/#/

http://www.dieselmechanicguide.com/heavy-diesel-specialization/

https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Construction_Equipment_Mechanic/Hourly_Rate

https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Agriculture_Mechanic/Hourly_Rate

 

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson December 7, 2018 14:39 Updated
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