Heavy equipment repair is somewhat ubiquitous as a phrase. What do you picture when you hear it? Someone working in an automotive shop underneath a car? If so, you’d be forgiven for making the connection between heavy equipment mechanics and car mechanics, as it is likely that the latter is all you’ve encountered in your life.
Still, heavy equipment repair is a massive part of the economy in terms of design, manual writing, education, research, support industries, fabrication and, of course, heavy equipment mechanics themselves. So perhaps your first thought was not the mechanics themselves, but rather how you interact with this service daily, weekly or annually.
This article aims to gather these different viewpoints together and set a basis for understanding. This way, when people ask, “what is heavy equipment repair” there will be a common understanding of the term, as it relates back to the heavy equipment mechanic profession.
Maintenance is probably the most integral component of heavy equipment repair. This includes welding, parts replacement, inspection and administrative duties. Within each of these categories exists myriad tasks.
Administrative duties include the financial record-keeping for any organization, including service orders, receipts and so on. They also include education and training about different systems, vehicles, tools and other information necessary to excel within the field. The worth of maintaining a piece of equipment is much the same as the worth of maintaining one’s own professional advancement.
Different components within heavy-duty vehicles will wear at different rates. Some materials stay the same throughout the life of the vehicle, so long as they are not physically damaged. An example is the frame of a vehicle. Others will wear through use, like timing belts and brakes. Mechanics must replace these components to ensure the longevity of the equipment.
While there are some repairs that can be done by replacing a part of the complete system, like switching out old brake pads, others require ordering components from the manufacturer, like water pumps. Some vehicles no longer have available parts, meaning the mechanic may have to adjust the system to suit newer variations.
The inspection of heavy equipment is where the mechanic will find issues with the various systems and identify methods of repair. They will often discuss these issues with the owner of the vehicle before affecting repairs, but only if they are significant. Topping up fluids, filling tires and simple repairs are often covered in the flat rate for inspections.
Furthermore, different jurisdictions will often have different permit requirements for commercial vehicles. This includes proof of regular inspections by a qualified mechanic. Completing these inspections accurately and efficiently is an important part of keeping fleets going.
Welding is a process that is often associated with heavy equipment repair. Usually, when heavy equipment breaks, it breaks in a fairly spectacular fashion. This often results in broken supports, casings and other structural components. Having a diverse set of welding skills and equipment helps the mechanic affect repairs on a diverse range of equipment.