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The term "diesel mechanic" covers a broad range of job duties and specifics, depending on each particular employment position within a company. However, all diesel mechanics have one thing in common; they work on vehicles and machinery that have diesel fuel engines rather than standard gasoline engines. Types of diesel vehicles vary widely and include school buses, semi-tractor trailers, box trucks, excavating machinery and heavy work vehicles.
Diesel mechanics in New Hampshire typically must have specialized mechanic training obtained through apprenticeship programs, technical schools or community colleges. This training, excluding apprenticeships and internships, may take from six months to two years or more, depending on the specific certifications and licenses a student wishes to acquire.
Work Conditions - What to Expect:
Most diesel mechanics will work full time, though some who are employed by larger companies may be on part time or rotating shifts. Many diesel technicians work in large truck shops and repair garages, while others may be called out on road service duty.
This type of work requires lifting, bending, kneeling and is almost entirely hands-on. While paperwork of some kind is common, the majority of a diesel mechanic's time is spent repairing vehicles or machinery; this is a physical job and a mechanic should be in reasonably good shape to perform all job duties.
Weather can be an issue for on-call road mechanics, as they will be required to work in rain, sleet, snow and hot temperatures. A good driving record is required for most on-call mechanic positions, and a CDL license is helpful in some cases.
Qualifications and Certifications:
Diesel mechanics in New Hampshire should train for several certifications before searching for a job or apprenticeship. Most companies require the mechanic to have a good working knowledge of air brakes, diesel engines, exhaust systems, hydraulic systems and electrical systems. Training in diagnosis using both traditional and computerized methods is also important, as are strong communication (written and verbal) skills.
Beyond the basic certifications, diesel mechanics can also earn the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification after they have learned and passed several training modules. Technical schools and colleges can provide more information on ASE testing and fees.
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