The care of heavy equipment is a tall order. Heavy equipment is just what its name says it is; heavy equipment. Its huge presence can be very intimidating to the average person. However, to those trained in its operation, repair, and servicing, that feeling must be conquered.
Those who handle heavy equipment servicing are responsible for the inspection, maintenance, and repair of machinery and vehicles used in industries like rail transportation, construction, and farming. There are thousands of tons of heavy equipment throughout the United States that, at one time or another, need these services. Because North America manufactured the second highest number of heavy equipment vehicles and machines in 2011 alone, bringing in about 25.8 billion dollars, there is always more than enough work in the area of heavy equipment servicing to go around. It is estimated that 35% of equipment failure is due to errors made on the part of the operator. Unfortunately, this reason for failure is never covered by equipment warranty. The constant need for new vehicles and equipment for big industry purposes, along with the fact that any equipment, whatever it is, will always need some type of servicing, is a guarantee that those employed in the heavy equipment service profession will have unlimited job opportunities for some time to come.
Depending upon the type of equipment and vehicles used within different industries, there are many necessary parts needed to keep things up and running. Heavy equipment components can include heavy equipment hydraulic cylinders, heavy equipment oil coolers, bucket pins, hardox plates, and much more. These can all be bought new, or, as with most other items, such as car and truck parts, used parts are available, and can be found, in order to save time and money. Caterpillar is a large heavy equipment supplier with many locations where used Caterpillar parts can be found. Used heavy equipment parts stores and warehouses are located throughout the United States that sell Caterpillar machine and vehicle parts as well as many others.
On average, construction equipment can last for up to 15 years if it is regularly maintained. The category of heavy equipment is comprised of forklifts, excavators, telehandlers, bulldozers, equipment trailers, and much more. Mechanics who handle heavy equipment servicing usually need years to train in order to become adept at the business. Often they will serve an apprenticeship under someone experienced who is willing to teach them the vocation. There are unlimited programs available to students who want to learn this trade that will cover areas such as diagnostic techniques and hydraulics, diesel engines, and the computer and electronic systems used now in heavy equipment. In addition, heavy equipment servicers very often train at a vocational school or a college that offers classes in heavy equipment repair. Students can work toward earning their degree in heavy equipment maintenance technology. Heavy equipment mechanics must possess physical strength as well as stamina. Parts can be very heavy and cumbersome and work hours are long. Everything involved in the area of heavy equipment servicing demands physical endurance.
It will typically take between three and four years for someone to become a full fledged heavy equipment service person. As an apprentice, they will spend a lot of time watching, listening, and learning, in addition to gaining some hands on experience. As time goes on, they will be given more hands on opportunities doing more involved tasks. When their training is through, they will have attained their place as a fully qualified service technician.
Heavy equipment mechanics also have the opportunity to earn their certification through certain organizations. In order to do this they need to have the required amount of experience and also to pass an examination. With certification come opportunities for growth within their profession as well as the possibility to further their education. Certification is a sign that the mechanic, or technician, maintains a high level of professionalism and competence at what they do.
Heavy equipment technicians who go on to get their certification or degree open up their chances for raises down the line, or even promotions. Many will go on to open their own shop or move up into management or supervisory positions.