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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Outdoor power equipment technician(7335)

This profile has been developed by Skills Compétences Canada.

Outdoor power equipment technicians test, repair and service all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and other outdoor equipment. They are employed by dealer service shops and by independent service establishments.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read instructions on labels and product packaging, e.g., read handling and storage instructions on the labels of flammable products. (1)
  • Read comments on work orders, e.g., read descriptions of equipment faults on work orders. (1)
  • Read magazines and promotional materials, e.g., read brochures from a wide variety of manufacturers and suppliers to learn about equipment, tools and accessories. (2)
  • Read memos from managers and supervisors, e.g., read notices from supervisors to learn about changes to hours of work, billing practices and equipment purchases. (2)
  • Read manufacturers' notices and technical service bulletins, e.g., read bulletins to learn about upcoming training events, equipment recalls and changes to warranty programs. (2)
  • Read repair manuals, e.g., read repair manuals to learn the sequenced tasks needed to overhaul gas and diesel-powered engines. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Identify symbols located on labels, signs, material packaging, schematics and technical drawings, e.g., identify symbols on technical drawings and schematics to determine current types, polarities, centrelines and rotation directions. (1)
  • Locate data such as parts numbers, serial numbers, dimensions, capacities and operating specifications on labels, e.g., locate parts numbers on spark plug packaging. (1)
  • Interpret flowcharts, e.g., interpret multi-step flowcharts to learn how to troubleshoot faulty electrical systems. (2)
  • Complete entry forms, e.g., record part identification numbers, dates, times, dimensions, quantities and unit prices on work orders. (2)
  • Obtain information from lists and tables, e.g., locate dates, model numbers, ignition types, horsepower and torque ratings, compression ratios, stroke lengths and other data in parts lists and specification tables. (3)
  • Use a variety of assembly drawings, e.g., examine engine assembly drawings to identify the correct position of covers, gaskets, bearings, sprockets, snap rings, springs and bushings. (4)
  • Study schematics, e.g., review schematics for electronic systems to troubleshoot faults with switches, voltage regulators, starters and alternators. (4)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write brief reminder notes, e.g., write brief instructions in logbooks to remind themselves of how to reassemble components such as carburettors, alternators, engines and gearboxes. (1)
  • Write short notes and comments on warranty claim forms and work orders, e.g., record their observations and describe the condition of parts and equipment on work orders, and justify warranty coverages on claim forms. (2)
  • Write e-mail, e.g., write e-mail to equipment manufacturers to request information about upcoming training and to clarify service bulletins and recall notices. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • Not a requirement for this occupation.
Scheduling, Budgeting and Accounting Math
  • Not a requirement for this occupation.
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Take a variety of measurements using gauges, e.g., measure battery and charging system voltages, pressures supplied by pumps and compressors, and the temperatures of cooling systems. (1)
  • Take a variety of dimension measurements using basic hand tools, e.g., measure parts using tape measures. (1)
  • Calculate amounts of coolants, and oil and gas mixtures, e.g., mix antifreezes and two-stroke engine fuels to specified ratios. (2)
  • Take a variety of measurements using specialized measuring tools, e.g., use micrometers, bore gauges and calipers to precisely measure the dimensions of pistons, cylinder bores, bearings and shafts. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • Compare measurements of pressure, distance, temperature, torque, voltage and amperage to specifications, e.g., compare measurements of pressure to original equipment manufacturers' specifications to determine the condition of pumps. (1)
  • Analyze compression, pressure, temperature, power, torque and electrical energy measurements, e.g., compare a series of pressure readings produced by pumps, compressors and pistons operating at various speeds to troubleshoot equipment and part faults. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the time required to complete repairs, e.g., consider the requirements of the tasks, the time taken to complete similar tasks in the past and the availability of parts. (1)
  • Estimate percentage of wear and remaining life for a wide variety of parts including batteries, hoses and shafts. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Listen to announcements made over public address systems. (1)
  • Discuss repair parts and supplies with partspersons and suppliers, e.g., talk with parts people to determine prices and availabilities for small engine parts. (1)
  • Talk to co-workers and supervisors about a wide range of subjects, e.g., discuss repair procedures and work processes at staff meetings, and talk about assignments and deadlines with supervisors. (2)
  • May discuss repairs with customers, e.g., speak with customers to discuss costs and time estimates for repairs and to explain maintenance schedules and procedures. (2)
  • Exchange detailed repair information with manufacturers' technical support representatives and other small engine mechanics, e.g., phone help lines to discuss unusual electrical, cooling and hydraulic system faults with manufacturers' technical support representatives. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • Find that they have missed repair deadlines. They inform supervisors and customers to explain why deadlines were missed and to adjust work schedules to complete the work as quickly as possible. (1)
  • Are unable to repair small engines because repair parts and data such as specifications and instructions are unavailable. They contact specialty suppliers for rare and out-of-production parts and sometimes fabricate parts that are not available. They find specifications and instructions by consulting customers, service managers, co-workers, colleagues, suppliers and manufacturers. (2)
Decision Making
  • Decide which tools to use in order to troubleshoot, repair and maintain small engines and equipment, e.g., consider the type of small engines and equipment being serviced and the nature of the repairs. (1)
  • Choose among refurbish, repair and replacement options for worn and broken parts and equipment. (2)
  • Decide the most efficient course of action to complete particular jobs, e.g., determine troubleshooting and repair sequences to efficiently diagnose and repair faults. (3)
Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the suitability of shop tools, diagnostic equipment, repair parts and supplies, e.g., judge the suitability of parts, materials and supplies such as spark plugs and lubricants, paying particular attention to ease of installation and improved equipment performance. (2)
  • Assess the condition of small engine parts and components, e.g., assess the condition of engines by reviewing manufacturers' specifications, taking direct measurements and inspecting parts visually. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality of repairs, e.g., inspect repairs for misaligned belts and pulleys, excessive noise and vibrations, unusual fumes and leaking seals, connections and hoses. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

Outdoor power equipment technicians organize their daily activities according to the work assigned to them by supervisors. They schedule their activities and organize repair tasks to ensure the efficient use of labour, parts and equipment. (2)

Outdoor power equipment technicians may plan the job tasks of helpers and apprentices to ensure the efficient completion of repairs, housekeeping duties and effective use of tools. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember equipment operating parameters.
  • Remember previous repairs that give insight into current jobs of a similar nature.
Finding Information
  • Find information on stickers, labels, assembly drawings, repair manuals and websites to determine proper use, application and installation of parts and supplies. (1)
  • Find operational information about equipment by reviewing displays on computerized scanning equipment, onboard sensors and hand-held diagnostic tools. (1)
  • Locate information about repairs, e.g., review work orders, recall notices and service bulletins, and speak to co-workers, supervisors, customers and manufacturers. They inspect, operate and test defective equipment needing repairs to gather operational data and to learn about faults. (2)
  • Locate troubleshooting and repair procedures for unusual faults by calling technical support lines and by reading repair manuals and technical service bulletins. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology Word Processing
  • Not a requirement for this occupation.
Spreadsheet Software
  • Not a requirement for this occupation.
Bookkeeping, Billing and Accounting Software
  • Not a requirement for this occupation.
Communication Software
  • Use communications software, e.g., use email applications such as Outlook to exchange information and documents with suppliers, manufacturers, co-workers and colleagues. (2)
Presentation Software
  • Not a requirement for this occupation.
Graphics Software
  • Not a requirement for this occupation.
Data Bases
  • Use specialized service databases to access job assignments, input information on new jobs, retrieve and review past service information, and complete work orders. (2)
  • Use databases to retrieve repair information and technical drawings. (2)
Internet
  • Use the Internet to access service, maintenance and repair information. (2)
  • Use the internet to access recent technical service bulletins, parts and component information, recall notices, frequently asked questions and specifications on manufacturer websites. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by suppliers and employers. (2)
Other Digital Technology
  • Use electronic scanning equipment to access data such as fault codes from onboard computers and sensors. (1)
  • Use a variety of digital hand tools such as mulitmeters. (1)
  • Download programs onto onboard computers, e.g., use laptops supplied by manufacturers to upload system parameter updates, such as new air-to-fuel ratios, to electronic control units (ECUs). (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working With Others

Outdoor power equipment technicians carry out service and repair tasks independently. They may coordinate job tasks with helpers, apprentices and partspersons to ensure the efficient completion of repairs and the effective use of shop space and tools.

Continuous Learning

Continuous learning is very important to outdoor power equipment technicians because they need to maintain current knowledge of small engine technologies. They learn at work by viewing instructional videos, reading trade magazines, bulletins and repair manuals, and speaking with customers, suppliers, manufacturers, colleagues, co-workers and supervisors. They may be required to successfully complete annual recertification exams in order to work on repairs covered by certain manufacturers' warranties. (2)

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