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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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Truck and Transport Mechanics (7321)

Truck and transport mechanics inspect, diagnose, repair and service mechanical, structural, electrical and electronic systems and components of commercial transport trucks.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read reminders and short notes, e.g. read short notes from co-workers to learn about the priority of repairs. (1)
  • Read short instructions written on labels and packaging, e.g. read labels to determine whether products, such as oils, are warranty-approved. (1)
  • Read short comments on a variety of forms, e.g. read comments on work orders to learn about equipment faults and required repairs. (1)
  • Read bulletins and memos, e.g. read memos to learn about changes to operating procedures, such as hours of work. (2)
  • Read manufacturers' notices, e.g. read manufacturers' notices, such as technical service bulletins, to learn about recalls and new warranty procedures. (3)
  • Read magazine and website articles to keep current and broaden their knowledge of the truck and transport service industry. (3)
  • Read instruction manuals for the use of electronic equipment, e.g. read manufacturers' instructions for the use of gas analyzers, scan tools and wheel alignment equipment. (3)
  • Read a variety of paper-based and electronic repair manuals, e.g. read manuals to learn how to troubleshoot and repair faults to electrical, mechanical and cooling systems. (3)
  • Read and interpret government regulations, e.g. read regulations that specify vehicle inspection procedures and the roadworthiness requirements of trucks and transports. (4)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Locate part numbers, serial numbers, sizes, colours and other information on labels. (1)
  • Enter data, such as times and dates, into time cards, tally sheets and log books. (1)
  • Interpret flowcharts, e.g. interpret multi-step flowcharts to learn how to troubleshoot faulty electrical and mechanical systems. (2)
  • Complete a variety of forms, e.g. complete truck inspection forms by entering information, such as identification numbers, makes, sizes and readings; and by checking boxes to indicate the condition of components, such as tires, belts and hoses. (2)
  • Study graphed data generated by diagnostic equipment and on-board computer systems, e.g. locate data, such as duration, speed and revolutions per minute, on tachographs. (3)
  • Locate data, such as classifications, material coefficients, part interchangeabilities, identification numbers and quantities, in complex specification tables. (3)
  • Interpret complex technical drawings, e.g. study complex assembly drawings to locate the position of parts within transmissions and other complex mechanical systems. (4)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write reminder notes to co-workers, e.g. write notes to warn workers on other shifts about defective equipment. (1)
  • Write comments in the remarks sections of forms, e.g. write comments about defects uncovered during preventative maintenance inspections. (1)
  • May write reports to describe events leading up to workplace accidents, e.g. write about injuries and events when completing reports for workers' compensation boards. (2)
  • May write reports for insurance claims that precisely describe the results of inspections. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy
  • May submit receipts for reimbursement from petty cash for the purchase of materials and supplies. (1)
  • Take a variety of measurements using basic tools, e.g. measure the lengths and angles of components using tape measures and protractors. (1)
  • Compare measurements of energy, dimension, speed, horsepower, temperature and torque to specifications, e.g. compare the measurements of spark plugs to specifications to determine their suitability. (1)
  • Estimate the amount of time required to complete repairs. (1)
  • May calculate the effect that repairs and modifications have on engine performance, e.g. use formulae to determine net horsepower gains realized by modifying components, such as fuel systems. (2)
  • Calculate summary measures, e.g. calculate average fuel and oil consumption rates to track the operating condition of trucks. (2)
  • Estimate the useful life remaining for parts, such as tires, brake pads and exhaust systems. (2)
  • Estimate the cost to complete repairs. (2)
  • Estimate the weight of loads to determine whether the weight of the load plus the weight of the trailer is within legal limits. (2)
  • Use precise measuring instruments to measure the thickness of parts and the depth of counter bores. (3)
  • Analyze pressure, power, torque, compression and electrical energy readings to assess truck performance and troubleshoot faults, e.g. analyze a series of electrical readings produced by computerized engine analyzers to establish the cause of charging-system faults. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Listen to announcements made over public address systems. (1)
  • Talk to co-workers, such as stockroom personnel, about the availability of parts and supplies. (1)
  • Talk to service managers about a wide variety of topics, e.g. discuss work assignments, repair procedures and the condition of tools and equipment. (2)
  • Contact other mechanics to find out what repairs were previously performed on a vehicle and discuss how to carry out difficult repairs. (2)
  • May talk to customers, e.g. speak with customer to respond to questions and complaints, gather information about necessary repairs, explain truck maintenance procedures and discuss the results of inspections and repairs. (2)
  • Exchange technical repair and troubleshooting information with apprentices, co-workers, colleagues and manufacturers, e.g. discuss troubleshooting strategies with manufacturers' technical representatives. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking
  • May find that they are not able to complete specialty repairs due to a lack of appropriate tools. They borrow the required tools from co-workers or from colleagues working at other repair shops. (1)
  • Are unable to repair vehicles because specifications and instructions are unavailable. They consult service managers, co-workers, suppliers and colleagues for advice and research websites to locate useable information. (2)
  • Find that work is delayed due to equipment breakdowns and incorrect or unavailable parts. They inform service managers about delays and carry out other work until equipment repairs are completed and the needed parts and supplies arrive. (2)
  • May have difficulty gaining access to trucks needing repairs. They contact dispatchers to find a mutually agreeable time and schedule repairs for weekends or evenings as required. (2)
  • Decide whether to repair or replace components, such as suspensions, tie rods or tires, based on manufacturer specifications, wear, safety considerations and company policy. (2)
  • May evaluate the performance of apprentices. They consider apprentices' abilities to diagnose and troubleshoot truck faults and perform repairs. (2)
  • Judge the condition of parts, e.g. inspect clutch plates for signs of wear and couplings and hoses for signs of cracks. (2)
  • Plan on a short term basis and react to work orders. There may be several days' notice of major repairs, such as doing a complete in-frame overhaul. There may be some regular cyclical activity, such as overhauling a fleet of fire trucks. There is some uncertainty in scheduling when major, unanticipated problems are found when doing a disassembly. Disruptions occur when an urgent request comes from another customer, such as a driver who cannot start their vehicle. There are also disruptions when customers call with technical questions. Truck and transport mechanics organize their own activities in a logical order. They may be called away from time to time to help another mechanic who requests assistance. Coordination with co-workers is important to the efficiency of the shop. (2)
  • Review displays on computerized scan tools, onboard vehicle sensors and hand-held diagnostic tools to learn about the operating condition of truck components. (2)
  • Decide the most efficient course of action to complete particular jobs. For example, they may decide to service transmissions before completing other repairs. (3)
  • Decide whether a load is safe to be brought into the shop. This decision is based on knowledge of dangerous goods and hazardous materials. (3)
  • Evaluate the severity of vehicle defects and deficiencies. They consider criteria, such as manufacturer specifications, roadworthiness regulations and the safety of drivers, passengers and other motorists. (3)
  • Evaluate the quality of repairs. They consider the results of test drives and physical inspections and data collected from equipment, such as gas analyzers and scan tools. (3)
  • Locate information about mechanical faults by reviewing work orders, completing test drives and physical inspections, using scan tools and by speaking with customers and co-workers. (3)
  • Locate troubleshooting and repair procedures for unusual faults by calling technical support lines, requesting assistance on Internet blogs and website forums and by reading repair manuals and technical service bulletins. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • May use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating material requirements. (1)
  • May use specialized fleet maintenance databases to access job assignments, input information about repairs, retrieve previous repair histories and complete work orders. (2)
  • May exchange email with co-workers, service managers, colleagues at other repair shops and help desk technicians employed by suppliers and manufacturers. (2)
  • May use databases to retrieve repair information and technical drawings. (2)
  • May use browsers and search engines to access technical service bulletins and recall notices. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access online manuals that provide information about how to troubleshoot and repair equipment faults. (2)
  • Access online articles posted by suppliers, manufacturers and associations to keep current on industry trends and practices. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by suppliers, employers and associations. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access blogs and forums to provide and seek advice about unusual vehicle faults. (2)
  • Use hand-held devices to download data from on-board computers and sensors. (2)
  • Use computerized equipment, such as wheel alignment machines, to complete repairs. (2)
  • Use diagnostic equipment, such as scan tools and gas analyzers, to determine the operational condition of engines and other drive train components. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Working with Others

Truck and transport mechanics spend most of their time working independently, although they work with partners from time to time on tasks that require lifting. They may work alone if an urgent job needs to be completed after regular working hours. They are part of a team that includes other mechanics, service managers and parts and warehouse personnel.

Continuous Learning

Truck and transport mechanics learn from attending manufacturers' seminars and from training programs that are available as programmed learning on laptops. They also view videotapes that illustrate how to use new equipment or how to troubleshoot effectively. They attend computer courses and specialty courses, such as those relating to handling propane and using refrigerants. They learn about repairs, such as how to service braking systems and take courses offered by suppliers at no or little cost.

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