Diesel Mechanic Job Description

There are several different job descriptions for a diesel mechanic, but we can sum all the different descriptions like this:

Provide total service care by inspecting, repairing and restoring new and used vehicles powered by diesel engines.

  • A diesel mechanic is expected to be able to provide expert service in many different repair situations.
  • A rugged sense and familiarity for mechanical components and sound knowledge of the tools and systems associated with electronic components are a must.
  • Critical thinking skills are just as important to help diagnose, fix and maintain many different types of mechanical and electrical problems they will face on the job.
  • They may also be required to interact with customers, so good listening skills, common courtesy and general customer-service skills are also important.

What You Must Know
Before You Can Be a Diesel Specialist

Some Diesel Mechanics will need to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), especially if their job duties require them to test drive a vehicle that requires an endorsement. This type of vehicle can be one that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, that transports hazardous materials and/or designed to carry 16 or more passengers. While the types of vehicles requiring a CDL to drive them can be different from state to state, the most common types are buses, semi-trucks and even tow trucks.

A Diesel Mechanic will typically need to be able to follow a checklist of routine inspection procedures, and also be able to write reports and keep records of any maintenance performed on a daily basis.

Many Diesel Mechanics will need to be able to test drive vehicles to help identify any problems or malfunctions with the vehicles they are working on.

A Diesel Mechanic will need to have knowledge of how to use hand-held scanners and laptop computers to assist in identifying problems related to the complex electronic systems that are used to control the operation of today’s diesel engines. They will also need to know how to read and interpret the diagnostic data from the test results to help them in repairing these systems.

You'll be expected to have knowledge of relevant equipment for a diesel mechanic, policies and procedures to promote proper inspections and maintenance of brake, steering, transmission, engine and other important systems found on the vehicles in their repair. One of the best ways for a diesel mechanic to stay current is to become certified from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Some of the common activities a Diesel Mechanic will be responsible for are inspecting brakes, changing oil, aligning tires and using hydraulic hoists to lift heavy parts and vehicles. Many different types of equipment and tools will be used to accomplish these tasks, including hand tools like wrenches, screwdrivers and pliers to a variety of power and machine tools like lathes, grinding machines and welding equipment.

Finally, good communication skills for a Diesel Mechanic are important, as they will be interacting with many different types of people from all walks of life. Providing excellent customer service will help ensure they are ready to answer customers’ questions and concerns, and will be able to discuss any of the work they have done or about to do for a customer.