JobsNow: Diesel techs are vital to trucking industry

The need for diesel mechanics is growing fast, and not just in the trucking industry

A diesel tech fixes more than just trucks. Diesel engines also power buses, bulldozers and even cranes.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A diesel technician fixes more than just trucks. Diesel engines also power buses, bulldozers and even cranes.

If trucking moves the economy, diesel mechanics are vital as well. If a truck is broken, it’s the job of a diesel tech to fix it.

“Probably the biggest thing would be the challenge of diagnosing engine issues and things like that. That’s really what I like most, especially when you figure it all out in the end,” said Service Manager Lance Smith.

Smith recalls pride in fixing a truck with low boost, having a plugged air cooler. He went to trade school and got his degree in just nine months.

“They basically broke it down into the sections of the truck, and you learned each section in about six to seven weeks. And then you would move on to the next section, so they would break down engines separate, transmissions separate… things like that,” he said.

Knowing how engine parts work with each other is ultimately important. Diesel techs may have to take them apart and then reassemble, but that doesn’t have to include a post-secondary education.

“We actually have an apprenticeship program for technicians also, where you can come in if you want to be a tech and don’t have any experience. There’s a four-year program that you could join,” said Safety Manager John Rugarber.

The need for diesel mechanics is growing fast, and it’s not just trucking. There are more diesel cars and light trucks on the road, too.

Most of the work is with big rigs to keep the chain of freight moving, however.

“It makes your life a lot easier when you successfully fix something and it runs flawlessly for a long time. It’s nice. It takes a lot of stress off,” Smith said.

The major stress for diesel mechanics is the time crunch to fix that truck when someone needs it back to stay on the job.

For more information about becoming a diesel tech or finding a job, go to

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