Some vehicles have engines that operate on diesel fuel rather than regular gasoline, and these types of vehicles require special maintenance. A diesel technician is responsible for repairing these vehicles and performing routine maintenance on them. This might be performed at a repair shop, or the mechanic might travel to the vehicle's location in some instances. After performing repairs, the technician could be involved in billing or collecting payment. A degree in diesel mechanics along with some on-the-job training is normally required for one of these positions.
Buses and passenger trucks are examples of vehicles that are often serviced at a repair shop. A diesel technician could diagnose these vehicles whenever there is a problem to determine the type of repairs that are needed. This might be done by using special diagnostic equipment or reading technical manuals. Should special parts be needed, the mechanic may be responsible for ordering these as well. Other times, vehicles need routine care, so a diesel technician could perform oil changes or tune ups on these engines.
Some vehicles such as bulldozers, cranes, or farm equipment are difficult to drive to a repair shop. Other times, equipment could break down in unusual locations, making it cumbersome or expensive to tow them. As a result, a diesel technician may travel to a vehicle's location from time to time to make repairs. This could include performing major tasks such as rebuilding or replacing a motor or simple ones such as flushing and replacing the fluids. A special type of service truck could be used when performing remote repairs, so the technician is often responsible for making sure this truck has all the parts and tools it needs before heading out.
Once repairs are completed, a diesel technician sometimes prepares an invoice for the customer. Owners of commercial fleets may have a revolving account with a repair shop, in which case this worker might be involved in the billing and collection process. Some repairs are covered by a warranty, so the technician may also need to file claims with the provider of these services.
An associate's degree in diesel mechanics is usually one of the diesel technician requirements in many areas. If the mechanic intends to work on heavy equipment, certification in this type of repair can be helpful as well. Some colleges require students to complete an apprenticeship program which could last anywhere from three to six months. There may be additional on-the-job training required after a mechanic is hired for a particular position.