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heavy equipment mechanic

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by nerraw117, May 18, 2006.

  1. nerraw117

    nerraw117 1/2 ton status

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    so who all here is a heavy equipment mechanic? like cat, sterling, cummins, 18 wheeler etc? who likes it? I think I have decided to go into that field.
     
  2. NJBLZ

    NJBLZ 1/2 ton status

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    threads like this should be posted in the lounge, not the garage.
     
  3. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Prepare for a heavy tool bill.... I got scared when I saw what torque multipliers go for... :eek1: :doah: :wink1:

    When I used to work on the D9's, etc everything was a bear! :haha: big tools for heavy parts!

    Props to guys that work on that stuff daily..... Think I'd rather be running one these days... Coulda, woulda, shoulda.... :doah: :o :( :haha:
     
  4. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    yeah, most of the old time techs in my shop are a little worn out in the body department(bad knees, backs, etc.) and I'm a Mitsubishi Technician :haha:

    There is good money in Diesels, can't say as far as heavy equipment. My cousin is a heavy equipment, big truck tech for a large corporation in these parts, hes on the mobile service truck(half new guy with the ****ty job, half his own choice). Met a guy before who had some interesting tales to tell of having to fix crap in a foot of mud by cutting a hole in an oil pan then welding it shot on the job site.

    Heavy Equipment is just that, heavy. And like Ryoken said, the tools are big and come with an equal price tag. I feel like a lazy bum working on Mitsus. The heaviest stuff I have to lift is 19.5" rims on some of the F450 and 550s I deal with(also a ford dealer).
     
  5. 1985_K5_Silverado

    1985_K5_Silverado 1/2 ton status

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  6. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    I work for a CAT dealer as an Ag tech and have to say it is a great job. The pay in the diesel field is much better than what you would find in an automotive field. Also don't worry about the BIG tools, the companies generally have a "tool room" for stuff like that and you just go get what you need. But plan on up to 2" sockets/wrenches etc as something needed in your tool box.
     
  7. nerraw117

    nerraw117 1/2 ton status

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    awesome, yea sorry about that i thought i was in the lounge. my mistake. long day
     
  8. boz42

    boz42 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    it is o.k. i am the mechanic for our family dozer work buisness. i keep up our fleet of 5 dump trucks, 1 tractor trailer, 5 dozers, 2 track-hoes, 3 tracters , bob-cat, back-hoe, etc. & etc. any how when i was younger i loved working on this stuff, know it isn't as cool. i would rather operate the equipment than work & maintance it. it isn't bad. as far as pay goes i am under paid due to it being a family owned operation.

    as far as my personal tools go my sockets & wrenches go up to 2.5".

    i pulled the head off a 3116 cat engine in one of our 325L track-hoes. yesterday. the head as brass cups in it that seal the injector on the combustion chamber side. one was leaking. gotta put the re-man head on it tommorrow.
     
  9. 76zimmer

    76zimmer Flyin Rat Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I have a brother in Carey/Fuquay Varina area. He has his own business, and its slow right now. He's been doing it for the last 30years. 6 with the Army.
    It is a heavy workout for the body. I would suggest starting at a dealership, get your feet wet there, and see how it treats you. They should have the specialty tools you'll need. Go for Cat if you can, maybe Case also.
     
  10. nerraw117

    nerraw117 1/2 ton status

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    i believe i will be starting at penske on a co-op internship for school.
     
  11. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I maintain our fleet of 15 OTR trucks with Detroits, Cummins, and Cats. Our farming business has 6 tractors, 2 combines, and an army of implements. As a farmer, I find myself turning more wrenches than anything else.
     
  12. tractordoc

    tractordoc Registered Member

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    i'm a service manager for the komatsu/dressta dealer in alabama, north fla and georgia (23 stores), real good field to get in, i'm always looking for techs, usally you can find tools 2nd hand for good price, tools never get old or decrease in value, its a lost art so work is easy to find.
     
  13. 1-ton

    1-ton 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I spent some years as a heavy duty diesel mechanic. The good thing I can say about it is that some people think that working with giant size parts make the job more difficult, I found that it is just the opposite...working with giant size parts acually makes the job easier. It is easier to get your hands into certain areas, and you will use hoist, cranes, and levers to lift and move most stuff, instead of muscle like you would a gasoline vehicle. Also, the design of Deisel trucks is more basic, thus making it easier to get at things like water pumps, or starter moters.

    The down side to being a mechanic is the cost of tools, getting greasy and dirty all the time, and having to work in hot or cold weather.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2006
  14. 79Beast

    79Beast 1/2 ton status

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    I work for Yancey Brothers Caterpillar in Georgia. It's a great company to work for. I work in the earthmoving division and fix machines 100 HP and up. The pay will surprise you once you've put in a couple years. I work in the field and I love not having to pay for fuel to drive to work. Not to mention I "drive my toolbox home" each day. I can tell you without a doubt that the crane on the back of my service truck is the easiest way I've ever removed/installed and engine in a lifted truck. Yes, tools cost a lot, but you don't have to have Snap-On/Mac/Matco/Proto/Cornwell/S-K everything. My company provides most of the tooling needed to work on tractors and gives each technician $600 each year to buy tools with. I could go on, but I'd say pay close attention to who you go to work for. One good thing about turning wrenches for a living, wherever you go, you can always find work. One bad thing is that after fixing things all day long, you don't want to fool with your own junk. Why do you think most mechanics drive broken down jalopys?

    Also, about that "real big torque wrench": I have the exact same one, made by the same company that makes them for Snap-On. The only difference is the name and price. I have less than $500 in mine.
     
  15. nerraw117

    nerraw117 1/2 ton status

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    i am hoping that sicne i am going into larger diesels then i will still want to work on my truck. i am probally going to start working on mostly 18 wheeler stuff right now. so not so much as the earth moving machines but the same principles i guess.
     
  16. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Like what 79beast said, after turning wrenches all week the last thing you want to do is wrench all weekend on toys.
     
  17. jeeptuff

    jeeptuff 1/2 ton status

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    I've been a diesel/heavy equipment mechanic/fabricator for the last 18 years. I love the work, the pay is good, but never enough. It is hard on the body, definatly make my share of trips to the chiropractor. At this point I maintain 30 tractors all KW's except the 2 Pete's in the fleet. Every tractor hauls doubles (tankers). On top of that we have 12 621 scrapers, 15 trackhoes, 4 backhoes, 17 dozers (D-11 being the largest), 2 graders, 2 pavers, and about 6-7 rollers. We are also getting ready to take delvery on 5 brand new W900 KW's.
     
  18. rumbly truck

    rumbly truck 1/2 ton status

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    I work for the local electric utility, as a power plant operater- mechanic. This is a good job, pay's ok, bennefits are good. Now the bad, the plant is manned 24-7-365, there is always someone on duty. We have seven gensets, and four hydroelectric stations, the work can be as varried as working on a water guzzlers for wildlife to rebuilding diesel engines that have a 21"bore by 17" stroke. It is hard work. The parts are large, if your going to do this learn early to use cranes, jacks, lifters, to save wear and tear on the body. Don't lift stuff that you need help with, get smart about it. The cylinder heads on our large engines are for a single cylinder, they weigh 1200# apiece, the rotating assembly weighs 35 tons. This is rewarding work, it is pretty cool to see something you have to put togather one piece at a time, to fire up and make smoke. You will have a investment in time and money to do this as a carrer. There are cleaner, easier ways to make a buck, but this is all I have ever done. If you choose this path, good luck and be careful. and smart. Oh yeah, if your going to be a mechanic for a living, have pride in your work. Do it the best that you can.
     
  19. thorguy57

    thorguy57 Registered Member

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    What part of utah you live? I live out in tooele. That sounds like a pretty fun job you got there. I would like to get into that. I am sick of working on semis and cars all day.
     
  20. skelly1

    skelly1 1/2 ton status

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    I luckily don't have to wrench for a living, I used to, but now I don't. What I can say about mechanics in general is that they live a tough life, hats off to them. The biggest stuff I ever had to work on was motor homes and that was quite a chore during the summer months in So-cal. One time the jackstands sunk into the asphalt because the asphalt was hot and squishy.
     

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