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What does a diesel technician do? 6 things most jobs entail

A Schneider diesel technician works on the backside of a white Schneider tractor.

Before you decide to become a diesel technician, it’s important to determine what someone in the role actually does. Once you gain a little knowledge about what responsibilities come with the job, you can then make the decision of whether you want to join the industry or not.

However, there’s no simple answer to, ‘What does a diesel technician do?’ because the responsibilities and day-to-day tasks of diesel technicians are so varied and vast.

To make things simple, we listed what most diesel technicians do, regardless of where they work or what type of diesel technician they are.

No matter what type of diesel technician you are, you probably:

1. Work on equipment powered by a diesel engine.

The word diesel is in the job title, so this should be an obvious one. However, what industry you work in as a diesel technician (transportation, agricultural, construction, etc.) varies.

2. Spend most of your time in a shop, working with others.

Regardless of what type of diesel technician you are, there’s a good chance the role requires you to work in a shop. Additionally, most shops don’t just have one person working at a time. Most places that hire diesel technicians stress the importance of being a good teammate because it’s such a team-oriented role.

3. Often interact with the user/owner of the equipment.

Many times, diesel technicians are required to talk with the person who uses or owns the equipment that needs to be worked on. This conversation is vital for gathering information about how the equipment is malfunctioning, so that the diesel technician can better figure out what’s wrong with it.

4. Diagnose, maintain, inspect and repair equipment.

What a diesel technician does day-to-day varies, but at a very high level, most technicians spend a large majority of their time doing:

  • Preventative maintenance.
  • Equipment inspection.
  • Problem identification and diagnosis.
  • Paperwork and documentation.
  • Minor and major repairs.

5. Work on a huge variety of equipment.

Most diesel technician jobs go beyond doing simple tasks like oil changes. Even if you are a diesel technician who works on the same type or model of equipment every day, you’re probably encountering different problems and/or working on different parts of the equipment.

For example, diesel technicians at Schneider work on semi-trucks. However, what part of the truck they need to focus on varies. Like it says in Schneider’s diesel technician job description, technicians work on various systems related to fuel, engine, transmissions, electrical, brakes, steering, satellite/cellular systems, HVAC, drive lines, tires and body work.

6. Use technology more than ever before.

From using advanced software for diagnostics to participating in ongoing training, technology is transforming diesel technician jobs. There’s no doubt diesel technicians still use a variety of tools while on the job, but their roles are becoming less physically demanding and the actual work is becoming much more technical.

Start your journey to becoming a diesel technician

If you’re interested in joining the diesel industry, the next step is to start the process of becoming a diesel technician. Check out these six steps on how to become a diesel technician and get started on your career move.

About the author
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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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