Trailer mechanics work to keep trailers and other vehicles that haul large goods in sound mechanical condition. They service, inspect, diagnose and repair trailer bodies, systems and components. Trailer mechanics can find jobs at auto repair garages, trucking companies, vehicle inspection centers and companies that supply vehicle parts.
Doing the Work
In repair garages, mechanics work on trailers with mechanical and electrical problems. They use diagnostic equipment to troubleshoot faults, and hand tools to dissemble and assemble engines; clean fuel tanks; adjust hubs and axles; replace tires; and fix braking and hydraulics systems. In vehicle inspection centers, mechanics inspect the overall condition of trailers to ensure that they meet U.S. Department of Transportation's safety requirements. They also compile inspection reports detailing their findings. At shops that sell parts, mechanics may provide after-sale services, such as component installation.
Aspiring trailer mechanics can start by earning an associate degree in heavy truck technology. Mainly offered at technical schools and community colleges, the program provides training in areas such as preventive maintenance, hydraulics, braking systems, and steering and suspension. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offers a truck equipment certification program to improve a mechanic's knowledge of truck equipment and system installation and repair. Ambitious mechanics can pursue a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering to land jobs at companies that manufacture heavy trucks.