What is a Diesel Tech


Because of their efficiency and durability, diesel engines have become the standard in powering our nation’s trucks and buses.

Diesel engine maintenance is becoming increasingly complex as engines and other components use more electronic systems to control their operation. For example, fuel injection and engine timing systems rely heavily on microprocessors to maximize fuel efficiency. In most shops, workers often use computers to diagnose problems and adjust engine functions. 

Diesel technicians handle many kinds of repairs. They may work on a vehicle’s electrical system, drive-train, HVAC, steering, suspension, make major engine repairs, or retrofit engines with emission control systems to comply with pollution regulations.

In addition to electronic diagnostic equipment, diesel technicians use a variety of power and machine tools, such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, grinding machines, and welding equipment. Hand tools, including wrenches, hammers, pry bars, torque wrenches and micrometers, are also commonly used.


  • Manual Dexterity—Since you work with a variety of tools on large components, as well as small parts, it helps to have steady hands and excellent hand-eye coordination.
  • Mechanical Aptitude—Some people have natural mechanical ability. They seem to intuitively understand how and why things work without having to be told. Obviously, this can be a huge asset to a diesel technician.
  • Technical Aptitude—Similar to mechanical aptitude, some people have a natural ability to understand technology. Since today’s diesel engines involve electronic and computer-controlled systems, it is very important for a diesel technician to be technology inclined.
  • Problem-Solving Abilities—The source of mechanical or electronic issues is not always apparent. Therefore, problem-solving and troubleshooting abilities are essential.
  • Mental and Physical Stamina—Diesel technicians need to be mentally focused on their work while also able to perform physically challenging tasks at a steady pace.

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