Transport trailer technicians inspect, diagnose, maintain and repair transport trailers connected to or moved by a power unit. Trailers include flat decks, dry freight vans, refrigerated vans, tankers, converters, boosters, jeeps, pole trailers, steering dollies, dump trailers and any other commercial pull-type units. Transport trailer technicians inspect, service and repair parts and components of systems such as suspension and brake systems, mechanical and electrical components, flooring, hydraulic systems, axles, wheel assemblies and coupling units. Technicians may specialize in sheet metal work, frame repair or replacement, and heating and refrigeration unit repairs.
Transport trailer technicians are employed at trailer manufacturers, sales and repair facilities, as well as at construction or industrial sites and fleet repair shops. They may work in a shop or out of a mobile service vehicle.
To meet government standards and regulations, transport trailer technicians may have to attain specialty certifications in order to perform work-related tasks. A propane license, refrigeration certificate, tanker inspection certificate, specialized pressure vessel welding license, wheel and tire certification, wheel and rim torquing certification, and government inspector certificate are examples of additional certification that may be required by certain jurisdictions. Technicians must practice safe operating procedures and be conscious of the impact on people, equipment, work area and environment when performing their work. Due to the size and complexity of the equipment, safety is of prime importance. There is an inherent risk of injury when working with heavy equipment, power tools and welding equipment. There are also risks associated with working around loud noises, grease, oil, gasoline and various exhaust fumes. Hazardous cargo or residue contained within trailers can pose a risk to technicians.
The work requires considerable standing, climbing, crouching, kneeling and heavy lifting. Good vision, hearing and sense of smell, as well as the ability to think logically, allow transport trailer technicians to identify and isolate problems. Technicians must also be able to diagnose complex problems and interpret technical manuals and schematics. Building and fabrication skills are also an asset.
This analysis recognizes similarities or overlaps with the work of truck and transport mechanics, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics, welders, motor vehicle body repairers, partspersons and heavy duty equipment technicians.
With experience, transport trailer technicians act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may also advance to supervisory, service management and training positions.
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