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I'm going into Job Corps to pursue a trade in Heavy Equipment Mechanics but I'm not sure entirely sure what to expect on how to transition to working on cars.

I'm wanting to learn how to work with Gas/Diesel and Electric (since that's the future). What Steps should I take or classes I should take to learn all this and what does that all look like?

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Victory’s Answer

It's great that you're interested in pursuing a trade in Heavy Equipment Mechanics. If you're looking to transition to working on cars and learn about Gas/Diesel and Electric vehicles, you might want to consider taking specialized automotive classes or programs that focus on these areas. Look for vocational schools or community colleges that offer courses in automotive technology, specifically those that cover traditional gasoline and diesel engines as well as electric vehicle technology. Additionally, you may want to seek out apprenticeships or internships at automotive repair shops or dealerships to gain hands-on experience. This combination of formal education and practical experience can provide a well-rounded foundation for working on a variety of vehicles. Goodluck with your pursuit !
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Dennis’s Answer

Hello Hunter,
The heavy machine industry needs skilled repair and diagnostic technicians. It can be a good choice for you if you can learn and demonstrate the required skills.
I am trained as a mechanical engineer, but I have worked a lot with sevice and repair technicians in the commercial truck environment. Heavy Equipment is similar. The machines you work on might be bigger or smaller than a semi-truck. Excavating machines may involve hydraulic or electric systems to move a blade or bucket. Any machine that moves to do its work has some sort of prime mover - engine or electric motor. Moving machines have wheels or tracks to manuever over rough ground. Some machines have pumps or cranes or something else to perform their particular function. There are lots of different mechanical functions for you to deal with.
As a technician, you must understand the basic operation and function of whatever type of machine you are asked to repair. That means you need to have knowledge in all (or most)l of these areas: hydraulics, cooling system, fuel system(s), ignitions (electronics) and (mostly) Direct Current electrical systems. Modern engines, gas or Diesel, use electronic sensors and actuators to control the engine. Each manufacturer has their own unique approach, but the basic principles still must follow the laws of physics. Physics: the basic stuff - force, mass, velocity, pressure, air flow, water flow, oil pressure, temperature. How engine bearings work. What camshafts and pistons do. How oil lubricates and cools. How valves control air and exhaust flow. Electricity : volts, current, resistance, etc. You will need to learn to use a voltmeter and other electronic devices; learn how to use a computer or hand-held device to read fault codes from the machine's control units. But, beware....there are still some machines out there that were built before micro-processors became prevalent. I say - learn the basic concepts first, then figure out what the computer or microprocessor brings to the party. The physics machine are the same, but the processor does more of the hard work to figure out how much fuel to deliver, when to spark ( if it's a gasoline or natural gas engine, etc. ), to control speed or position and so on.
With electric vehicles coming to the fore, you will need basic knowledge about how electric motors and batteries work together. More physics.

Listen to your trainers and ask lots of questions. Learn the correct terms - names of various parts of the machine. There is a lot of jargon in this business, so make sure you know why that peculiar term is used.

Learn to be a neat worker. Keep you tools clean and arranged where you can find them quickly. If you diasassemble part of a machine, make sure you keep parts in order so you can replace them
correctly.
Learn to communicate with your co-workers and supervisors. Very important. Listen carefully. Speak slowly and clearly to convey your ideas or your findings to others involved in the repair process.
You may use a computer or other electronic devices and instruments to do your job. Learn to read guages and instruments correctly and know what the measurement units are. What are you measuring? Why? What will or can you do with that information.?
There ar e lots of interesting things for you to learn, Hunter. Being able to handle a tool is just the starting point. Knowing how and where to use a tool is the next step toward success. I wish you success in your endeavor.
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Jason’s Answer

if you can go to a trade or vocational school for automotive that would be ideal, as most places that hire look for someone with some formal training. also most shops want someone with ASE certifications so make getting ASE certs one of your goals. it's just tests that you can study for and take. if you want to jump right into working on cars you may have to start off as an oil or tire tech, or some other job in a shop and work your way up. look on indeed and other job search websites and see if anyone in your area is hiring, and youll get an idea on whats out there and what they are looking for.

also you might want to start considering do you want to go into automotive or other equipment/industrial mechanic? there are plenty of jobs working on gas/diesel, and electric generators and other machines. also hydraulics and pneumatics are everywhere in industry even in automotive (plows, PTO's, air shocks etc...) so try to take a few classes on that.
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