Advanced Certificate Heavy Vehicle Mechanics

Course Overview

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Why take this course?

What is a Heavy Vehicle Mechanic?

Heavy vehicle mechanics carry out routine servicing and repair on commercial vehicles such as trucks/trailers, vans, jeeps, buses and coaches. Many work for road haulage companies. Usually the work is based around servicing, diagnostics and repairs. As well as routine servicing, major overhauls are undertaken at regular intervals. Faults are diagnosed and the defective components are repaired or replaced as necessary. Vehicles are serviced after a specified length of time or kilometres, to replace, repair or adjust any worn parts and generally check, tune and adjust for good performance. As part of a routine service, mechanics check and change oil, check and adjust brakes and steering. Parts for heavy vehicles are often more expensive than those for light vehicles, so mechanics usually have to repair rather than replace any faulty items they find. Mechanics usually cover the mechanical, electrical/ electronic, hydraulic and pneumatic aspects of vehicles. Heavy vehicle mechanics require many skills including:

• Working with a variety of specialised hand and power tools and measuring devices

• Working with jacks and hoists to lift and move heavy items

• Knowledge of a range of vehicle systems

• Performing a range of technical tasks

• Interpreting technical drawings and working with technical manuals and specifications

• Planning and organising work schedules

• Inspecting and testing of systems and fault diagnosis

• Performing routine maintenance and repairs on in-vehicle systems Personal Qualities and Skills

As a Heavy Vehicle Mechanic you will need to be physically active and to be able to work with your hands. An awareness of health and safety and good housekeeping is essential as well as attention to detail.

The Heavy Vehicle Mechanic must have the ability to:

• Plan and organise

• Communicate effectively

• Solve problems

• Work independently and as part of a team

• Show a positive attitude

• Recognise the need for good customer relations

• Demonstrate good work practices including time keeping, tidiness, responsibility, quality awareness and safety awareness (SOLAS, 2016)

Aspects of work

· Learning and developing new craft-related skills, knowledge and competencies

· Working with and learning from experienced Craftsperson’s

· Comply with Health and Safety requirements

· Working with vehicles and Accepting responsibility for the quality of own work

· Being physically active

· Using the special service tools, materials and equipment

· Reading and interpreting technical instructions and diagrams

· Diagnose and repair mechanical and electrical systems

· Dismantling, examining and re-assembling mechanical systems and components

· Testing electrical and electronic systems and components

· Record and communicate accurate work records or reports

What opportunities might it lead to?

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, apprentices are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession. Where apprentices and craftsperson’s have the necessary ability and initiative, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technology courses and management courses which are available in Institutes of Technology, Schools of Management and Professional Institutes. Many apprentices use their apprenticeship qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.

The occupational profile is available here.

Course Details

Course Duration:
4 Year
Course Award:
Advanced Certificate
Course NFQ Level:
Level 6
Dept of Civil, Construction & Mineral Engineering
Minimum Entry Requirements:

How to become an Apprentice?

1. You must obtain employment as an apprentice in your chosen occupation.

2. The employer must be approved to train apprentices.

3. The employer must register you as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment.

Find out more here.

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