How To Hire
Heavy Equipment Technicians
Some of the Facts
It Has Never Been Harder TO Hire Equipment Mechanics
Construction, Mining, Agriculture, Forestry Manufacturing, and Transportation all rely on Heavy Equipment Technicians. This equipment runs hard to build our roads, harvest our natural resources and build our homes. This equipment needs experienced technicians for maintenance and repairs.
Equipment is also advancing at an incredible rate with advanced electrical systems, hydraulics and efficient engines that all require well trained technicians.
The demand is not slowing down at all, in fact it is only expected to rise with more and more Heavy Duty Mechanics retiring and less students entering the Heavy Equipment Technology programs.
Gone are the days when you could run a job ad and pick the best one that applies. There are not enough technicians available and job ads rarely produce qualified technicians.
What To Look For When Hiring Heavy Duty Mechanics
Length of time in the industry as well as what they have worked on are equally important. There are a lot of transferable skills but if you need a Mining Mechanic an Agricultural Equipment Technician is not going to be a great fit. Similarly a Forklift Mechanic is not going to work out for a company that needs a Crane Technician.
Inside the world of Equipment Mechanics there are several smaller distinctions or categories including Aerial Lift Technicians, Generator Mechanics, Crane Mechanics, Material Handling Equipment Technicians, Mining Mechanics to name a few.
When selecting a Mechanic make sure they have experience with the equipment your shop works on.
Heavy Equipment breaks down in the field. This can often be in rural or remote areas and it can be very expensive to have to bring a large piece of machinery to a shop. You need a Heavy Duty Diesel Mechanic who is able to drive to the site to repair the equipment where it broke down.
There are always opportunities for in Shop Only technicians but those that can do field work will always be more valuable.
In Canada look for technicians with Journeyman certification, Red Seal for Heavy Equipment Technician, in Ontario look for the license code 421A. In parts of the country the Mechanic License is a requirement but it is not a compulsory trade in all provinces.
In the USA look for technicians who have completed trade school or have OEM or Dealer training. Factory training from one of the big brands such as CAT, Komatsu, Hitachi, John Deere or CASE can be very valuable.
A Heavy Equipment Technician job is basically the same wherever someone works but there are still many subtle differences that need to be trained on. The onboarding process can be lengthy and expensive. Look for technicians that have a proven history of holding long term jobs. Those that change jobs every 6 months will likely continue to do the same and will leave you scrambling to replace them in the near future.
Equipment often needs specialty tools to work on it. A Forklift Mechanic for example will have a very different tool box than someone who works on Earth Moving Equipment. Make sure when hiring the mechanic you choose owns the right tools for the job. Tools can be very expensive and it is not realistic to expect them to buy a full new set for your job.
Hiring a Mechanic can seem like a daunting task, do you use a Head Hunter or Employment Agency? What job boards do you post on? What to ask during an interview? How much should you offer? Below is an easy to follow 7 step guide for recruiting mechanics.
If you are Hiring a Mechanic a good interview can make sure you select the right one. Recruiting Mechanics is hard enough, once you have them in for an interview you have to make sure to ask the right questions, this will not only give you a better idea of how good the Mechanic is but will also show the mechanic that you are prepared, know what you are doing and are a good company to work with.
Recruiting Mechanics is Hard
Rockstar Can Help
Whatever you call them (Heavy Duty Mechanics, Heavy Equipment Technicians, Diesel Doctors etc.) the truth is there is not enough qualified technicians for all of the openings. Many colleges are trying to encourage more students to enroll but your shop can’t wait for the next graduating class, you need experienced, certified, qualified technicians now.
Rockstar Mechanics actively engages with technicians that are not currently looking for work but who could be a perfect fit for your shop.