Construction plant mechanics service, maintain and repair plant machinery such as 360-degree excavators, bulldozers, cranes and loading shovels, dump trucks, generators and compressors, and concrete mixers.
They are concerned with the inspection and maintenance engines, gearboxes, hydraulics, electrical systems and tyres. On large machines they also inspect the bucket (large front shovel), the back hoe (rear digger) and the outriggers (stabilising stands) that keep the machine level on soft or uneven ground.
When a machine breaks down on site they have to examine it, identify the fault, dismantle the relevant section and repair or replace the faulty parts. They then reassemble and test the machine to make sure it is working properly.
Plant mechanics use a range of hand and power tools and may also use specialist computer diagnostic equipment, as well as welding equipment and lifting gear.
Construction plant mechanics normally work a 40-hour week, Monday to Friday. Overtime is common, including weekends.
Work can be both outdoors on site in all weathers and in workshops. The work can be physically demanding and very dirty. Some work could be underground or involve working at great heights, for instance crane repair.
Construction plant mechanics often have to move from job to job, and can be based anywhere in the UK for many months at a time. A driving licence is helpful.
To be a construction plant mechanic, you should:
Plant mechanics are employed by civil engineering contractors, plant hire companies, building contractors, service dealerships and distributors, and machine manufacturers. It is possible to work abroad, particularly with large civil engineering contractors.
Possibilities for promotion vary between employers. Progression to plant technician, technical service representative, supervisor or management positions may be available.
With experience, self-employment as a plant mechanic may be an option.
If you would like to know anything about Mechanic: Plant (Construction) that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.