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How to become a Mechanic: Plant (Construction)

mechanic: plant (construction) careers

What does a Mechanic: Plant (Construction) do?

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.

What's the working environment like working as a Mechanic: Plant (Construction)?

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.

What does it take to become a Mechanic: Plant (Construction)?

To be a construction plant mechanic, you should:

  • have good mechanical maintenance skills
  • be able to learn and apply technical knowledge and keep up to date with changing technology
  • have a methodical approach to solving problems
  • be aware of health and safety issues
  • be physically fit
  • have normal colour vision
  • be able to work alone without direct supervision.
A driving licence will be required to drive heavy vehicles on public roads.

Mechanic: Plant (Construction) Career Opportunities

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.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Mechanic: Plant (Construction) that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Bircham Newton
King's Lynn
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577

Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB)
Blue Court
Church Lane
Kings Langley
Tel: 01923 260000
NASEC Administration Team: 01923 402155

SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0808 100 3682

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
Tel: 0870 417 8777