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In the mining and minerals sector diesel mechanics repair andmaintainthe diesel engines that power transportation equipment such asheavy trucks, as well as cranes and bulldozers.

Duties of the diesel mechanic include detecting engine trouble, taking apart an engine when necessary, replacing or repairing defective equipment/machinery parts and repairing mechanical and electrical faults in machinery.  Diesel mechanics usually work with hand tools such as wrenches and pliers, as well as power tools such as welding equipment, jacks and hoists. They usually need to inspect, test and listen to defective equipment to identify malfunctions, using test instruments such as handheld computers, motor analyzers, chassis charts, and pressure gauges.  The experience of the diesel mechanic often helps them to locate a problem by listening to the noise in an engine, although electronic diagnosing equipment is normally used.  Working conditions vary according to the place where mechanics are employed, but in most instances you can expect it to be greasy.


Career Outlook

Diesel mechanics usually work indoors, although they occasionally make repairs to vehicles on the road. Diesel mechanics may lift heavy parts and tools, handle greasy and dirty parts, and stand or lie in awkward positions to repair vehicles and equipment. Minor cuts, burns, and bruises are common, although serious accidents can usually be avoided if the shop is kept clean and orderly and if safety procedures are followed

Diesel mechanics normally work in well-lighted, heated, and ventilated areas; however, some shops are drafty and noisy.

Employment of diesel mechanics is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the next few years. Besides openings resulting from employment growth, opportunities will be created by the need to replace workers who retire or transfer to other occupations.


- Large transport companies
- Factories
- Mines
- Organisations such as Mittal, Eskom and Sasol

Institutional Training and Workplace Experience

The learner is engaged by the company, registered for training within 3 days and scheduled for basic training in co-operation with DSIH. The company issues the learner with a toolbox and protective clothing and gives the learner full induction training.

Year 1 - Basic Training
The learner attends basic training at DSIH as soon as possible after engagement, where the learner spends approximately 12 weeks and completes the modular basic skills training course as well as a course in first aid. At the end of the course and before returning to the mine the learner is issued with an on-job training programme.

On completion of basic training the learner returns to the employer where they will be placed under the supervision of an artisan / foreman who will ensure that the practical skills of the learner are further developed in accordance with the on-job training programme. The learner should complete approximately half of the compulsory assessments prior to attending advanced training at DSIH in their second year.

Year 2 - Advanced Training
During the learner's second year of learnership, the learner will be recalled to DSIH for approximately 12 weeks to do an advanced training course. 

Year 3 - Final Phase Training
During the third year of training the learner will be recalled for approximately 12 weeks to DSIH for final phase training just prior to the qualifying assessment.

Entry Requirements

It is assumed that candidates embarking on learning towards this qualification are in possession of a minimum Grade 12 with: 

Physical Science
Technical Drawing
Mechanical Technology

N2 Technical qualification with relevant subjects i.e.:

- Mathematics
- Engineering Science
- Engineering Drawings
- Diesel Trade Theory