Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Heavy Duty Equipment Technician

Heavy duty equipment technicians work on industrial and construction vehicles, such as mining trucks and bulldozers; on heavy equipment used in construction, forestry, materials handling, landscaping, and land clearing.Heavy duty equipment technicians overhaul, repair and service equipment such as graders, loaders, shovels, tractors, trucks, forklifts, drills, and wheeled and tracked vehicles. Working from manufacturers' specifications, they identify and repair problems in structural, mechanical, or hydraulic systems.

Heavy Mechanical Foundation

The heavy mechanical foundation program supports pre-apprenticeship training for the heavy mechanical trades, including heavy duty equipment technician. It also covers:

Credit is granted for Level 1 technical training and 450 hours of work-based training time.

Course content

The program covers all aspects necessary for graduates to enter the trade as an apprentice. That is, the program is a pre-apprentice/trade entry, and does not require any previous experience or training in the industry.


Strong emphasis is placed on practical training with numerous hands-on projects. Graduates should be able to develop enough skills to be hired on as an immediately productive employee — reducing the need for employers to invest further time and resources into training a new apprenticeship candidate.

Course length: 36 weeks
Education requirements
  • BC Grade 10, but Grade 12 strongly recommended, or mature student status
  • Successful completion of Entry Assessment Test
General requirements
  • Good health
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Must have safety boots and glasses
  • Must supply and launder your own coveralls
  • Must purchase welding gloves and welding hat


Opportunities are unlimited for the heavy duty mechanic who has acquired journeyman status. Personal benefits as well as monetary rewards make this trade a lucrative vocation. In addition, trained people are always in great demand.

Heavy duty equipment technicians work in the full range of environmental conditions; from comfortable shops to remote sites where inclement weather can be a factor. Shift work is common. Good physical condition is important because the work often requires considerable standing, bending, crawling, lifting, climbing, pulling and reaching.

Due to the size and complexity of the equipment, safety is of prime importance. The student must be conscious of the impact on people, equipment, work area and environment when performing their work.

TRU offers:

  • Level 1 — 300 hours delivered over 10 weeks
  • Level 2 — 240 hours delivered over eight weeks
  • Level 3 — 180 hours delivered over six weeks
  • Level 4 — 120 hours delivered over four weeks

All apprenticeships have a waitlist. Adding your name is free, and you will be contacted when your name comes up.


Apprentices must pay tuition and purchase the appropriate government published texts and required TRU lab manuals and worksheet packages.

Students must supply and launder their own coveralls, and must wear steel-toed safety footwear in the shops at all times.

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