Outdoor Power Equipment and Other Small Engine Mechanics

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Also known as:
Chain Saw Mechanic, Edge Trimmer Mechanic, Electric Golf Cart Repairers, Electric Wheelchair Repairer, Go-Cart Mechanic, Golf Cart Mechanic, Lawn Mower Repairer, Mobility Scooter Repairer, Motor Scooter Mechanic, Power Saw Mechanic

ABOUT OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT AND OTHER SMALL ENGINE MECHANIC CAREERS
Video transcript

What does a large bulldozer engine have in common with a small lawn mower> they both require maintenance, and sometimes they break down. When a small engine like the one on a lawn mower requires service, it's a job for a small engine specialist. You might work for a retail hardware or garden store, an independent repair shop, equipment rental company, wholesale distributor, or landscaping service. About 1 in 3 small engine specialists is self-employed.

Small engine specialists should be able to read an instruction or operations manual, because they see so many different kinds of engines. Certain steps are common, however. They inspect an engine, then repair, replace, or adjust parts not working properly.

If these steps don't fix a broken engine, then the mechanic becomes more like a doctor, trying to determine what is causing the "patient," or engine, to be sick. WO the ability to analyze a problem is important. So is the patience to take a complex engine apart and put it back together again.

Small engine mechanics should be comfortable using hand tools - such as wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers - and power tools, such as drills and grinders.

This is not a fast growing field. Opportunities for employment arise when experienced mechanics retire or find other jobs. Formal training, available in vocational school or in high-school automotive classes, makes it easier to find work.

Some companies send mechanics to specialized programs for servicing particular kinds of engines. As for the local repair shops, the kinds of engines that come in for repairs tend to vary with the season, so it's a good idea to be familiar not only with the engine on a lawnmower, but also the workings of a snow or leaf blower.

SNAPSHOT
Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul small engines used to power lawn mowers, chain saws, recreational sporting equipment, and related equipment.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Obtain problem descriptions from customers, and prepare cost estimates for repairs.

Grind, ream, rebore, and re-tap parts to obtain specified clearances, using grinders, lathes, taps, reamers, boring machines, and micrometers.

Replace motors.

Remove engines from equipment, and position and bolt engines to repair stands.

Perform routine maintenance such as cleaning and oiling parts, honing cylinders, and tuning ignition systems.

Dismantle engines, using hand tools, and examine parts for defects.

Sell parts and equipment.

Show customers how to maintain equipment.

Record repairs made, time spent, and parts used.

Repair or replace defective parts such as magnetos, water pumps, gears, pistons, and carburetors, using hand tools.

Repair and maintain gasoline engines used to power equipment such as portable saws, lawn mowers, generators, and compressors.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
TOP SKILLS
Repairing Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Equipment Maintenance Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Equipment Selection Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.