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


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.
Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul small engines used to power lawn mowers, chain saws, recreational sporting equipment and related equipment.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
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Replace motors.
Remove engines from equipment, and position and bolt engines to repair stands.
Dismantle engines, using hand tools, and examine parts for defects.
Grind, ream, rebore, and retap parts to obtain specified clearances, using grinders, lathes, taps, reamers, boring machines, and micrometers.
Sell parts and equipment.
Repair and maintain gasoline engines used to power equipment such as portable saws, lawn mowers, generators, and compressors.
Repair or replace defective parts such as magnetos, water pumps, gears, pistons, and carburetors, using hand tools.
Show customers how to maintain equipment.
Record repairs made, time spent, and parts used.
Perform routine maintenance such as cleaning and oiling parts, honing cylinders, and tuning ignition systems.
Reassemble engines after repair or maintenance work is complete.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
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.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
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.
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.
Finger Dexterity The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Manual Dexterity The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Control Precision The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Arm-Hand Steadiness The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Multilimb Coordination The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Repairing Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Equipment Maintenance Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Equipment Selection Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.