Transport Trailer Technician National Occupational Analysis (NOA)

The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) recognizes this National Occupational Analysis (NOA) as the national standard for the occupation of Transport Trailer Technician.

Occupational Analyses Series

Disponible en français sous le titre : Réparateur/réparatrice de remorques de camions

NOC: 7321

Designation Year: 1992

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Red Seal Exam Self-Assessment Guide – Transport Trailer Technician

Use this self-assessment tool (PDF, 845 KB) to rate your own understanding and experience with the tasks of the trade that are on the Red Seal examination.

General Information


“Transport Trailer Technician” is this trade’s official Red Seal occupational title approved by the CCDA. This analysis covers tasks performed by transport trailer technicians whose occupational title has been identified by some provinces and territories of Canada under the following names:














Commercial Trailer Mechanic


Commercial Trailer Technician


Transport Trailer Technician






Truck-Trailer Service Technician


Transport trailer technicians inspect, diagnose, maintain, rebuild, assemble and repair transport trailers connected to or moved by a power unit. Trailers include flat decks, dry freight vans, refrigerated vans, tankers, converters, boosters, jeeps, pole trailers, steering dollies, dump trailers and any other commercial pull-type units. Transport trailer technicians inspect, service and repair parts and components of systems such as suspension and brake systems, mechanical and electrical components, flooring, hydraulic systems, axles, wheel assemblies and coupling units. Transport trailer technicians also torque wheels by installing wheels and placing rims on hubs and perform tanker work which includes taking appropriate safety precautions. Technicians may specialize in sheet metal work, frame repair or replacement.

Transport trailer technicians are employed at trailer manufacturers, sales and repair facilities, as well as at construction or industrial sites and fleet repair shops. They may work in a shop or out of a mobile service vehicle.

To meet government standards and regulations, transport trailer technicians may have to attain specialty certifications in order to perform work-related tasks. A propane license, refrigeration certificate, tanker inspection certificate, specialized pressure vessel welding license, wheel and tire certification, wheel and rim torquing certification, and government inspector certificate are examples of additional certification that may be required by certain jurisdictions.

Technicians must practice safe operating procedures and be conscious of the impact on people, equipment, work area and environment when performing their work. Due to the size and complexity of the equipment, safety is of prime importance. There is an inherent risk of injury when working with heavy equipment, power tools and welding equipment. There are also risks associated with working around loud noises, grease, oil, gasoline and various exhaust fumes. Hazardous cargo or residue contained within trailers can pose a risk to technicians.

The work requires considerable standing, climbing, crouching, kneeling and heavy lifting. Good vision, hearing and sense of smell, as well as the ability to think logically, allow transport trailer technicians to identify and isolate problems. Technicians must also be able to diagnose complex problems and interpret technical manuals and schematics. Building and fabrication skills are also an asset.

This analysis recognizes similarities or overlaps with the work of truck and transport mechanics, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics, welders, motor vehicle body repairers, partspersons and heavy duty equipment technicians.

With experience, transport trailer technicians act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may also advance to supervisory, service management and training position

Occupational Observations

In order to maximize load capacities, lighter, longer and stronger trailers are always entering the market. As a result, repair procedures are changing due to the use of new materials such as aluminum and composites. There are also new products that are available for trailers to improve safety and longevity such as anti roll-over systems and wheel nut indicators.  There is a trend in using super singles instead of dual wheels.

Computer skills have become required to work in the trade. Computers are used in trailers for a variety of functions, and computerized diagnostic equipment is more common.

There are opportunities for specialization such as in electronic braking control systems, body repairs and fabrication.

With a growing concern around safety, there is an increase in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The use of fall arrest equipment has become mandatory. To prevent contamination, the use of rubber gloves in the shop is more common. Continuous air monitoring when working in confined spaces has become a standard.

There has been greater emphasis on environmentally friendly and less hazardous products, with better recycling, disposal and handling procedures. To improve fuel economy, the use of side skirts is becoming more prevalent.

Essential Skills Summary

Essential skills are needed for work, learning and life. They provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change.

Through extensive research, the Government of Canada and other national and international agencies have identified and validated nine essential skills. These skills are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life in different ways.

A series of CCDA-endorsed tools have been developed to support apprentices in their training and to be better prepared for a career in the trades. The tools can be used independently or with the assistance of a tradesperson, trainer, employer, teacher or mentor to:

  • understand how essential skills are used in the trades;
  • learn about individual essential skills strengths and areas for improvement; and
  • improve essential skills and increase success in an apprenticeship program.

Tools are available online or for order.

The application of these skills may be described throughout this document within the competency statements which support each subtask of the trade. The following are summaries of the requirements in each of the essential skills, taken from the essential skills profile.

Transport trailer technicians read instructions on work orders, application or installation instructions, manufacturers’ service bulletins and manuals for troubleshooting and diagnostic information of products and materials. They read information sheets to learn about new products and materials.

Transport trailer technicians reference drawings and interpret troubleshooting diagrams and charts to obtain information. They may complete check lists and documentation for inspection certificates.

Transport trailer technicians write notes on work orders, maintenance sheets and inspection forms. They may write to inform or request information from supervisors, colleagues or different departments. They may fill out maintenance and inspection reports.

Transport trailer technicians communicate with colleagues, manufacturers and supervisors to discuss and review job and safety requirements. They may speak with customers or drivers to determine their concerns with a trailer. They may advise customers of general trailer conditions and future repair requirements.

Transport trailer technicians measure width, length and distance of components to determine placement of components and ensure proper tension. They measure material to be cut. They calculate areas to be refitted with panels. They take measurements to ensure that axles are adjusted or that tire treads meet specifications.

Transport trailer technicians use problem solving skills to diagnose the source of the trailer breakdowns and to estimate time required to complete a job. Decision-making skills are required for determining the type of equipment, parts, materials and procedures best suited for the job.

Transport trailer technicians require job task planning skills to determine task sequencing or prioritization of tasks. They organize their tools and the parts required at the beginning of each job. Transport trailer technicians find information by accessing WHMIS and other safety information. They consult repair manuals or inspection manuals for information about requirements and procedures.

Transport trailer technicians may use mobile devices to complete numeracy-related tasks. They may communicate by email with coworkers, supervisors, suppliers and manufacturers. They may use the Internet to access online manuals, training courses, seminars and articles by suppliers or manufacturers.

Transport trailer technicians spend most of their time working independently but work with others depending on the job requirements.

Transport trailer technicians are continuously learning to keep up with the changes in the industry. They may attend manufacturers’ or suppliers’ seminars.


The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) wish to express sincere appreciation for the contribution of the many tradespersons, industrial establishments, professional associations, labour organizations, provincial and territorial government departments and agencies, and all others who contributed to this publication.

Special acknowledgement is extended by HRSDC and the CCDA to the following representatives from the trade.

  • Jeff Beker - Ontario
  • Gerald Bingham - Manitoba
  • Jason Brown - New Brunswick
  • Darren T. Desender - Manitoba
  • Mike Harper - British Columbia
  • Jeff Mills - Canadian Automotive Repair and Service-CARS
  • John Phinney - Nova Scotia
  • Lee Seaman - Prince Edward Island

This analysis was prepared by the Labour Market Integration Directorate of HRSDC. The coordinating, facilitating and processing of this analysis were undertaken by employees of the National Occupational Analysis (NOA) development team of the Trades and Apprenticeship Division. The host jurisdiction of Manitoba also participated in the development of this NOA.

Comments or questions about NOAs may be forwarded to:

Trades and Apprenticeship Division
Labour Market Integration Directorate
Employment and Social Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage, Phase IV, 6th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec  K1A 0J9