Truck and Transport Mechanic National Occupational Analysis (NOA)

Table of Contents

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

Occupational Analyses Series

Disponible en français sous le titre : Mécanicien/mécanicienne de camions et transport

NOC: 7321

Designation Year: 1984

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Red Seal Exam Self-Assessment Guide – Truck and Transport Mechanic

Use this self-assessment tool (PDF, 527 KB) to rate your own understanding and experience with the tasks of the trade that are on the Red Seal examination.

General Information


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

Occupational title
Occupational title NL NS PE NB QC ON MB SK AB BC NT YT NU
Commercial Transport Vehicle Mechanic                   x      
Heavy Equipment Technician - Truck and Transport Mechanic                 x        
Truck and Coach Technician           x              
Truck and Transport Mechanic x x x   x   x x          
Truck and Transport Service Technician       x                  
Truck and Transport Technician                       x  

Truck and transport mechanics inspect, repair and maintain commercial trucks, emergency vehicles, buses and road transport vehicles. In some jurisdictions, they may also work on commercial trailers and recreation vehicles. Truck and transport mechanics work on the structural, mechanical, electrical and electronic vehicle systems and components such as engines, cab, chassis and frames, brakes, steering, suspension, drive train, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), emissions, fuel systems and hydraulic systems. In addition, truck and transport mechanics perform preventative maintenance and diagnosis of vehicles.

Truck and transport mechanics use specialized tools including hand tools, test meters, hoisting and lifting equipment, staging equipment, welding and cutting equipment, hydraulic equipment, safety equipment, recycle and recovery equipment, and complex electronics and computer diagnostic test equipment.

Truck and transport mechanics are employed in the agricultural, construction, mining, forestry, petrochemical and transportation sectors. They may be employed in small repair shops, motor vehicle dealers, fleet maintenance companies, public transportation companies, government highway departments, railways and construction companies.

Work environments for truck and transport mechanics differ from one job to another. The truck and transport mechanic frequently works in awkward positions, and must often climb, stoop, crouch and kneel. They also must handle heavy parts and tools. Truck and transport mechanics are sometimes required to work in adverse weather conditions.

There is some risk of injury involved in working with heavy equipment and power tools. Common occupational hazards are exposure to chemicals and harmful materials, repetitive motion, noise and sharp edges.

Key attributes for individuals entering this trade are mechanical aptitude, manual dexterity, good hand-eye coordination and strength. They must also have a good understanding of computerized machinery, good problem-solving and analytical skills, and the ability to read and understand service manuals. Good communication skills and patience are also important. Other assets include good vision, hearing and sense of smell to diagnose problems.

This analysis recognizes similarities or overlaps with the work of automotive service technicians, agricultural equipment technicians, heavy duty equipment technicians, recreation vehicle service technicians and transport trailer technicians.

With experience, truck and transport mechanics act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may also advance to supervisory, service manager and training positions.

Occupational Observations

The increased use of more complex electronic systems in the industry is an ongoing trend. The advent of computer control modules and multiplexing has pushed the industry heavily towards computer diagnostics. The technician must have a greater understanding of software and electronics to complete diagnostics as most logic based systems are now module controlled.

In order to increase fuel efficiency, vehicles are being produced with lighter components and more streamlined designs. The industry is also introducing after-market components to improve fuel economy.

There is concern regarding diesel engine emissions produced. The ongoing changes to regulations and emission standards will have an impact on the way diesel engines are constructed and maintained. Different issues and vehicle faults may arise because of the new designs of these engines and components.

Alternative fuel and power sources such as liquid natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) and electric drive systems are being used more frequently in the truck and transport industry to lower emissions. There is an increase in hybrid drive systems with higher voltage generators. Truck and transport mechanics’ service procedures must change due to the nature of the liquid gas and the hybrid vehicles.

To make the roads safer, there is an increase use of avoidance protection systems such as adaptive cruise, roll-over protection and anti-sway protection. Truck and transport mechanics must be able to diagnose, disable and repair these systems.

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 at:

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.

Truck and transport mechanics read a variety of paper-based and electronic documents for troubleshooting and servicing, including manufacturers’ instructions, technical service bulletins and operating procedures. They read and interpret government regulations that specify vehicle inspection procedures and roadworthiness requirements of trucks and transports. They locate information on labels such as part numbers and serial numbers.

Truck and transport mechanics interpret technical drawings and flowcharts to understand and troubleshoot systems. They study graphed data generated by diagnostic equipment to locate information such as duration, speed and revolutions per minute. Truck and transport mechanics also complete a variety of forms including truck inspection forms.

Truck and transport mechanics write remarks on the complaint/issue, the cause of a problem and the work completed to correct a problem. They may leave reminder notes for co-workers on other shifts including warnings about defective equipment. Truck and transport mechanics complete pre-job safety checklists. They may also write reports for insurance claims or to report workplace accidents.

Truck and transport mechanics analyze and compare a variety of measurements such as energy, dimension, speed, horsepower, temperature and torque to specifications. They calculate the effect that modifications have on vehicle performance. They may use some measurements to determine approximate service life of components.

Truck and transport mechanics exchange technical repair and troubleshooting information with apprentices, co-workers and manufacturers. They speak with service managers about topics such as work assignments, repair procedures and the condition of tools and equipment. They may speak with customers to respond to questions, gather information about a problem to be fixed or explain the results of inspections and repairs.

Truck and transport mechanics evaluate the severity of vehicle defects, assess the conditions of parts and decide what repairs or replacements are to be done. They decide on the most efficient course and sequence of actions to complete a job and ensure the vehicle is safe for operation. An understanding of systems is important in completing the work. Truck and transport mechanics coordinate their work with co-workers if needed.

Truck and transport mechanics may work independently or with others. They are part of a team which includes other mechanics, service managers and parts and warehouse personnel.

Truck and transport mechanics use diagnostic equipment such as scan tools and analyzers to determine the operational condition of components. They use computer equipment to complete repairs, download data from on-board computers and monitor systems. They may use databases to retrieve repair information and technical drawings or to input information about repairs. Truck and transport mechanics use the Internet to access online manuals, technical service bulletins and recall notices. They also use computers for daily tasks which may include e-mail, file management and using fleet management software.

Truck and transport mechanics are continuously learning to keep up with the changes in the industry. They may participate in training seminars to learn about new equipment and how to troubleshoot and perform repairs effectively.


The CCDA and ESDC 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 ESDC and the CCDA to the following representatives from the trade.

  • Lance Campbell - Prince Edward Island
  • Gord Charters - Ontario
  • Mario Collette - New Brunswick
  • Lance Ereaut - Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Peter Ferguson - Nova Scotia
  • Gene Fraser - Manitoba
  • Auguste Gaudet - Saskatchewan
  • Ben Otteson - Alberta
  • Josh Pettigrew - British Columbia

This analysis was prepared by the Labour Market Integration Directorate of ESDC. The coordinating, facilitating and processing of this analysis were undertaken by employees of the NOA development team of the Trades and Apprenticeship Division. The host jurisdiction of British Columbia also participated in the development of this NOA.

Comments or questions about National Occupational Analyses 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