How Do I Become a Trailer Mechanic?

Dan Cavallari

A trailer mechanic is a person who repairs, rebuilds, or otherwise maintains vehicle trailers, particularly larger trailers for tractor-trailer trucks. He or she may be responsible for minor repairs, such as changing light bulbs in brake lights, or more significant repairs such as repairing or straightening the trailer frame or overhauling braking systems. In order to become a trailer mechanic, a candidate will first need to complete a high school education or equivalent qualification. A certificate or degree program from a vocational school may also need to be completed if you want to become a trailer mechanic.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

If no such training certificate programs or degree programs are available, it may be possible to get an apprenticeship position with a private company that will help you become a trailer mechanic. During this apprenticeship, which can last several months to several years, you will work under the guidance and supervision of a more experienced trailer mechanic who will teach you the skills necessary to be successful in the job. The apprenticeship will also generally include classroom training in which you will learn the basic scientific concepts behind many of the systems included on various trailers.

Taking a vocational school's certificate or degree program is perhaps the best way to become a trailer mechanic because you will learn all the skills you need in a controlled environment. You will need to learn how to weld various types of metals, which is an intensive process in itself; you will also need to learn about hydraulic systems and electrical systems, as these are both common on many trailers, big and small. You will learn how to use various automotive tools, both hand tools and power tools, safely and effectively. You may also learn how to conduct repairs onsite without the benefit of a working automotive shop.

Once you finish your training, you may need to earn certain licenses or certifications in order to be considered to become a trailer mechanic. Such certifications can vary by region, so you will need to do some research into the various requirements in your area. It is important to write a strong resume that showcases your skills and training if you want to become a trailer mechanic for a private company. If you intend to work on a for-hire basis, you will need to come up with a marketing plan to ensure potential customers know who you are and how to contact you.

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