Starting as a Mechanic, again.

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  andrew mitchell 5 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #25956 Reply

    Hey guys, Just a quick back story, and then my question(s).

    I’m Andy, I just recently separated after 4 years in the United States Marine Corps, where the majority of my time was spent as a Diesel Generator mechanic (2-100KW Generator Sets). I have recently decided that I want to get back into the trade that I know and love so much, and I have found several jobs that pay what I want doing what I want, and they will supply everything short of my own tool set. Advice on getting back into the field? I have not worked as a mechanic on the civilian side of things, and have no idea what to expect, nor what tools to purchase. Half of the jobs I am looking at are shop jobs, the other half would be field service jobs, with a company truck, my own tools. Most clients that I would be working with are oil companies, as I live in Oklahoma. Generator sets would be Diesel and Natural Gas powered, ranging from 20KW to 1000KW.

    What should I expect?
    What kind of tools do I need to purchase? (Rough Idea)
    Advice on questions to ask when walking up to my prospective employers?

    Thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to hearing your advice!

    #29222 Reply

    John Whelan

    Hello Andy
    I’ve worked on generators very little , the last one was in a mine smelter that was powered by a Cummins diesel. Regarding oil companies I would expect a LOT of preventive maintenance to ensure reliability. As far as larger generators and natural gas diesels go Cummins has an ISL G that runs on spark plugs. I’m sure there are many gen sets with different diesels running them. You know generators (motors) more than me and what is involved with testing and repairing.

    If you could find out for us what kind of engine power the oil companies are using for their gen sets….. that would be interesting to know and help you get a better idea about them before starting a job. There is a lot of info online and some of us here have some experience working on certain engines that will give you some insight.

    Another option would be to contact the oil company and talk to the service manager or someone in HR and ask them what they expect from their techs and what equipment they operate.

    #29224 Reply

    Jim Owen

    Hello Andrew.
    One of the things I have repeatedly said on this website is that companion trades have their place. It has long been said that heavy duty mechanics should have Welding tickets to compliment their trade, they do go welll together.
    And I have also said that the heavy-duty mechanics may also go for the electrical trades certificate, as well. If you wish to continue with your Genset work, you are one example where this dual ticket would be a great example of how this would work. There are also courses available for heavy duty mechanics for genset training. My brother, an electrician, took this course and said it would be more appropriate for a mechanic.
    Being able to do generator load testing is one thing, being able to understand how the governors and generators interact is something entirely different.
    If a person does not do his job correctly, generators can bite quite severely. Whether it be a finger, an arm, or current flow to the chest, it will become very serious. Maybe deadly.
    Another Example: the generator Will Magnetically centre the armature., You know that. If the spacers between the generator Armature and the crankshaft are not correct, the Armature will pull or push the engine crankshaft to the thrust bearings and they will be torn apart quickly.
    If your army training has prepared you for all of this, there is definitely work for you. Back in the 1800s a newspaper man, Horace Greeley, said go West young man,. These days it may be said : go north young man. There are jobs that pay big money to mechanics with the ability to service and repair the engines plus being able to work on the gensets. Oil field, miming, towns, villages and cities in the north use generators for the main power production, plus standby. Fly in and, do the repairs, fly out. Fascinating work. Amazing fishing and Hunting.
    Work a job like this for 20 years, do what you want for the Rest of your life.

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