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Heavy Duty Equipment / Truck and Transport Repair

Develop entry-level skills for maintenance and repair of heavy duty equipment, trucks and transport vehicles.

Two students in overalls roll large tires in NSCC's heavy duty equipment shop.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year (varies for part-time studies)

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This program provides you with entry-level skills and a working knowledge of fundamental shop skills. You learn about welding, electrical, hydraulics, braking systems, and wheels and tires used on heavy duty equipment and truck and transport vehicles.

Workplace safety is an important aspect of your training. You learn how to maintain a safe shop environment and gain skills around how to safely handle hazardous products.

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience courses are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.

Study options

  • This program is available for part-time study. You complete your program through a combination of online and in-class courses (some courses are delivered 100% online). In-class courses are held at Akerley Campus. No additional campus locations are available.
    • When applying for part-time study, you must meet all the admission requirements.
    • Once admitted, you're referred to a campus for course selection.
    • The time to complete the program through part-time study is two years.

Choose NSCC

  • You get the information and skills necessary to obtain a challenging and rewarding career as a Heavy Duty Equipment Technician, Agricultural Equipment Technician or Truck and Transport Mechanic. Technicians use specialized instruments, including hand tools, test meters, vehicle and equipment jacks and hoists, welding equipment, hydraulic equipment, complex electronics, and computer diagnostic test equipment.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. To prepare for employment, you participate in safety awareness courses.

Other info

  • NSCC is a preferred training provider for trades training in Nova Scotia. Graduates who register as apprentices with Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) may be eligible to receive credit for hours and theory toward future certification in Heavy Duty Equipment Technician, Agricultural Equipment Technician, or Truck and Transport Mechanic trades.
  • If you're chemically sensitive, it's important to note that chemicals (petroleum products and other chemical products) are commonly used in trades.
  • Industrial safety standards dictate hair length, facial hair and headwear regulations.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.


September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Akerley Campus/Online
Part time Blended
Delivered through a combination of online and in-person classes. At least 50% of learning is in-person.
Sydney Waterfront Campus
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2023-24 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

Tuition for part-time study is calculated on a per-course basis and is paid at the beginning of each term.

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates work in the servicing and sales of heavy equipment, truck and transport vehicles, busses, farm equipment, diesel and marine engines.
  • Learn more about labour market information. View career options

Future study options

  • Advanced Standing into Heavy Equipment Repair or Truck and Transport Repair diploma programs.
  • Heavy Duty Equipment and Agricultural Equipment are non-compulsory trades. Graduates may choose to register as an apprentice with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) once employed. It is an optional but beneficial choice.
  • Truck and Transport Repair is a compulsory trade in Nova Scotia. This means that once employed, you will need to register as an apprentice with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency.
  • Red Seal Endorsement - individuals who complete an apprenticeship program are eligible to write the inter-provincial exam. A Red Seal is a valued certification that allows tradespeople to practice the trade in any province or territory in Canada where the trade is designated.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

COMM 1227 - Communications I
This course provides the student with an overview of the communication skills required by business and industry. Students will learn to apply these communication skills to be successful in their selected workplace setting.

COMM 1228 - Communications II
This course further develops essential communications skills with a focus on basic writing. This course provides the student with the opportunity to develop written work typical of the industry related to their program of study.

HETR 1000 - Oxy-Fuel Welding and Metallurgy
Learners will be introduced to the properties of metals and apply safe work practices while demonstrating welding, cutting, and brazing operations using standard oxygen-acetylene equipment. Learners will also be given the opportunity to solder using flame or radiant heat.

HETR 1010 - Wheels, Tires and Rims
Learners will be introduced to the components of the tires, rims and wheels and their functions. Learners will be given the opportunity to perform minor repairs and demonstrate preventative maintenance techniques using operator equipment manuals (OEM and service information documentation.

HETR 1016 - Introduction to Electric Welding
This course introduces the learner to the fundamental principles of Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) and Metal Inert Gas Welding (MIG). Learners will be given the opportunity to perform basic welding operations.

HETR 1020 - Electrical I
Learners will demonstrate electrical/electronic skills as it applies to magnetism, batteries, conventional lighting circuits, wiring harnesses and accessories for Heavy equipment. Learners will test and service electrical components using wiring schematics and diagnostic tooling and operator equipment manuals (OEM). Soldering techniques and circuit repair procedures will also be covered.

HETR 1030 - Shop Fundamentals
Learners will be introduced to Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) and Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety (NSOHSA) related to the heavy equipment industry and demonstrate safe work practices. Learners will have the opportunity to develop skills in safe shop practices that encompass the use of personal protective equipment, tools and fastening devices, shop equipment, service information documentation, operator equipment manuals (OEM) and the movement of heavy equipment and vehicles.

HETR 1200 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

HETR 2010 - Engines and Engine Systems I
The learners will examine internal combustion engine compression ignition and spark ignition systems as they pertain to two and four stroke engines. Engine system theory will be reinforced through learner demonstration of proper engine rebuilding procedures using service information documentation and operator equipment manuals (OEM).

HETR 2011 - Braking Systems I
In this course, the learner will identify and describe the function of the components of hydraulic and electric brake systems. As well, the learner will demonstrate routine servicing tasks using service information documentation and operator equipment manuals (OEM).

HETR 2012 - Braking Systems II
In this course, learners will be introduced to the function and components of the basic air brake system. The learner will be given the opportunity to demonstrate routine service of this system in accordance with the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS 121).

HETR 2030 - Hydraulics I
In this course the learners will be introduced to the principles of hydraulics as they relate to heavy equipment hydraulic systems. Learners will be given the opportunity to diagnosis and repair hydraulic systems using service information documentation and operator equipment manuals (OEM). Various hydraulic training aids will be used as well as on actual equipment.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Safety Basics – Restricted Spaces
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with working in restricted spaces. The definition and potential hazards of restricted spaces are discussed The course material is infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Safety Basics – Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1022 - Safety Basics – Working at Heights
The student is introduced to hazards and responsibilities concerned with working at heights in the workplace. Guardrails, travel restraints, roof work, fall arrest components will be discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Safety Basics – Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces students to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the student is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Safety Basics – Respiratory Protection
This course introduces students to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion topics include identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1030 - Air Conditioning Green Card
This environmental awareness training course is based on Environment Canada's "Code of Practice for Reducing CFC Emissions in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems". The course and the accompanying Participant Manual deal with environmentally-correct equipment design, proper handling of CFC/HCFC/HFCs, and will prepare participants for complying with provincial regulations covering refrigeration and air conditioning systems. Participants who attend the course and successfully achieve a mark of 75% or higher on the exam will receive an Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) card. This course is suitable for residential, commercial, industrial, domestic, automotive and mobile applications. Specific topics covered are: CFCs and the ozone layer, isolation valving, recommended components, leak detection methods, system charging procedures, special maintenance provisions, and refrigerant recovery, reuse, recycle and reclamation equipment.

WORK 1100 - Workplace Mentoring I
This unit of instruction is designed to assist learners in managing their learning as an apprentice in the workplace. Learners will study their own experiences with learning new skills and identify their own learning preferences as an aid to developing learning strategies.

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