Heavy Mechanical Trades – Foundation

Heavy Duty Commercial Transport Technician FoundationProgram Description


The Heavy Mechanical Trades program replaces the program formerly called Heavy Duty/Commercial Transport Technician, as per new guidelines from the Industry Training Authority. The new Heavy Mechanical Trades program includes the following four trades:

Truck and Transport Mechanic (Commercial Transport Vehicle Mechanic):Diagnose, repair and service the mechanical, electrical and electronic components of highway buses and trucks. This includes the fuel, brake, steering and suspension, transmission, emission control and exhaust, and cooling and climate control systems. Mechanics work for commercial transport vehicle dealers, garages and service stations, and may specialize in one or more of these systems.

Heavy Duty Equipment Technician: Overhaul, repair and service heavy equipment used in construction, forestry, materials handling, landscaping, and land clearing such as graders, loaders, bulldozers, shovels, tractors, trucks, forklifts, drills, and wheeled and tracked vehicles. Working from manufacturers' specifications, they identify and repair problems in structural, mechanical, or hydraulic systems. Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians also work on buses and large trucks. 

Diesel Engine Mechanic: Install, repair, and maintain all internal combustion diesel engines and components as used in transport, construction, and marine. 

Transport Trailer Technician: Maintain, rebuild, overhaul, recondition, repair and diagnostic troubleshoot commercial truck trailers. 

If a student is just starting training, or has been unable to secure employ­ment in industry, enrolling in a Foundation Trades Training program is a viable option prior to entering into an Apprenticeship. The Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program consists of the practical and essential skills related to Heavy Mechanical Trades in addition to Level 1 Apprenticeship Technical Training. Upon completion of this program, students will choose which specialization they will apprentice.


Career Prospects

Commercial Transport, Heavy Duty, Transport Trailer,  or Diesel Engine sales or parts, parts or sales manager, business or dealership owner, college instructor, mechanical engineer. 


Location: Northern Lights College, Fort St John and South Peace, Dawson Creek campuses.

Length: 38 weeks

Start: September

Fees: Current Fee Schedule

Admission Prerequisites

Provide British Columbia secondary school transcripts or equivalent indicating successful completion of Grade 10 level that includes:
• Grade 10 English, OR Career and College Preparation ENGL 030 (Intermediate/Grade 10) with 67 per cent (C+) or higher;
• Grade 10 Math (Apprenticeship and Workplace Math 10), OR Career and College Preparation MATH 030 (Intermediate Developmental Math), MATH 031(Intermediate Trades Math) or MATH 035 (Intermediate Algebraic Math) with 67 per cent (C+) or higher;
Complete the following sections of the Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT):
• Reading Comprehension: 11.0 grade equivalent or higher
• Number Operations: 11.0 grade equivalent or higher
• Problem Solving: 11.0 grade equivalent or higher
• Mechanical Reasoning: 51/70 (6th Stanine) or higher

Based on the results of the assessment(s), applicants may be required to participate in an assessment interview to determine admissibility. Interview may be conducted via teleconference if necessary.

Dual Credit
• Grade 10 level completion that includes Grade 10 English, Grade 10 Math (Apprenticeship and Workplace Math) with 67 per cent (C+) or higher.

Post-Admission Requirements

After being accepted into the program but before classes begin, students will be required to provide proof of the following certification:
• Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
* Certificate must be valid for the term of the Program. Failure to provide proof may result in immediate dismissal from the program.

Important Notes

  1. The program is not eligible for Canada Student Loans
  2. Students must provide safety equipment, including footwear having CSA safety-toe protection and CSA safety glasses with clear lenses.
  3. The program is affiliated with the Industry Training Authority and Peace River North School District 60, School District 59 and School District 81.
  4. For all students applying to the Dawson Creek Program: NLC’s South Peace campus is connected to the Dawson Creek High School - South Peace campus, the Criminal Records Review Act requires that all students over the age of 19 before classes begin must complete a Schedule Type B Criminal Record Check (CRC). Costs related to the CRC will be paid by the College; please contact the NLC Admissions Officer for more information
  5. Students are required to sign and adhere to the Trades and Apprenticeship Safety and Attendance Policy. 
  6. The information on this program page is a summary of the official Program Completion Guide approved by NLC’s Education Council. Download a PDF of the Program Completion Guide

APPLY NOW for the Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program.

Do you need more information?

Associate Dean: Robert McAleney 

Apprenticeship Contact: Department  

Program Instructor: Doug Haycock

Program Instructor: Kevin Heath