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Introduction to Heavy Equipment Operating - Articles Surfing


Construction equipment operators operate machinery to move earth, building materials, or other heavy objects. You'll find equipment operators working at industrial, residential or business construction sites. You can also find heavy equipment operators working at mines, bridges, dams, even at offshore oil rigs. The working conditions are nearly always out doors, meaning construction equipment operators have to deal with changing weather conditions. Sometimes the work may be suspended because of the weather. Conditions of a particular job might even require the heavy equipment operator to work throughout the night.

There are different types of construction equipment operators. Paving and surfacing equipment operators operate machines to spread and level material such as asphalt or concrete on, for example, roads. Tamping equipment operators operate machines to compact earth or other fill material on roadbeds or footings. Pile driver operators operate machines to drive beams of wood or steel into the ground to be used as footings or supports.

An operating engineer is a more generalized heavy equipment operator. They can operate multiple pieces of equipment such as bulldozers, trench excavators, road graders, fork lifts or cranes. They*re also usually charged with the task of maintaining the equipment they operate. For the most part heavy equipment operating is a dirty, greasy, demanding job requiring multiple skills and talents.

Construction equipment operators usually start out by learning on the job with light equipment and work their way up from there. Employers look for high school graduates with a mechanical aptitude, but with modern advances in equipment with computer control systems and GPS, formal training in a vocational school or apprenticeship program is preferred. Such educations usually require a few years apprenticeship with experienced operators along with on the job training. Some pre-qualifications for a heavy equipment operator would be: good physical health, good balance (some jobs require the operator to work at great heights), eye hand foot coordination and the ability to judge distance. Construction equipment controls may require the use of both hands and feet and accuracy in placing objects and tools in precise locations.

Heavy equipment operating can be a rewarding job for those who take satisfaction in seeing buildings and other man-made structures and knowing they had a part in building them. The pay is on the high side as far as construction workers go and as long as civilization grows, there's no end in sight for the need of heavy equipment operators.

Submitted by:

Luke Garfield

Luke Garfield
Respected computer scientist and author.

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