Associated Training Services Network - America's Largest Network of Heavy Equipment Operator Schools

What Does A Rigger Do?

April 15th, 2014

When you see a huge crane safely performing a tricky job, one of the people responsible for that job’s success is the rigger. Here’s a short list of what the rigger does:

  • has been OSHA certified or qualified according to the job needed
  • figures out the weight and center of gravity of the load
  • chooses the proper sling and makes sure it is in good shape
  • checks fittings, clips and other hardware for adequacy
  • keeps track of the distance from any possible overhead hazards, like power lines
  • understands the weather conditions and when to call the job off for unsafe conditions
  • acts as outside eyes and ears for the crane operator

Riggers and signalpersons are essential people on the job site. Their training and qualifications need to be top-notch, and their responsibility to do their job needs to be taken very seriously. Each thing on this short list of what a rigger does is an important thing, one that can make the difference between a good day at work or a trip to the emergency room, or worse. Even if nobody gets hurt, a slipped load means complications for getting the job done by deadline.

ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School is one of the best places in the world to get OSHA-compliant rigger/signalperson training. We have over 45 years of experience in training heavy equipment and mobile crane operators and work hard to provide comprehensive safety training for this job, as well. You’ll get expert instruction from the best rigger and signal training instructors in the industry as you prepare for your written and practical certification tests.

Heavy Equipment Job Listings: April 12, 2014

April 12th, 2014

Heavy equipment operators are needed in more industries than most people realize. Sure, there’s the construction and infrastructure industries, but landscaping, processing, manufacturing, oil & gas, and more, also need people who can show they are trained and certified to do the job. Associated Training Services can give you the foundation to build a satisfying career in an industry that suits you right to the ground.

This week’s sampling of heavy equipment job listings includes a Forestry Job Alert. That’s an industry that uses a lot of heavy equipment in very unique situations. Machinery like feller bunchers, skidders, forwarders, delimbers and harvesters have been designed specifically for the timber industry and the challenges of cutting trees in unique locations, getting them ready for loading, and getting the logs to the mill. It takes special skills because the job site is often on a dangerous incline, and they’re not always clearcut so you might be maneuvering around trees that are supposed to stay there.

Here’s the list:

Cheboygan, MI – hiring crane operator

Waverly, IA – hiring heavy equipment operators

Forestry Job Alert: Forester / Log Buyer in Dorchester, WI 

As always, this is just the highlight of what you can find when you go to the job site. Total Resources Network provides more than just job listings and it really is a good resource for your career.

15 Safety Tips For Bulldozer Operators

April 10th, 2014

Safely operating a bulldozer is very important because it is such a powerful machine that serious injury and death are real probabilities when something goes wrong.

  1. only qualified operators should be on a bulldozer
  2. seatbelts should always be used
  3. operators must follow proper lockout, blockout, and tagout procedures
  4. flaggers must be assigned where signs and barricades cannot control traffic
  5. bulldozers should be kept away from overhead power lines and water mains
  6. warning devices must be heard through the entire worksite
  7. shut off engine when refueling
  8. bulldozer must have rollover protection structures
  9. if there isn’t a specified hand or foot hold, don’t climb there
  10. know what will be potentially hazardous, like structures that are taller than the machine and can collapse 
  11. use proper systems and procedures to secure unattended bulldozers from movement
  12. never use a bulldozer that has not been inspected pre-shift — fluid levels, brakes, signals, etc.
  13. be aware of changes on the work site that will affect safety, excavations, etc.
  14. no passengers. Period
  15. always park on level ground

Just about every accident on a bulldozer is the result of someone ignoring safety precautions. Sometimes they do it because nothing happened the last time, or they think they can control a situation. You’ll run into some operators who refuse to wear safety belts, for instance, because they think they can jump off if the machine tips — those are the guys who go flying wildly off the seat instead. The result is not good.

When you become certified at ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School, you are taught the reasons behind the rules, and understand what you are doing when you get into the seat of a bulldozer or any other machinery we train you on. That’s why our graduates are sought out by employers who want qualified operators on the job.


Want Variety? Be A Backhoe Operator

April 8th, 2014

Backhoes are one of the most versatile pieces of heavy equipment you can learn to operate at ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training Schools. On the job, the backhoe does the work of a loader and the work of an excavator along with a versatility that comes from a variety of attachments and the skill of the operator to maneuver accurately in tight situations.

Good backhoe operators are in demand because of that versatility. One piece of equipment can dig trenches, fill them in again, move heavy building materials around, and even do light bulldozing work. Attachments can include breakers, augers, grapples, and shank rippers; each designed to do a specific job effectively. It all depends on the ability of the operator to use the machine intelligently.

Our training includes backhoes, as well as loaders, scrapers, excavators, bulldozers, graders, and more. We know that training on a number of types of equipment gives a student exposure to the different techniques needed and that only comes from real experience at the controls. The classroom sessions give a good overall understanding of the use of the many types of machinery and the training gives the foundation for the skills to develop with experience. Choosing to be trained at an accredited facility like ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School allows you qualify for a lot of types of financial aid, too, which is a huge relief for many who are looking for options in their future career.

Being a backhoe operator will put you in a job with constantly changing challenges that you will be able to meet successfully by applying your training to the problem. It is definitely not a boring job.

Heavy Equipment Job Listings: April 5, 2014

April 5th, 2014

If you’ve been taking advantage of the slower winter season by earning your national certification from ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School, you are ready to apply to a lot of different types of jobs. Both the NCCCO (National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators) and NCCER (National Center for Construction Education & Research) are accepted by industry employers as being top quality credentials verifying that you’ve been trained appropriately for the jobs they cover.

This week, our job listings feature several types of openings:

Williston, ND – Hiring heavy equipment operators

Taylor, WI – Hiring CDL truck drivers

North Huntingdon, PA – Hiring construction equipment operators/CDL drivers/laborers

Mt Pleasant, IA – Hiring  well drilling operators

Every employer will take an applicant with the proper certifications over a similar applicant without them, even if the non-certified guy has some experience. There are rules and regulations, along with insurance mandates, that make this a necessary requirement. If you don’t have your certifications, now is the time to be looking into getting them before the crews are all set up and on the job.

Another benefit of ATS Heavy Operator Training School is our career service and the job site you have access to as a graduate. You don’t just walk out the door with your paper credentials and a wave goodbye; you walk out the door with support in your job search that is there when you need it.

Heavy Equipment Simulators vs In-The-Seat Training

April 3rd, 2014

Some folks have been playing video games where they “operate” heavy equipment to build their own house or create a town. Others point to actual high-tech simulators built by manufacturers of heavy equipment for training purposes and wonder if it’s the same thing as the video game, only more expensive. Then there’s the old-fashioned guys saying, “ya gotta learn it by the seat of yer pants or it ain’t gonna work.”

So, what is the truth about simulators?

Well, a video game is going to be like a video game. You will get some head knowledge if it is created to be educational, and it has a value in that way. It’s also fun. If you like big machinery of course a game where you use it will be fun. But it won’t give you a sense of what you are actually doing when you get in the seat of that grader or backhoe.

Simulators built by the manufacturer are designed for training to use a specific type of equipment. You will be sitting at controls like the crane or whatever and be looking at a screen that shows you the effects of what you are doing with those controls. Some even will have a few effects like seat tilting. They are not designed to be entertainment; they are designed to be a safe and effective way to begin the training process so your mistakes don’t have real-life consequences.

In-the-seat training is best done after you have a good idea of what you are doing, just like it’s a good idea to know a lot about driving before you get on the road. And, like driving a car, you develop reactions that become automatic as you spend time in real life doing it. It takes time and experience out in the weather, in the seat, to really get the hang of operating heavy equipment.

At ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School, we make sure you are ready to be in the seat before you are expected to operate big machinery. Then you get that in-the-seat experience which only comes from operating many kinds of machinery in real life, and that gets you trained and certified to be a valuable employee worth hiring.

Associated Training Services Can Travel To Your Site!

April 1st, 2014

Did you know that Associated Training Services can bring our top-rated Rigging/Signalperson Qualification and Certification Programs to the job site? It’s true; and it works very well for the specialized training your work crews might require for that site. ATS will train your work personnel using classroom and written curricula, including testing and practical instruction. Our training standards include:

Rigging/Signalperson Qualification Program

  • Designed to meet all OSHA qualification standards
  • Written curriculum and testing
  • Practical training and exam
  • A minimum of 8 hours of rigging/signalperson instruction
  • Up to 12 hours of rigging/signalperson instruction
  • Every student is issued a qualification compliance card by ATS after completing the course

Rigging/Signalperson Certification Program

  • We exceed the OSHA qualification standard for rigging/signalperson training
  • Students receive written tests to match in-class curriculum
  • Students are administered practical training followed by practical examinations
  • 4 days of training includes 32-36 hours of training
  • Students receive NCCCO Rigging Level One as well as NCCCO Signalperson Certifications after successfully completing the training

This is a great way to ensure that your worksite meets the requirements of OSHA. It’s also a great way to get everybody on the same page for procedures and standards. With the spring construction season, the demands for rigging and signalpersons who are able to meet NCCCO standards will just keep growing faster than the grass sprouting everywhere.

Associated Training Services has been providing heavy equipment operator training for a long time, and our Rigging/Signalperson Qualification and Certification Programs are part of our tradition. Nobody should be operating heavy equipment without the appropriate safety standards, and the person doing the rigging and signalling is an essential part of those safety standards. Keep your crews safe by providing the training they need, and make it happen by letting ATS come to your site for custom training.

Heavy Equipment Job Listings: March 29, 2014

March 29th, 2014

You can sure tell Spring is coming, can’t you? The weather is starting to get a little warmer and the construction jobs are popping up on the Job Site at Total Resources Network like the green leafy stuff popping up out of the mud. This is a great time to have your training finished and be looking for your next step as a certified operator!

New Berlin, WI. hiring heavy equipment operators

Huntley, WI. hiring heavy equipment operators

New Auburn, WI. hiring CDL truck drivers

Pompano Beach, FL. hiring heavy equipment operators

La Crosse, WI. hiring crane operators

Covington, LA. hiring crane operators

Alexander, ND. hiring Dump Truck drivers

Bridgeview, IL. hiring heavy equipment operators

Birmingham, AL. hiring heavy equipment operators

Hennessey, OK. hiring crane operators and forklift

Marshfield, WI. hiring OTR drivers

Bellfield, ND. hiring heavy equipment operators

DENVER, CO. hiring heavy equipment operators (Scraper operators)

Willston, ND. hiring crane operators

Saint Paul Park, MN. hiring crane operators

Santa Fe Springs, CA. hiring heavy equipment operators

There are job openings all across the nation, and more are showing up on the listings all the time. Are you ready to apply? If you’ve been thinking about getting some training at ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School, there’s a new session starting every three weeks. Why not get that training and get out there earning a bigger paycheck as a certified operator?

3 Reasons Housing Is Included In ATS Training

March 27th, 2014

Housing is part of the deal when you come to ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School. Here’s why:

  1. We have found that giving our students a safe, comfortable place to stay helps them do better in the program.
  2. Housing is available for all students.
  3. It frees your mind to focus on learning the information and skills you are paying for.

Once you enroll in your studies, we reserve a room at the Water Tower Residence Inn for the full length of your training. Your room is equipped with cable TV, air conditioning, refrigerators, and access to laundry facilities. It’s an easy walk to restaurants and grocery stores, and it’s about four miles from Associated Training Services (ATS). There are 62 rooms at the Inn and you will meet other ATS students there, at different points in their training since our classes start every three weeks.

We have found that this solution to the problem of housing has been part of what our graduates appreciated during their stay. Friendships were formed when groups went out to eat together after class, studies were enhanced by not worrying about extra hotel bills and a place in the room to read, and it will be that way for you too. It’s nice to be able to kick back and relax instead of driving back and forth from a distant hotel you found on the internet and regret.

Why Do You Need A CDL For Heavy Equipment?

March 25th, 2014

Technically, you do not need a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) to operate heavy equipment, it’s true. But if you have your CDL, you are going to be much more valuable to an employer, and it can make the difference between getting hired or getting a raise or staying home looking for work that pays the bills. Because of this, ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School includes short-term truck driver training for those who want to take their career to this higher level.

Driving a tractor-trailer to move heavy equipment to the next job site is necessary with anything that uses tracks instead of wheels. This equipment is slow, heavy, and often wide. To take it down the road would tie up traffic and probably mess up the surface. So a flatbed or lowboy trailer is used; the equipment is driven up a ramp, tied down, and moved by towing the trailer. If you can show a CDL and a training certificate from ATS (a respected school in this business), you are ahead of the rest.

In four weeks at the most, you will be prepared to take the CDL road test. You’ll know Department of Transportation rules & regulations, how to drive heavy equipment on roads, how to back heavy equipment, coupling, uncoupling, pre-trip inspections, and all the rest. ATS started out in truck driver training, so we know the value of this skill.

Employers know that value too and are willing to pay more for an employee who can operate heavy equipment plus drive any of the trucks that may be needed to transport it. The more skills you have, the more valuable you are as an employee. Check into our CDL Truck Driving Program and see how you can be the one who gets the job because you have the right training.



* Associated Training Services fully endorses the national certification program offered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), and will prepare candidates for the CCO certification examinations.

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