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

The NCCER and NCCCO Advantage

August 26th, 2014

The National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) are the credentialing organizations that Associated Training Services (ATS) relies upon for the standards we use.

These credentialing standards are recognized and accepted by many industry employers. They are also accepted by government agencies and educational institutions so are eligible for financial assistance. Students who hold NCCER or NCCCO credentials are appreciated and sought after.

The National Center for Construction Education & Research

NCCER is affiliated with the University of Florida and has the mission of “fostering a productive, safe, and sustainable workforce.” This standardized curricula is what ATS uses to teach our students. All ATS instructors have completed the NCCER Instructor Certification Training Program and we employ two NCCER Master Trainers who have gone on to advanced levels.

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators

NCCCO was formed for the purpose of developing standards for crane operators in performance and safety procedures. These standards greatly increase the effectiveness of crane operation and reduce the risk of accidents. These standards include stimulating training, improving performance records, and recognizing professionals within the crane operation industry.

ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School

Because ATS utilizes these nationally recognized credentials, our graduates consistently are known as highly qualified entrants in their chosen field. Associated Training Services is proud to be a part of the legacy and promise that NCCCO and NCCER certifications brings to the skilled trade industries. A certification from either of these national credentialing organizations is an achievement to be proud of.

Heavy Equipment Job Listings: August 23, 2014

August 23rd, 2014

There are just two job listings this week and they are entirely different kinds of jobs in completely different environments. The crane operator in Virginia Beach will be working in a relatively urban area along the Atlantic Ocean. This job might entail a lot of things, because crane operators do a wide variety of lifting jobs for many industries. On the other hand, the Grand Junction job is in the middle of the country past the Continental Divide on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains. The city is well-developed but the landscape is nothing like the beach. Heavy equipment in this location can mean a lot of things, including operating a snow plow to keep the roads open.

Virginia Beach, VA – hiring crane operators

Grand Junction, CO – hiring heavy equipment operators

Once you have your certifications and training from ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School, there are many types of opportunities available in many parts of the country. If you are looking to locate in a different state for any reason, as a graduate of ATS, you can get on the job site at Total Resources Network and look for jobs in that location. If your resume and information is loaded on the site it’s pretty easy to apply. This site is one of the best ways to connect with potential employers and network with others in your industry, no matter where they are located. It’s one of the benefits of being an ATS grad.

Excavators Do A Dangerous Job

August 21st, 2014

According to OSHA, “Excavating is recognized as one of the most hazardous construction operations.” This is because excavators dig holes and trenches that can easily collapse if proper safety procedures are ignored or the soil is not analyzed correctly. An excavator operator has a very important job, one that requires a lot of knowledge and skill.

It may not look like the traditional excavator has changed much, but there are a lot of things happening in this part of the heavy equipment world. Many machines are being built as hybrids to save fuel, and each company tries to build the latest operating abilities into their product. But however fancy the excavator is, it’s only as good as the operator who runs it.

Excavator Operators Change Their Foundation

Since every excavator is changing the very ground it operates on, that operator needs to be able to assess changing conditions and respond in the best way possible. Whether it is digging a trench for a new community sewer system, clearing ground for a new high rise, mining, logging, disaster clean up, or something else, and excavator is one of the machines you will see being used. In each case, there are swiftly changing conditions and an operator who must know what to do.

Because an excavator operator does such a dangerous job, it’s very important to be trained properly. At ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School there is the experience of decades combined with the ability to adapt to the industry standards of the future. We are the recognized leaders in training heavy equipment operators for all the industries who rely on this important skilled trade.

You get the knowledge that gives perspective on a situation along with the experience that provides the skills that will continually develop on the job to make even the most dangerous jobs ones that can be done safely and professionally.

How To Be The Best Rigger/Signalperson On The Site

August 19th, 2014

Every rigger/signalperson has to be certified. That’s a federal regulation from OSHA and most insurance companies have been insisting on it too. It just makes sense that this vital job be one that is held by a person who has been trained and passed the certification meeting the National Comission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

This NCCCO certification goes past the federal standards and is recognized as the best in the crane and lifting industires. If you want to be the best rigger/signalperson on the job site, you need to have this certification.

How To Get Your NCCCO Certification

ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School offers OSHA Rigger/Signalperson Training that results in getting your NCCCO Certification. This has a lot of advantages:

  • OSHA Recognized
  • Industry Recognized
  • Portable – goes with person
  • Opens additional job opportunities
  • Short term – one week
  • Additional credential

We Can Come To You

Employers can also take advantage of our Qualification program to train their employees at the ATS school in Wisconsin or bring ATS instructors on any site in the US. Rigger and signalperson information is taught and there are both written and practical exams. At the end of the time, credentials document the trainees’ completion of the program and are valid for three years.

Whether you come to ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School for the full NCCCO training or your employer has our instructors come to your job site and train you, that training will be the best we offer. Both the knowledge and the basic skills will be yours along with that precious certification that shows you are qualified to be the best rigger/signalperson on the job site.

Heavy Equipment Job Listings: August 16, 2014

August 16th, 2014

This week’s heavy equipment job listings cover a wide range of ground. Take a look at one in the part of the country you would like to live in to see if that position will work for you. If you have your CDL, NCCCO certifications for crane operator, or a special love of heavy equipment there is a possibility to explore on the Total Resources Network.

Neenah, WI – hiring Class-A CDL truck drivers

Coldwater, MI – hiring heavy equipment operators

Lancaster, OH – hiring heavy equipment operators

Grand Junction, CO – hiring crane operators

Kileen, TX – hiring Class-A CDL truck drivers

Madison, WI – hiring Class-A CDL truck drivers

Nashville, TN – hiring Class-A CDL truck drivers

Houston, TX – hiring heavy equipment operators

Royersford, PA – hiring heavy equipment operators

Eagan, MN – hiring Class-A CDL truck drivers

Williston, ND – hiring Class-A CDL truck drivers

Milwaukee, WI – hiring Class-A CDL truck drivers

Deforest, WI – hiring Class-A CDL truck drivers

Beaver Dam, WI – hiring Class-A CDL truck drivers

If you don’t have the training yet to get one of these jobs, there will be a training class starting about every three weeks at ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School. We do that so you can start when it works for your schedule and still get the training you need for a good career as a heavy equipment operator. Whether you are interested in crane or signalling, truck driving, or any other type of heavy equipment, ATS can get you on the road to a job.

Be A Crane Operator And Be In Demand

August 14th, 2014

One of the heavy equipment jobs that almost always is on the top of the pay scale is the crane operator. There’s a lot that only a crane can do, so this position is in high demand, too. But the reason crane operators get sought out and get paid well is because they do a dangerous job that takes a lot of skill. Crane operators need to be certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) because that ensures the operator meets high standards of knowledge and skill.

Crane operators get their NCCCO certifications by passing both written and practical exams, just like you got your driver’s license by passing both a written test and a driving test. The reason both kinds of testing is required is because operating a crane is every bit as potentially dangerous as driving can be.

When you go through the Certified Crane Operator Programs at ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School there will be a lot of both types of learning; knowledge and practical. You become familiar with a lot of things depending on the program:


  • Beginner Level Curriculum
  • 3 Weeks, Monday through Friday
  • Fixed Cab (small hydraulic or boom truck) Mobile Cranes
  • Swing Cab (large hydraulic or rough terrain – RT) Mobile Cranes
  • NCCCO Preparation, Testing & Certification


Student must have successfully completed Program -1 to enroll in this program.

  • 3 Weeks, Monday through Friday
  • Lattice Boom Cranes
  • Articulated Boom (Knuckleboom) Cranes
  • NCCCO Preparation, Testing & Certification

In addition to these programs, there are custom training options, rigger/signalperson certification programs, and more. Each one will give you the preparation you need to go on to the next step in your career as a skilled craftsman who is in demand.

Upgrade Your Training With A CDL

August 12th, 2014

You don’t have to get a Commercial Drivers License when you come to ATS for heavy equipment operator training, but it’s a good idea to consider it. In the decades since Associated Training Services started preparing skilled craftspeople for these important trades, we’ve noticed that heavy equipment operators who also have gone through the CDL Truck Driver Program added a couple more weeks to their schooling and upgraded their career potential to the max.

A lot of times the heavy equipment you learn to operate has to be moved by truck, and the person who can operate the equipment and drive the truck, too, has a better chance of being hired. They also have a higher pay grade most of the time. The more stuff you can do on a work site, the more apt you are to stay working when others get laid off.

It’s pretty simple. Valuable employees are able to do what needs to be done and do it the way it should be done. When the boss needs the backhoe moved to the new site, and the backhoe operator can load it and haul it there, that backhoe operator is valuable. If the backhoe operator can also get in the dump truck, use the grader, and figure out other heavy machinery on the job, then the future looks good, right? Particularly if the task is done professionally, like you learn how to do it at ATS.

Every ATS graduate gets help finding jobs for the rest of their career. But the ATS grads who upgraded their training by getting their CDL are able to find more jobs and find them a lot faster.

Heavy Equipment Job Listings: August 9, 2014

August 9th, 2014

Did you know that heavy equipment operators don’t necessarily get laid off in the winter? That’s because it takes heavy equipment to move snow and de-icing materials off the roads. If you are a heavy equipment operator and live in an area that needs snowplows and such, check with your local DOT about the possible openings coming up. A lot of times, an experienced operator can pick up a lot of money during a freak snow storm, especially in areas that aren’t used to snow. Of course, you can’t know when you’ll get the call, but it sure is an opportunity for anyone who can do it.

This week there are just a few jobs on the list, but more are coming in all the time. Check the listings on the Total Resources Network for the latest postings since the job site constantly updates their database. The skilled trades industries are constantly changing because we change the world around us when we work.

Green Bay, WI – hiring heavy equipment operators

Colorado Springs, CO – hiring heavy equipment operators

Elwood, IL – hiring heavy equipment operators

Cortland, NY – heavy equipment operators

If you have been trained in the Heavy Equipment Operation Programs at ATS, you have the basic skills to move into many different fields. A lot of heavy equipment operators have a favorite machine, but most can easily move to other equipment and do the job well. That gives you the flexibility to do a lot of part-time gigs when your regular work is slow, like the snowplow operators who make big bucks cleaning up after blizzards.

Pay Attention Or Pay The Price

August 7th, 2014

What is the cost of not paying attention to what you are doing? Sometimes that cost isn’t much, because you are sitting in a chair at home zoning out during a commercial. But if you are sitting in the driver’s seat on the job, the price of not paying attention can be far higher than anyone wants to pay.

When a heavy equipment operator isn’t paying attention to what they are doing, bad things can happen. Most of your training at ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School will have safety rules repeated over and over again. Your teachers will be discussing what can happen, talking about why that rule applies, and sharing stories of what they’ve experienced. In a lot of ways, you’ll think that safety is being talked about too much.

But there’s a reason why ATS has a reputation for training some of the best heavy equipment operators around, and that reason is the high standards of performance our graduates are taught. Part of the high standards of performance are safety standards that have been repeated so many times they become automatic.

Even if you aren’t paying attention, if safety is a habit, then you’ll be more apt to stay safe on the job. But the best idea is to pay attention to all you’ve been taught and the conditions you are working in. Paying attention to what’s going on around you, to where your machine is and your blind spots, will keep everybody safe.

Heavy equipment is too big for a mistake to be minor most of the time. Mistakes are costly, and that’s why the best heavy equipment operators pay attention to what they are doing even when it’s routine.

There Really Is Financing Available

August 5th, 2014

Sometimes, the statement that “financing is available” is part of a used car salesman’s spiel, and that financing ends up being kind of like the bait on a hook to reel you in and saddle you with a clunker that doesn’t last as long as the payment schedule.

This is NOT what happens at ATS.

Financing really is available, and there are many types of financing for different types of students. There are private student loans to be used for tuition and housing expenses, many kinds of state and federal grants, and educational scholarships. There’s military funding for vets and active duty members of the military as well as their families.

Since ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School is a qualified institution with all the right credentials and affiliations, we can utilize the funding you are eligible for. Since we work with so many types of financial assistance, we can help you figure it all out.

Unlike the used car that had “financing available” and died before the last payment, your education and training continue to be valuable long after any loans are paid off. There’s lifetime career assistance to keep you employed, too. It really is a good deal, and there are no hidden hooks.

For an idea of what financial assistance you could be eligible for, simply fill out an online application and start the process. It’s free, and you will need to answer some questions designed to evaluate your suitability for our program. These are required, and the reasoning is covered in the introductory paragraphs of the application. It keeps you from wasting your time if an issue will prevent your employability.

So that’s it — no hooks, no bait. Just real financial assistance for those who qualify, and we help you get it.


* 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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