Loaders are not all the same although in most cases, the operating principles are the same. All loaders perform similar actions – they have a scoop style bucket at the front and it is used to scoop up material, move it to another location, and dump it. A loader can also be used like a bulldozer to spread material like dirt, sand or gravel over an area. That concept remains the same with most loaders with the exception of some of the smaller loaders that can have various attachments added to do other types of work.
It can be disconcerting for a loader operator that is used to operating a larger wheeled loader to suddenly find themselves in the seat of a small skid steer loader, for example. Rather than the bucket arms being placed at the side and forward of the operator, now they are placed behind and over the operator. The steering is also different with skid steer loaders relying on tracks which are independently controlled using foot pedals.
Training on a variety of equipment like loaders, bulldozers and backhoes can help to familiarize operators on these different types of controls. Of course, that training needs to be hands on in-the-cab training, not just a walk around and a demonstration by a trainer. When looking for a training program involving heavy equipment, ask the training organization what equipment they have and which equipment will you be receiving hands on experience with. Don’t assume that all heavy equipment training programs are the same.
Don’t forget to include ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Schools on your list of possible training school options. We provide training across a range of heavy equipment including loaders, bulldozers, graders and backhoes. If you’re interested in a heavy equipment career, talk to us about where your closest school is and what equipment they have available at that location.