Technology has changed the lives of just about everyone in our society. Whether it’s in the kitchen at home, in the office, driving your car, or operating machinery such as heavy equipment, technology has made huge changes over the last 20 years. Changes in heavy equipment technology has occurred on several fronts – in the cab, in the equipment, and on the ground.
Inside the cab of most heavy equipment, you’re likely to be confronted with digital gauges, fingertip sensitive controls, and perhaps even small computer screens connected to ground-based units. In the equipment itself, hydraulics and fuel mixing is now often controlled by computer components while on the ground. The use of lasers and computer technology is now replacing tasks such as measuring and grade reading.
GPS has found its way into heavy technology both as a security measure and as an aid to fine tuning an operator’s work. Operators from 20-30 years ago would be astounded to see the changes that have occurred. 30-40 years ago, operators required physical strength to operate their equipment. Today, a child could almost manage the task. That’s not to say that heavy equipment operations is child’s play. It’s still far from it.
While changes have been rapid when measured over time, they have still been incremental, unlike office workers that went from a typewriter to a computer – that was a huge change. Despite the changes in heavy equipment technology, students can still complete heavy equipment training in just a few weeks. Following training, graduates are ready for entry level employment where they can fine tune their skills on the job. Technology is changing our lives everywhere, and heavy equipment operations is no different.