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Posts Tagged ‘GPS’

How High Tech Can Heavy Equipment Get?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Moving earth and heavy debris around doesn’t seem like technology comes into play much, does it? After all, you are pushing dirt around far away from a computer on a desk. But today’s heavy equipment often has very sophisticated technological advantages the machinery of the past was not capable of accessing.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have been around for years. Most smartphones have them, and lots of people use their GPS to find the nearest restaurant or get directions to an unfamiliar address. Heavy equipment operators use a GPS to match the contours of the site to the designed plans. The system can be fairly simple, or incredibly intricate depending on what has been put into place.

GPS and related technology can track where machinery is located, tell a central monitor how fast it is going, monitor maintenance issues, and a host of other things. Many companies use high tech stuff in their heavy equipment, and a good operator isn’t intimidated by it because it helps you do your job.

If your training school isn’t accredited by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) you probably will not be getting recognition for your efforts, even if you learn the latest technological advances in heavy equipment operation. This is because employers recognize NCCER and respect its standards.

ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School holds National Credentials with NCCER and this gives our graduates that respect.

Whether it is the latest GPS technology or the latest thing being invented, ATS keeps up with what is happening in the industry and works that development into our training. At the same time, we know that a lot of job sites will be using older equipment, so you get experience with the classics, too.


How Technology Has Changed The Role Of A Heavy Equipment Operator

Friday, April 15th, 2011

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.

Catching Up With The Latest Heavy Equipment Technology

Friday, February 11th, 2011

If you’re a former heavy equipment operator who has been out of the business for several years, you would be surprised at how many technological changes there have been. GPS and laser technology is used in some equipment whilst many others have converted to computerized controls, especially in equipment like graders where fine degrees of accuracy are required in blade placements. In many cases, an operator from ten years ago could still operate this equipment – for others, refreshing your skills certainly wouldn’t go astray.

Where former operators may struggle is in the current safety knowledge requirements. Twenty years ago, operating heavy equipment was virtually seat-of-the-pants stuff. If you knew of short cuts, you took them, irrespective of the dangers. Safety regulations are such that seat-of-the-pants operating styles are no longer tolerated on any work site – in fact, employers and employees could be fined heavily if caught in the act.

Heavy equipment technology has certain brought this machinery into the 21st Century. Operators are now highly skilled in this modern technology, and because of that, they are much safer operators. The field of heavy equipment is now well paid in comparison to many other careers, and could be a viable choice for anyone who has worked in this field before. A short three week heavy equipment training program can help you to renew your operational skills, introduce you to some of the latest technology, and provide you with the knowledge you need under workplace safety legislation.

If you were once a highly skilled and in demand heavy equipment operator, there is no reason why you can’t be again. Heavy equipment technology has advanced, but at the end of the day, heavy equipment is still doing that same old task – digging, pushing, and carrying dirt.

How Heavy Equipment Technology Is Changing The Pace Of Construction

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Mention technology these days and most people automatically think about computers. While they do have an important role to play, new heavy equipment technology involves far more. If you were to compare today’s machinery with those from twenty or more years ago, the changes, while not so obvious from the outside, are huge when you get ‘under the bonnet’.

Hydraulic systems are one area that has gone through considerable change. The hydraulics on today’s equipment are more efficient, quieter and less prone to break down compared to older equipment. The engines are now far more fuel efficient, expel far less in the way of pollutants and are quickly reaching a point of being labeled ‘environmentally friendly’. Twenty years ago, you could smell a bulldozer in operation a mile away, if you couldn’t smell it, you could often see the plume of black smoke coming out of its stack. You could most definitely hear it at work.

Computers are of course making themselves felt when it comes to heavy equipment technology. Adding GPS locators has meant that stolen equipment is now retrieved, often within hours of going missing for weeks or months. GPS is also being used to help operators complete tasks more accurately and faster than those units not using GPS.

Heavy equipment technology improves because operators are constantly looking at ways to get more work done in far less time. Construction companies are paid by the completed project, with most projects having penalties for finishing late and bonuses for early completion. Being able to complete a project means getting paid more, early, and being free to start the next project. New heavy equipment technology is helping construction companies achieve this.

Despite all these changes, the operating basics haven’t changed that much. If anything, learning to operate heavy equipment has become a lot easier. If I can operate a bulldozer then you can as well – if not a bulldozer then a grader, backhoe or excavator. Why don’t you consider a career as a heavy equipment operator – heavy equipment technology is making the task easier everyday.

What Can You Expect In The Way Of Heavy Equipment Technology

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

If you’re a former operator returning to the field then changes in heavy equipment technology will no doubt astound you. In fact, for decades, heavy equipment rejected the introduction on new technology. The old ways worked and worked well and operators didn’t see the need for the added expense of technological change. The last ten years has seen a complete turnout in thought.

Actually, cost has been the driving force behind technological change although in recent years, legislative requirements have played a role as well. As machines got older, parts became harder to find, and more expensive. The increase in the number of owner operators also meant more competition with incomes from contracts actually dropping. Less income has meant that machinery has to work harder, and faster, to pay for themselves. Simple devices like GPS tracking has reduced heavy equipment theft losses by almost 70%. Whilst insurance can cover a loss, it often doesn’t cover the down time while waiting for a new machine.

Heavy equipment technology is changing across the board. GPS tracking is one area, GPS navigation; laser technology; and digital systems to monitor performance and other areas. Fuel emission legislation, together with its increased costs, has lead to other changes. Modern heavy equipment uses far less fuel than the older models and pump out far less in the way of emissions.

A modern cab looks very different to some of the older cabs – where they had a cab that is. Operation controls have changed from pure lever and hydraulic to, in some cases, electronic controls that use nothing more than a joystick.

What hasn’t changed is the dirt. It’s still the same. And operating today’s heavy equipment, whilst different when it comes to controls, is still pretty much the same. Dirt is dirt and rock is rock and as an operator, you need to know how each responds. Heavy equipment training using equipment that incorporates the latest in heavy equipment technology is the only way to start – or restart – a career in heavy equipment.

Surviving As A Successful Grader Operator

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

As we improve the technology of modern heavy earthmoving equipment the skills of operators are becoming more refined. This is especially true of grader operators who have laser and GPS technology to deal with. Add to this the introduction of computerized controls and the machinery now, although looking similar to those of yesterday, can be far different to operate.

The key to surviving as a grader operator is the quality of the training you receive. Grader operator training shouldn’t just rely on how to operate the controls. That is only one component of the job. These days, a good grader operator can read plans, is able to identify different soil types and how they react when worked, and have a thorough understanding of workplace safety. Soil types is one area where training can provide the basics, but it is only through experience that you can build a thorough understanding of the topic.

ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Schools doesn’t just train to the basic operator skills. We include plan reading, soils, safety and general equipment maintenance – all the skills that employers now require of their operators. Of course, we also include hands on use of the equipment; grader operator training wouldn’t be training without it.

Our graduates are well respected within the industry so gaining useful employment after your training is not a big issue. If you are interested in a career as a grader operator, consider enrolling in our heavy equipment training program. You can be on your way to a successful career as a grader operator in as little as three weeks.

Bulldozers – Plenty Of Muscle With A Touch Of Finesse

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Bulldozers, they really are one of the muscle machines when it comes to construction and land clearing. Their job is not to dig so much as to carve and push huge quantities of dirt. These days though, a bulldozer is also built to include a touch of finesse to its work. Watch a bulldozer spreading gravel or road base; they come pretty close to achieving what the older road graders used to achieve.

Modern bulldozers have all sorts of mod cons. Some come equipped with GPS, others with laser, many with both. Computer systems are becoming the norm in new heavy equipment and bulldozers haven’t been spared the technology. At this rate, it won’t be long and you will need control room training rather bulldozer operator training.

Maybe it won’t quite get to that point. I still think that knowing what the dirt is doing is half the job. A machine will never be able to replicate fully what we can do with our hands and eyes. Even so, bulldozer training is becoming more involved all the time. The need for training on fairly modern equipment is also becoming important. I know of some training firms that are using equipment that is 20-30 years old – they should be in museums rather than on training grounds.

ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Schools have a proud record of providing industry with skilled bulldozer operators – operators that are ready to work the day they finish their training. Not only are our operators highly skilled, they have a good working knowledge of technology and how it affects their day to day operations. If you have ever considered a career as a bulldozer operator, now is a great time to act. Complete your training now and be ready for an expected jump in demand as winter ends and spring sees the start of hundreds of construction projects. Contact ATS for more information on bulldozer operator training.

New Technology And Crane Operator Training

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

If there is one problem with our modern society it is that we are never satisfied. We are constantly looking to update, upgrade, modernize and/or invent new things in the belief it will make life easier. Sometimes it is true. Crane operator training is one area that has to try to keep up with all new technology. Sometimes it can be difficult with new devices and new ways of doing things coming out with the release of every new model.

Of course, manufacturers do it on purpose. If they didn’t bring out new equipment with more modern technology then no one would bother updating – at least not until the old equipment was beyond repair. What does this mean for students studying to become crane operators? Heavy equipment operations, and cranes are included here, is a job that is a constant learning cycle. Whether it is a new technique, a new soil type, or a brand new technology – these all require a new phase of learning, often by the seat of your pants in the cab.

Take laser and GPS technology. There are courses you can take to learn this technology. However, most operators were simply given a ten minute run through and left to their own devices (when the technology was first introduced). Imagine what it was like when magnetic cranes were first introduced – it really was seat-of-the-pants learning back then.

Fortunately, we have top quality training providers that try to maintain equipment that has all the latest technologies on board. Simply being familiar with the technology is a good start to your career. Crane operator training is not a training program you attend once and it’s finished. Once you’re on the job you will continue learning – at least until you decide to retire.

New Heavy Equipment Technology Smoothing Controls

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

One of the biggest advances in heavy equipment technology has not been in inventing something new, it has been in making the existing better. One area that has really seen improvements has been hydraulics. If you were to compare today’s heavy equipment with those of the 30 years ago, the biggest difference would be in how smooth and how fine the controls are now.

Thirty years ago, heavy equipment was cumbersome and awkward. It got the job done but there was a lot of grinding, shuddering and jerking that went on. Operators often climbed out of the cab (if it had one) at the end of the day feeling like they had been in huge vibration machine all day – in fact, they had.

Improvements to hydraulics have been huge. Using variable displacement pumps and closed center directional control valves, heavy equipment now runs smoothly. The vibrations have virtually disappeared, the shuddering and jerking replaced by smooth seamless movements. Operators now have the ability to operate their equipment to such fine degrees of measurement they can pick up an egg without breaking it or lower their buckets in fine increments so they are just touching the egg, again, without breaking it. This was impossible 30 years ago where ‘fine’ increments were measure in inches – several of them, not just one.

The benefits to an operator are immense. At the end of the day they don’t feel like they have been shaken to pieces. More importantly, they can perform their job with extreme accuracy to the point that other new technologies like laser guidance and GPS can be added. It’s pointless relying on laser guidance which requires accuracy to within fractions of an inch, if the equipment cannot perform to those standards. Today’s equipment can and does. Of course, that means heavy equipment training has changed and now focuses on using this new technology.

Being a heavy equipment operator is now one of the fine skills and brings with it a lot of job satisfaction. New heavy equipment technology, along with the improvements to existing technology, leads to better productivity – that’s a win-win for everyone involved in heavy equipment.

Heavy Equipment – Take A Tour Of A Typical Modern Day Cab

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

In years gone by, the cab of most heavy equipment was, to say the least, pretty bare. In fact, for some equipment there was no cab, only a set of roll bars, if you were lucky. Today’s cabs are a far cry from those early days.

If you thought modern cars had it all, you’re wrong. The cab of some heavy equipment, for example an excavator or grader, is full of gadgets, dials and mod cons. Let’s start with the cab itself. Gone are the roll bars and mesh sides. Now you have a fully enclosed cab with broad and often deep windows. As an operator, you have a complete 360 degree view, yet the machine itself maintains a safe posture when it comes to a roll over.

The modern seat has all the aspects of a luxury car – plus some. Height adjustment, seat angle and lumbar support are just some of the features. Some seats can rotate a full 360 degrees. Some even have internal heating for those cold winter days. Talking about heat – how about full reverse cycle air conditioning? – climate control at that.

We haven’t even got to the controls yet. Steering is, of course, power steering. Brakes are the best in the business, power assisted where necessary. You have a wealth of dials letting you know oil pressures, hydraulic pressures and – oh yes, your speed as well.

The cab of today’s heavy equipment could almost fit into the luxurious category. I have seen cabs with small coolers to keep your drinks cool. Radio, CD and GPS are almost standard along with a two-way radio system to stay in contact with fellow workers.

All things considered, its no wonder that heavy equipment operation is becoming a popular career choice. Can you imagine undertaking some of your heavy equipment operator training in that sort of environment? Of course, there are still quite a few of the old machines around for those that truly love the outdoors. If you ever get the opportunity – take a tour and marvel at how good the cab of most modern heavy equipment is.

* 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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