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Posts Tagged ‘Heavy Equipment’

5 Uses for a Backhoe

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

One of the most versatile machines on any work site is the backhoe. If you look at it, it resembles a huge metal spider. But I’ve never met anyone who knew how to operate a backhoe who didn’t also enjoy operating one. Here are five ways you can use a backhoe to get the job done.

  1. Dig a Trench – Backhoes have a bucket on one end that is perfect for digging. You stick the teeth into the ground and dig up the dirt. You can maneuver your backhoe down a line to build a trench for piping.
  2. Uproot a Tree – If you’ve never seen anyone pull up a tree before with a backhoe, you’re missing a sweet treat for your eyes. It’s even more fun to be the one operating the backhoe.
  3. Grade a Road – There is a plow on the opposite end from the bucket. Just by pushing that plow along an even plane on a road, you can grade it, make it smooth, and put a smile on a lot of auto drivers’ faces.
  4. Push Dirt – Just about every worksite has a need for dirt to be pushed out of the way. After digging, the dirt usually piles up. Then you have to push it aside to carry on with the rest of the job. You can use your plow to push the dirt.
  5. Plow Snow – Backhoes are also good for plowing snow. Just take that plow and clear the roads.

What can you think of to do with a backhoe?

Learn to Operate a Bulldozer

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Bulldozer training is one of the most important things you can do for your career. If you want a long and successful career as a heavy equipment operator, then the bulldozer is one of the essential pieces of machinery to learn how to handle.

So what do you learn in bulldozer training?

10 Types of Equipment You’ll Learn to Operate

At Heavy Equipment School, we take training on all types of heavy equipment real seriously. That’s why we incorporate training for all of these pieces of machinery into the bulldozer training we offer:

  • Bulldozers (obviously)
  • Backhoes
  • Excavators
  • Front End Loaders
  • Skid Steer Loaders
  • Wheel Loaders
  • Scrapers
  • Graders
  • All-Terrain Forklifts
  • Off-Road Haul Trucks

When you graduate our bulldozer training classes, you’ll be fully versed in how to operate each piece of equipment, and that includes the proper safety procedures for operations on the work site.

You’ll Also Learn the Basic Operations of Work Site Maintenance

Of course, there is a lot more to handling heavy equipment than simply maneuvering and safety. On the work site, you’ll need to understand a few other things in order to be effective in bulldozer operations. Our instructors will also teach you:

  • How to read grades
  • Identifying soil
  • Determining work site layout
  • Work site safety procedures
  • Heavy equipment maintenance
  • Laser levels

These skills will come in handy when and if you ever advance to management or take on a supervisory role on the work site (and we hope you do). With these skills, you’ll learn and grow to become a productive contributor to any heavy equipment work site.

Stay Employable With Heavy Equipment Versatility

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

One of the best things you can do to be the person who stays employed is — drum roll, please — being the person who can do the job. In the skilled trades industries, that usually means being the person who has the experience, skills, and certifications to do that job. Most of the time that job will involve the ability to operate some type of equipment. The category of “heavy equipment” is pretty big, so a heavy equipment operator who wants to stay employable will try to get experience on many types of equipment.

Good Heavy Equipment Operator Training Involves Variety

One of the things you will notice about the ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School is the list of things students learn to operate:

  • Backhoes
  • Scrapers
  • Bulldozers
  • Graders
  • Skid Steer Loaders
  • Wheel Loaders
  • Excavators
  • Off-Road Haul Trucks
  • Front End Loaders
  • All-Terrain Forklifts

The reason so many types of equipment are part of the training is because a job site often will have a variety of machines to do the job. An operator who has the skills and certifications to operate more machines is a more valuable employee. ATS students don’t just learn to operate equipment, they also learn to read grades, identify soil, understand site layout and laser levels, and all the basic skills they will need. Heavy equipment maintenance and safety procedures are part of the training, too.

These basic things are going to be needed no matter which piece of equipment you end up on for the day, so everybody who is on the site should know them. But the operator who can do whatever is needed on the heavy equipment they have is going to be the operator who stays on the job when others are laid off.

3 Ways Freezing Affects Heavy Equipment Operations

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Brrrrrr…..it’s getting colder! Most heavy equipment operators don’t have the luxury of putting their equipment in a heated location overnight, so when you come to work in the morning, that equipment is really cold. So cold, in fact, that things can change in the way that the machinery works. Here are three things to watch out for:

  • frozen pipelines — particularly hydraulics
  • metal stress — hairline cracks develop in grader blades or teeth on excavator buckets
  • ice — steps and handles can be dangerously slippery

Learn How To Handle Freezing Hazards Before You Start

When you get your training at ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School, one of the things covered is the pre-start-up check. This foundational step is essential all year long, but in the winter it’s even more important. Learning how to look for problems like frozen pipelines, metal stress, and ice is one thing — learning how to deal with those problems is even better.

Every class and training session is designed to make students ready to work as professionals in the skilled trades industries. Professionals know how to avoid hazards by proper maintenance and thorough inspections. Heavy equipment works all year long, and in the frozen winter months, there are many heavy equipment operators staying safe because they stay on top of what’s happening overnight.

Knowing what to look for in freezing hazards and what to do when you find it make the difference between a heavy equipment operator with a big problem in their machine and a heavy equipment operator with a big paycheck.


3 Dollars A Day And A Shovel In 1854

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

On February 15, 1854, an engineering marvel was opened: The Horseshoe Curve in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. This piece of railroad track meant that travelers between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh could make the trip entirely by rail in about 15 hours. That was a big improvement from the 4 days of canal & train the trip involved in previous years.

Here are the statistics:

  • length of curve — 2375 feet
  • degree of curvature — 9 degrees; 25 minutes; central angle is 220 degrees
  • elevation of lower east end — 1594 feet
  • elevation of upper west end — 1716 feet
  • total elevation climb — 122 feet
  • grade — 1.8% (1.8 foot rise per 100 feet)

And what kind of heavy equipment did they use to do this excavating? Men with hand tools. About 450 workers, many from Ireland, were paid 25 cents per hour and worked 12 hour days to carve out the mountain at Kittaning Point and get the railroad through. That was some serious shovel work for 3 dollars a day.

Today The Job Market Is Different

The maps on the ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School listing recent wage guidelines for skilled operators list 2011 wages going from entry-level $12.85 an hour up to $24.57 an hour for specialty industries.

The job is more complicated than excavating with a shovel alone and the work goes much faster with the machinery doing the excavating. But the skill of the worker still has to be there, and the satisfaction of seeing a permanent benefit from your hard work might be just the same as those guys leaning on their shovels looking at the work they did on Horseshoe Curve.



When Will Heavy Equipment Be Obsolete?

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

If you go to one of the antique tractor shows popular in rural areas, you will see many things. There may be a tractor pull, where operators compete to get increasingly heavy loads across the ground. It’s likely there will be some kind of food, probably a local favorite, and certainly tasty. There may be categories of equipment, grouped by type or by manufacturer.

And you probably will see many pieces of heavy equipment that once were the latest and greatest and now are curiosities.

So if you are thinking that heavy equipment will be obsolete someday, you are right in one way. It’s certain that a particular type of machinery will become outdated as technology changes. But if you are thinking that heavy equipment will be obsolete someday as a category of machinery, you couldn’t be more wrong.

There Will Always Be A Need For Heavy Equipment

There are always jobs that require large machinery to accomplish. A heavy equipment operator may have to learn how to operate the new machine, but a good operator can easily figure it out. It’s just like the difference in driving when you get behind the wheel of a brand new car.

Particular models of heavy equipment will certainly eventually be obsolete, but the need for some type of heavy equipment will always be there. That’s why ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School makes sure students get experience in as many types of big machines as possible. When you are a little familiar with different kinds of equipment, you can figure it out if you have to operate something new the boss just bought.


Why ATS Trains On Several Kinds Of Heavy Equipment

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

There’s a good reason why Associated Training Services deliberately gets our students on several different types of heavy equipment during training. We’ve seen that your ability to operate one kind of big machine doesn’t necessarily mean you can jump on another and know how to use it safely.

Since most heavy equipment operators will be on a job with several types of equipment, there’s always a chance you could be asked to run something you don’t usually operate. If you have at least been exposed to it during training, you’ll have a better idea of how to do it. During training, you’ll be on many different machines:

  • Backhoes
  • Scrapers
  • Bulldozers
  • Graders
  • Skid Steer Loaders
  • Wheel Loaders
  • Excavators
  • Off-Road Haul Trucks
  • Front End Loaders
  • All-Terrain Forklifts

Each one has a different function and operates with slightly different controls because of that function. This isn’t like going from a sedan to an SUV, and the stakes are much higher. The more familiar you are with different machinery, the more valuable you are as an employee because you can be trusted with incredibly expensive equipment.

There’s another reason why we expose students to different types of heavy equipment during training; you get an idea of what you like and don’t like to run. If you know for sure that you love using a backhoe but hate using a forklift, that’s good to know before applying for a job that requires you to be the main forklift operator.

ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School has been putting people and machines together successfully for a long time — all kinds of people, and all kinds of heavy equipment.

Worried About Housing? It Will Be Fine

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

One of the nice things about coming to ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School is knowing the whole hassle of housing has already been solved. We have a long-time arrangement with the Water Tower Residence Inn, a nice place only four miles away, and the cost of your stay can be included in your financial package.

This means you have a comfortable room where you can kick back and go over that day’s classes, with a small refrigerator in the room for drinks and snacks. There are laundry facilities and a game room, too. It’s a good way to get to know your classmates. You aren’t far from stores and restaurants in nearby Madison, and the entire setup has proven to be one our students really appreciate.

Housing assistance is included in your training because it gives you the chance to get away from your regular life and really focus on what you are there to do: become a professional heavy equipment operator who is competent and knowledgeable. You can’t do that with half your attention on the things that fill your day now. You also can’t do that if the place you are staying is far away or uncomfortable.

The Water Tower Residence Inn will be contacted when you sign up for classes, and a room will automatically be reserved for you. You don’t have to figure out the best place to stay because we already did. All you need to do is learn how to do the job you want to apply for when you graduate.

What Kind Of Equipment Will You Be On?

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The question often comes up about types of equipment you’ll be on at ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School. The answer is: lots. We make sure you get familiar with all the machines on this list:

  • Backhoes
  • Scrapers
  • Bulldozers
  • Graders
  • Skid Steer Loaders
  • Wheel Loaders
  • Excavators
  • Off-Road Haul Trucks
  • Front End Loaders
  • All-Terrain Forklifts

The reason why we’ve found it’s important to give students lots of exposure to different kinds of machinery is because that same question can be asked about your job once you graduate. Heavy equipment is a big investment so most employers have a wide range of machines in their business.

Your employer might have a skid steer loader or a wheel loader. Maybe even both, from different decades. You might be using a brand new front end loader or a backhoe about to be retired. There’s no real way to know, so the best preparation is learning how to figure out what to do with whatever you are asked to operate.

If you are familiar with the way a lot of different equipment works and have a grasp of essential safety skills, you are in good shape. It helps to know how to identify soils, read grade and site layout, and use a laser level. The bigger your perspective is when you start a job, the easier it is to see why you are important on the work site.

Classes start every three weeks and there’s no waiting list. We set it up like that to fit the real world and real people’s schedules. Take a look at what ATS can help you learn, and you’ll be on the equipment you know how to run.


How Versatile Do You Want To Be?

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

On the job, the most versatile person is apt to be the one who stays on the payroll, right? It doesn’t matter what kind of job you are talking about either, because the principle applies to every industry, white or blue collar. In the heavy equipment field, that versatility looks like an operator who is familiar with many kinds of machines and able to figure out what to do with them to get the job done.

ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School has the goal of equipping graduates to be versatile operators able to do what has to be done and do it professionally. That means our students get hands-on training on different types of machinery and become familiar with the big picture of heavy equipment. It also means they learn how to learn, because there will be new stuff thrown at us on the job.

The chance to get a CDL license is offered, too, so you can drive trucks — that is something most heavy equipment operators find they need when they enter the workforce. A lot of heavy equipment gets loaded and moved on a flatbed, so if the operator can be the truck driver, too, that operator is the person who gets hired.

If an employer is trying to decide who to hire, or who to keep on the payroll, the person with the safety certifications, CDL, ability to learn, and versatility is going to be the more valuable employee every time. That’s the goal of ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training, and that’s why our graduates get hired.


* 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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