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Posts Tagged ‘Heavy Equipment’

Did You Have Childhood Ambitions To Operate Heavy Equipment?

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Operating heavy equipment is the dream of many children, yet there is only a small percentage of the adult workforce who actually go to the trouble of training to become an operator. It was a satisfying play toy as a child, and for many, it’s a very satisfying career – the dreams of their childhood being fully realized. Whilst the thought of training may seem daunting, it shouldn’t. It doesn’t take months to learn to be a heavy equipment operator – it takes weeks, and only a few of them as well.

So what can you expect from a career as a heavy equipment operator apart from realizing your dreams? Operators nominate the following as some of the key benefits:

  • Secure employment - even when times are tough, heavy equipment operators remain in demand, especially when governments decide to boost the economy by building roads and bridges. Of course, when times are good, the construction industry booms and so there’s never enough heavy equipment operators to go around.
  • Great salary and benefits – compared to many other professions, heavy equipment operators are very well paid, and they receive a wide range of benefits, including pension schemes, health and disability insurance, and ongoing training.
  • Sense of achievement – there’s nothing more satisfying than to drive on a road, cross a bridge, or travel past a building that you have helped construct.
  • Not physically demanding – and this has opened the door to operators from all walks of life, including women. You don’t have to be a rough and tough male to work as a heavy equipment operator, even those with slight builds succeed.
  • Short training period – it only takes three weeks to learn the skills and knowledge to start a career as a heavy equipment operator. Compare that time period and the benefits already listed to many other careers and heavy equipment operations comes out on top.

If you’re looking for a career that’s challenging, exciting and well paid, then talk to one of the experts at Associated Training Services (ATS). They can help you take the first steps to achieving that goal, and once you have taken those steps, continue to help you until you are working happily as a heavy equipment operator.

In A Rut? Make The Move To Heavy Equipment Operations

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

If you’re a construction worker and you feel you are stuck in rut, now could be a good time to get out of that rut by moving sidewise into a career as a heavy equipment operator. The future for operators is strong – in fact, there is real risk that operators will be in short supply in years to come. Changing careers is always risky, however, you are staying in construction, and your current skills will always be there should the need arise.

Many employers will appreciate your dual skills. They can employ you as a heavy equipment operator knowing they can use you in other areas should the need arise. If you’re currently employed, your employer may well find that additional skills such as heavy equipment operations are a bonus.

Heavy equipment operators earn a good deal more than general construction laborers. Training is a short three weeks to gain the basic skills, skills sufficient to get you into the workplace as an entry level operator. Undertaking your training through a recognized heavy equipment operator training organization is a must if you want your new skills recognized.

Don’t let costs hold you back. Financing is available, and the terms are very reasonable. Your current employer may welcome your new skills; if not, our career services department can help you locate a job that will give you the experience required to build your career. Get out of the rut and become a well-paid skilled construction worker in the field of heavy equipment operations. You won’t regret the change once you’re settled in.

Summer Employment Prospects For Heavy Equipment Operators

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

The last ten years have been tough for many employment sectors as one financial crisis after another struck the world. Our own economy suffered, and for a long time, private sector investment in new buildings came to a virtual standstill. If it wasn’t for the huge investment in public infrastructure by state and federal governments, the construction industry would also have ground to a halt. That investment could prove to be a wise one in the long run – for one thing, it kept construction industry workers employed and in the industry.

As summer rolls in, the national economy looks to be strengthening to the point that private sector investment in now starting to find its way into construction. The construction industry workforce has remained strong although there are still shortages in many areas, one being heavy equipment operators. This is good news for those looking to undertake heavy equipment operator training and looking for work. With both public and private dollars being spent on construction, the demand will continue to grow, at least until the government funded projects come to an end.

It won’t just be for this summer either. Long term job prospects are even stronger with demand for new workers increasing due to the age of many of our current operators – in short, they are baby boomers who are ready to enter retirement. As the economy grows, private sector investment in new shopping malls, new factories and new office complexes will increase, and this too will create a demand for more heavy equipment operators.

Now is a good time to consider a career as a heavy equipment operator. Three weeks of training will have you work ready, just in time for the summer. Finding your first job won’t be that difficult, especially if you have the assistance of our career services personnel – they know who’s looking to hire, and more importantly, they know how to prepare you for the application and interview processes. Heavy equipment operators are well paid and work in situations that can be challenging yet at the same time enjoyable.

Heavy Equipment Safety – Getting The Basics Right From Day One

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Heavy equipment safety is no longer a matter to be dealt with trivially. It is now mandatory for all heavy equipment operators to have OSHA-approved training prior to commencing work as an operator. We certainly don’t make light of this area of training, ensuring that all graduates who leave our heavy equipment operator school have met those minimum safety standards.

Safety is all about getting the basics right. You’ll often hear two phrases repeated time and again, both in training and in the workplace. These are – “three points of contact” and “look UP.”

Three points of contact refers to movement on heavy equipment (and rigging). The three points of contact are your limbs – either two hands and a foot, or both feet and a hand. Those three points of contact reduce any risk of falling.

Looking UP is important for any equipment that uses height as part of its operations. Excavators, backhoes, loaders and cranes are examples of this type of equipment. It’s natural to look ahead, around you, and down, however, it’s not natural to look for danger from above. There have been a lot of accidents over the years caused by heavy equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines. In many cases, the outcome was deadly for the operator and some of those working around them.

These are just two of the basics that heavy equipment operators need to get right, from day one. Whilst it’s important to think safety, it’s also important to do some things automatically, and looking up and maintaining three points of contact fit into that category. When undertaking heavy equipment operator training, don’t pay lip service to the safety aspects – your life could depend on it.

Having Trouble Deciding If A Heavy Equipment Operator Career Is Right For You?

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Deciding on a career can be a very difficult process to go through. It can be even harder if you are considering a career change. It is interesting to note that research is showing that most people change their career three to four times over a lifetime, so if you are considering a change, you’re definitely not alone. Becoming a heavy equipment operator is not difficult – it only takes three weeks of training to gain the skills that will open the door to entry level positions. The question for many then is whether or not this is the right career choice.

When trying to decide on a career, you need to get as much information as possible. You will also need to discuss any career change options with your family since your final choice may have an impact on your family. As a heavy equipment operator, you may well be leaving home for work as your children are getting up for breakfast. The upside is that you’ll often be arriving home from work as they arrive home from school. This is where your information gathering becomes important – with all the facts in hand, you can make an educated decision on your future. So where do you get this information? We suggest the following as a start:

  • Talk to current operators – telephone a local contractor and ask if there is a suitable time when you can come and talk to one or more of their operators. Most operators will spare a few minutes to answer any questions.
  • Look online – look at websites dedicated to heavy equipment operations. You’re already here, so browse through some of our older posts for more information on the various aspects of heavy equipment operations (this link will give you plenty to get started with).
  • Training schools – contact a training school to see if they can provide information on heavy equipment careers. We are only too happy to answer any questions related to heavy equipment operator careers. We can also send you a brochure – just fill in the online request form and we’ll send one out to you.
  • YouTube - if you want to see heavy equipment in action, and to perhaps get a preview of training, go to YouTube and search for heavy equipment – you can sit back in your home and watch some incredible footage if you’re prepared to sift through the thousands of videos available. It’s well worth the effort. We have a handful of heavy equipment training videos that have been taken over the years, so feel free to browse through them as well.

If you need more information, come and visit our heavy equipment training school – look over the equipment, talk to our training staff and perhaps some of our students. If you’re lucky, you may even get to sit behind the wheel of one of our machines just to get a feel for the job. Do your research – then, if you do decide on a career as a heavy equipment operator, you’ll be well prepared for a well paid and often interesting career.

The Benefits That Heavy Equipment Operators Often Receive

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Whilst heavy equipment operators are well paid, their rewards don’t stop there. Like all jobs, there are benefit packages that are offered when you first start with an employer. The size and scope of these benefits packages is generally determined by the size of your employer, your experience, and your reputation.

So what benefits can a heavy equipment operator expect?

  • Health care that may include medical, dental, vision and prescription medication coverage. These health care programs may include family members as well,
  • Life insurance plans that include disability cover,
  • Retirement plans,
  • Cash bonuses – these are generally tied to contracts, if a contract is completed early or on time, then a cash bonus may be payable. Some employers also offer bonuses for safety records and long service,
  • Paid vacations, and
  • Paid training – some employers may even reimburse heavy equipment operators the costs associated with additional training such as truck driver training and crane operator training.

That is only a short list of common benefits offered by employers, however, the total value of a paycheck together with those benefits can be quite sizable. For heavy equipment operators who are highly skilled and who have a good reputation as operators can also look forward to job security, even when times are tough. Employers will hang on to their most valued employees for as long as possible – you certainly wouldn’t be the first let go when times are tough.

If you want a well-paid career that comes with a lot of side benefits, then heavy equipment operations should be on your list. It only takes three weeks of heavy equipment operator training to prepare you for the work place – from there, your future is in your hands, and it could be a lucrative and enjoyable working future at that.

Heavy Equipment Technology Making Life Easier For Operators

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

There have been a lot of changes made to heavy equipment over the last 50 years. At the same time, the actual work that heavy equipment does has remained very much the same. A bulldozer is still nothing more than a tractor with a large blade at the front designed to push dirt. There is a similarity to modern cars – they still take us from A to B, however, there have been big changes made to motors and to the interiors of cars. Heavy equipment is no different.

Modern heavy equipment is being made to be more environmentally friendly. Lower emissions, better fuel economy, and much improved hydraulic systems have made modern equipment easier to operate, and very efficient. There have been big changes inside the operators cab as well. Many are sealed from the outside environment and rely on airconditioning to maintain a comfortable work space. It has also meant that computer technology’s reliability has improved – there’s no dust, dirt and high humidity entering the cab to create problems.

Some of the biggest improvements can be found in the controls that now face an operator. They look very similar to those of 50 years ago, and their use is very much the same. The new technology comes in the form of electronics. This makes the controls very touch sensitive, however, in the hands of an experienced operator, able to perform fine movements. There is one regular contest held each year that tests an operator’s skills in this area – they have to pick up an egg using the bucket of a backhoe – that does take a lot of skill.

Heavy equipment operators now work in a comfortable environment with finely tuned controls. This makes the job a little more demanding in that fine motor skills are required, however, this has made working as a heavy equipment operator much more enjoyable – the operator is at one with their equipment, unlike the past where they spend all day wrestling their equipment. For equipment owners, efficiencies are much improved, as is reliability. If there is a downside, it comes in the form of more complex maintenance, and a higher cost when it comes to breakdowns – but then, good operators try to prevent breakdowns by regularly checking their equipment and undertaking basic maintenance regularly. Like all areas of industry, technology is having a big impact on heavy equipment operations.

Backhoes: The Jacks Of All Trades

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

There used to be a saying when I was younger – “a jack of all trades yet a master of none.” It was a phrase that pointed to a person who could do a lot of work across a variety of skills, yet they didn’t have a piece of paper to say they were qualified in any trade. When it comes to heavy equipment, backhoes are the jack (or Jill) of all trades – except you can say they were a master of all as well.

Backhoes bring together the power of an excavator, and that includes many of the attachments that excavators use, and the strength of a front end loader. Backhoes actually remind me a little of a scorpion – a mouth at the front and stinging tail at the back. In fact, that’s where they get their names from. Back hoe meaning the excavator bucket is at the back of the vehicle.

As an operator, there are a number of differences between a backhoe and other heavy equipment. To begin with, large backhoes are articulated – that is, they are joined in the middle with a pivoting point. Reversing a backhoe is a little like reversing a trailer. Good backhoe operators are in high demand because of the versatility that backhoes bring to a work site. They can be used to dig trenches, and then, using the loader scoop, fill the trench in again once a job has been completed. They can also be used to quickly remove any excess dirt or building material.

Learning to operate a backhoe is not difficult; in fact, I’d suggest you also learn how to operate an excavator and loader at the same time. This will ensure you have several skills you can rely on when working for an employer. You really will be a Jack (or Jill) of all trades then – and master of them as well.

Heavy Equipment’s Role In Rebuilding Nature

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Heavy equipment has long had a reputation for destroying much of the land that it travels over. It can be true as well. Heavy equipment is “heavy” and it can be cumbersome as it moves over the land. In the right hands, however, heavy equipment can be a great tool when it comes to reclaiming land and helping to rebuild nature.

A story out of the City of Charlottesville makes for interesting reading if you’re interested in the restoration of public lands. Many people read these articles and gloss over the work done by heavy equipment. It’s a role that’s important, especially in a situation like this, where time can be a real issue. When reclaiming this land, workers had to divert water from its normal course so that rocks, earth and fallen trees could be removed, and the environment rebuilt.

This can be challenging yet very rewarding work for those involved. There’s immense satisfaction in walking away from an area that has been over-run by weeds and debris having restored it to its native state. For heavy equipment operators, the key is to complete the tasks required whilst not causing any new damage. This means working to very precise instructions, often very closely with experts directing each movement.

To be successful in this type of work, heavy equipment operators need to be well trained, and to have a good feel for their machinery. Being able to follow directions is vital, as is the ability to respond very quickly when required. ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training Schools take a lot of pride in the quality of the training provided, and the level of skills that graduate operators take into the workplace. With experience in the workplace, graduate operators are frequently found working in situations such as that described in the City of Charlottesville.

If you have an interest in restoring areas to their natural environment, then it all starts with your heavy equipment training. Seek out the best and you’ll be headed in the right direction.

Who Is Best Suited To A Heavy Equipment Career?

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Choosing the best career option can be a difficult decision. When it comes to heavy equipment careers, there is a lot to consider. You’ll be working outside – although generally in a cab (often with climate controlled air conditioning). The work can be hot and dusty in summer, and you’ll also find there are frustrating periods where everything comes to a standstill because of bad weather – rain, ice and snow play havoc with construction schedules.

So who is best suited to a career as a heavy equipment operator? Obviously someone who enjoys working outside. It also helps if you have a mechanical aptitude since your work includes maintenance and safety inspections of your equipment. You’ll also need to be able to work both on your own and as part of team. Whilst not definitive, the following list is a good guide to those well suited to careers in heavy equipment.

  • Enjoy working outdoors,
  • Mechanical aptitude,
  • Team worker,
  • Reasonably fit,
  • Good eyesight and a good awareness of depth
  • Good eye, hand and foot co-ordination
  • Fast reflexes

It also helps to have a reasonably good understanding of English (both written and verbal) and personal attributes such as honesty, integrity and reliability. However, there is one attribute that probably outshines all others, and that is desire. For many, if the desire is strong enough, they can soon develop any other deficiencies. There are heavy equipment operators who don’t have a great mechanical aptitude, however, they do have the ability to learn what is required to look after their equipment (and still remain useless under the hood of their own car).

Heavy equipment careers are lucrative and offer a lifetime of interesting and flexible work. If you’re interested in becoming a heavy equipment operator, you meet most of the attributes listed, and you have the desire to succeed, then contact us. A heavy equipment career could be waiting for you, and your first step is to complete a recognized heavy equipment training program.

* 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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