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Posts Tagged ‘heavy equipment operator’

Heavy Equipment Operators Have Work All Year

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Did you think that heavy equipment operators only work in the summer?

It’s true that many construction and highway workers can get laid off during the winter months, but if you are willing to work in the winter, there’s a lot of work available. Every parking lot and street that gets snowed on will need to be plowed, right? Even if you aren’t working for the Highway Department, there will often be part-time work available with organizations that need a reliable person to keep their pavement clear.

But it isn’t just plowing snow that’s required, because there’s a lot more to getting roads and parking areas clear than plowing. If you have your CDL, some experience, and are willing to obtain a Tanker endorsement you could drive a truck that carries chemicals for de-icing. Operators are needed for rollers, tractors, front-loaders, hi-lifts, and more. It all depends on the area and what the weather is like in the winter.

A lot of material is needed for salt trucks and spreaders, so a lot gets loaded and moved to various strategic points. Ice storms come through and make opportunity for tree removal jobs or disaster cleanup. Winter weather causes big problems and it takes big machinery to keep things moving along.

Getting trained as a heavy equipment operator now means you’ll be ready when the snow flies, even if you have been laid off from your regular job. It’s a good backup plan, but it’s also a good career path because heavy equipment operators really do have work all year long.

What Do Heavy Equipment Operators Need To Know?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

In one sense, it sort of sounds like a heavy equipment operator does just one thing: operate a big machine. But there’s a lot more to heavy equipment operation than being at the controls of a bulldozer or anything like it. In order to be a good operator, you need to be able to do things like this:

  • Grade Reading — because the way the ground is now is not the way it should be when you are finished
  • Soil Identification — because dirt does not act the same all the time
  • Site Layout — because your machine might not fit where you thought it would
  • Laser Levels — because it’s easy to get cockeyed
  • Safety Procedures — because you work with other people and everybody wants to go home tonight
  • Heavy Equipment Maintenance — because your machine isn’t magic

Heavy Equipment Operator Training has to include far more than simply learning to work the machine because your goal is a career, not a ride. All the extra stuff that is part of earth moving and excavation is included in the studies at ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School because it’s part of the job. You’ll learn how to work with a crew on different types of equipment and different types of job sites because the real heavy equipment jobs are in new places all the time.

When you are operating heavy equipment, usually the job site is changing as you work. You can’t assume things will be the same way they were yesterday and you have to be able to assess what’s happening now. We do our best to get you prepared for the real world of heavy equipment and a fulfilling career.

What Makes A Good Mobile Crane Operator?

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

One of the questions that pops up from time to time is: “What makes a good heavy equipment operator?” And then it gets a little more specific and turns into “What makes a good mobile crane operator?”

There’s some overlap, but there are a few differences.

Things Heavy Equipment Operators Need

All big machinery, no matter what it is, needs an operator who knows what is happening around them and isn’t afraid to stop when things get dangerous. Good heavy equipment operators have these qualities:

  • hand/eye coordination
  • certifications from trusted schools
  • respect for the safety rules
  • a feel for their machine’s location and operation
  • an eye on their surroundings
  • knowledge of their machine’s operation
  • rehearsed emergency procedures for instant response

Heavy equipment is hard to stop once it gets going, and everybody is safer when the operator is a professional. But the mobile crane operator has some added factors:

Things Mobile Crane Operators Need To Add

All of the above applies to a mobile crane operator, but the fact that there are additional NCCCO Certified Crane Operator Programs tells you that things get racheted up with the whole overhead-lifting thing. Loads to be hoisted have to be rigged correctly or they’ll fall, and it won’t be pretty. The momentum of a big machine is multiplied when that big machine is swinging a big load around.

Crane operators function as part of a team, and communication is really important. They need the strength to ignore pressure to hoist unsafe loads, even if the boss is giving them a hard time. They need to know what is safe and what is not safe, and it’s a good idea to know why so you can explain your refusal clearly.

Mobile crane operators are heavy equipment operators who have gone into a specialized field and done the training to earn specialized certifications in that field. They have great responsibility and are up to the task.

Disaster Recovery Needs Heavy Equipment Operators

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Hurricanes, tornadoes, fire, flood, and more, are all disasters that leave piles of wreckage in their wake. No matter what the disaster is, it usually takes a heavy equipment operator to clean it up successfully. But doing this important service is a dangerous task for those who go into the chaos to bring order and restore normal life. Disaster recovery workers are exposed to many hazards on this kind of job site.

OSHA has an excellent resource for disaster recovery workers who are operating heavy equipment in their Hurricane eMatrix guide. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what happens in cleanup because the rules can change drastically. All the normal work site procedures may no longer be in place because this kind of work site is unpredictable. As recovery workers slowly bring restoration safety measures are established, but the first guys into the scene have to be able to respond to whatever they find.

The more experienced a heavy equipment operator is, the better that operator can do the job in disaster recovery since the site is the only thing that’s unfamiliar. All kinds of machinery is used in cleanup, and the need for experienced operators is always there. If you think you are interested in helping after the next disaster, the best way to prepare is by getting good at your job and familiar with the OSHA guidelines. That way you are ready to go.

Training is the foundation for your experience in operating heavy equipment. ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School provides that training with expert, professional standards that include time in the classroom and time in the seat of many kinds of heavy equipment. You get the certification and the training to start a career as a heavy equipment operator anywhere, even a disaster site.


Crane Operators Rescue Corvettes!

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Do you remember the car-swallowing sinkhole that opened up inside the National Corvette Museum in February? Early one morning, the ground beneath the Skydome area started caving in. By the end, there was a cavern about 40 feet across and 20-30 feet deep with eight Corvettes inside. You can watch assorted footage of the whole timeline, from collapse to final recovery of the cars, here. There’s even a few with ‘crane-cam’ footage.

You know who the stars of the show are? Heavy equipment operators. The Corvettes just sat there needing to be rescued from the predicament they were in, but cranes and other heavy equipment saved the day. It was a tricky operation, too, because the situation had to be carefully evaluated and stabilized before any Corvette could be moved. The Museum is in the middle of a geological area known for developing sinkholes, so area crane operators probably have a lot of experience with this type of thing. Still, this particular rescue operation was pretty special.

It would be safe to assume that any heavy equipment operator brought in for this project was both skilled and certified. Those Corvettes are worth a good bit of money and the owners were not going to entrust them to someone who isn’t qualified to do the best job in a delicate situation that could change quickly. I’m pretty sure they were picky about finding the best crane operators for the job.

The best crane operators are trained at fully accredited schools like ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School. Our Certified Crane Operator Program gives students a lot of options in choosing the best program for their particular need but every one of those options is going to result in a graduate who is qualified for the job.

Do You Qualify For Financial Help? You Might!

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

A lot of our students come through the program with help from one of the many sources of financial aid. Since Associated Training Services (ATS) is accredited, our heavy equipment operator training is eligible for a number of programs, but you won’t know what will work for you until you contact our Financial Assistance service and talk to us.

High school achievement scholarships are available through us — just ask. Career Loans can be applied to training school tuition, rent, and other living expenses. Military benefits programs recognize ATS so you can use any of the GI Bills, TAP, or state military programs to get trained and start a new career. Vets get hiring preference, so a trained vet has the best chance out there to land a job.

If you are on unemployment, you could qualify for a state or federal grant. In fact, there’s a lot of state and federal programs that we work with: Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Department of Workforce Development, Trade Adjustment Act (TAA), Displaced Workers, Displaced Farmers, Vocational Rehabilitation, Tribal Education (BIA) and Veterans Benefits (VA) are all on the list.

One of the best things about using financial aid to get heavy equipment operator training is the fact that you have so many job opportunities once you graduate. You get trained on a lot of different kinds of equipment, too, so you are going to be very valuable as a skilled professional. Talk to Financial Assistance and see what you qualify for, and what kind of a debt load you will graduate with. Then take a look at the job site and see what kind of a wage you can expect. We bet you will see the real possibility that you can pay off school quickly and have a good, solid career ahead of you.

The Benefits Of Heavy Equipment Certification

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

There are a lot of reasons to seek certification for heavy equipment operations. Whether you want to be a crane operator, drive commercial trucks, or operate other types of equipment such as backhoes and forklifts, getting national certification benefits you and your employer.

Here are several ways national certification works for your benefit:

  • It ensures that there is a recognized safety standard everywhere you go. You will not be subject to the whims of any employer.
  • You can be confident of your skills as a heavy equipment operator and know that you can operate the proper equipment on any work site.
  • You will become more competitive in the field of heavy equipment operators as certification narrows the field of potential employees.
  • National certification ensures that heavy equipment employers provide the best service to their clients and cuts down on the potential for lawsuits by making operators on the work site follow the same set of core standards.

National certification is one of the most important aspects of the heavy equipment industry today. Operators who have their certification are more employable, more trustworthy, and more likely to hold onto long-term employment.

Get your heavy equipment training today. Get certified as a Class A CDL driver, heavy equipment crane operator, or all-around heavy equipment expert.

Highest Paid Heavy Equipment Operators

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

When it comes to salaries, heavy equipment jobs are a lot like many other career paths. You start at the bottom and work your way up. Still, your career salary will depend on a lot of factors, including

  • Location
  • Your skill level
  • Your employer
  • Your training and credentials
  • Employment longevity
  • Experience
  • State of the economy
  • Union vs. non-union

These are just some of the factors that can influence your heavy equipment career salary.

If you live in Hawaii, the median salary for heavy equipment operators is $68,120. New York, California, Illinois, and New Jersey aren’t far behind. The median wage in the U.S. is $41,870. Operators trained on the backhoe, crane, bulldozer, and grading equipment can make a little more.

This is why training is so important. If you seek crane operator training, for instance, from a highly respected training school, then you can start off with a better-than-expected salary. Just being trained by one of the best heavy equipment training schools in the U.S. can increase your salary expectations right off the bat. If you stay on the job, and stay with the same employer for a few years, you can expect salary increases.

The heavy equipment industry is one industry that will always need qualified employees. Get the proper training and have the proper employee mindset then you can earn good money.

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.

Employers Are Looking For More Than Just A Heavy Equipment Operator

Friday, April 6th, 2012

If you are considering a career change, one of the best areas to look at is the requirements of a future employer. One trap that many people fall into is to decide on a career, fly off and do a quick training course, then expect to start work in their new career. There may be a few industries where that will work, however, heavy equipment requires just a little more. Not much – but there is more. A typical job description for a heavy equipment operator may include:

  • The ability to operate a range (or a specific unit) of heavy equipment
  • The ability to work with others as part of a team
  • The ability to work alone and unsupervised when required
  • The ability to maintain equipment and report issues before they become problems
  • The ability to carry out daily inspections of heavy equipment
  • The ability to work safely and to follow all regulations and safety protocols
  • The ability to work as directed

Notice that every requirement is an ability. These you can learn through a thorough heavy equipment training program. You develop and enhance these abilities with time and experience on the job, however, an employer will expect you to arrive on their doorstep with those as the very minimum abilities.

It stands to reason then that when looking for a training school you look for a school that will instill those abilities through a combination of classroom and in-the-seat training. Knowledge goes so far – it’s that in-the-seat training and the hours of practice you can put in that will eventually make a difference as you develop your career.

Associated Training Schools delivers heavy equipment training programs that have been developed in line with industry. We know what employers are looking for, so we endeavor to train new operators so they meet the needs of employers. If you decide on a career as a heavy equipment operator, we hope your training school helps you to build those abilities. Iif not, come and talk to us because we will.

* 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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