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We often talk about heavy equipment and heavy equipment careers, but what machinery is actually included in that title? My first reaction is to ask ‘how long is a piece of string’ since it can be difficult to quantify what is or isn’t ‘heavy equipment’.
Generally speaking, most wheeled, or tracked, equipment that is involved with the movement of dirt could be classified as heavy equipment. This includes:
- Wheel loaders
- Front end loaders
- Road graders
- Rock trucks
- Skid Steers
- All-Terrain Forklifts
These are your standard line up of machinery in that category. There are also specialized machines that are used in some industries that are advanced forms of those listed. Mining and forestry are big users of specialized equipment – a good example would be one of the giant long line excavators – when I say giant, I really do mean giant.
When we talk about a career as a heavy equipment operator, it generally refers to a career operating one or more machines on that list. In fact, heavy equipment training gives you a feel for almost every one of those machines giving you the flexibility to choose your equipment after training.
Many operators remain proficient on a range of machinery thus providing flexibility for their employer. Good examples are the excavator, wheel loader and backhoe. The skills required for both the excavator and wheel loader are also related to the backhoe – three machines, three times as many employment opportunities – hence a heavy equipment career. Do you have a choice, or would you like the option of learning to operate a range of heavy equipment?