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Developing A Career Operating Specialized Heavy Equipment

Heavy equipment careers can be demanding, yet quite rewarding. For some people, operating graders, bulldozers or excavators is not challenging or interesting enough – they crave becoming an operator of specialized equipment like that used in mining, logging and road building.

One of the more popular targets is road plant equipment. This includes:

  • paving equipment,
  • concrete curbing equipment,
  • asphalt finishers,
  • milling machines,
  • chipspreaders,
  • roadwideners,
  • vibratory compactors, and
  • rubber tired rollers

And that is just a short list. In most cases, operators for these machines are recruited from the heavy equipment operator ranks within a company. If heavy equipment operators show an interest in any of these machines, they are often allowed short training periods to learn how to operate them. If they are proficient, they are eventually employed to operate the equipment full time.

The key to getting those opportunities is your initial heavy equipment training. Employers now expect their employees to complete their basic heavy equipment training through a well recognized training school. They also expect operators to have a solid understanding of heavy equipment, and to be work ready when hired.

Your second step is to then find employment with a company that uses the type of specialized equipment you are interested in. You will need to start at the bottom, and it could take several years before you catch the eyes of those who recruit operators – once you do, it’s simply a matter of transferring some of those skills to your new equipment. Specialized heavy equipment often pays well, however, it can be a very competitive area in which to gain a start. Once you do, you’ll find the employment rewarding and challenging.

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