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Excavators Are Not Always Monsters – They Can Be As Gentle As A Baby

I recently wrote on how to Become An Excavator Operator And Learn To Control A Real Monster – today I could almost eat my words. Over the last ten days or so I have watched with interest an excavator, admittedly one of the smaller variety, working away each day on a new pipeline. Although we have been in the industry for decades, I can still watch them at work with a certain amount of awe.

What caught my attention with this job? The excavator operator’s ‘fine’ skills. The excavator wasn’t being used as a ‘monster’, at least not all the time. Let me give you a run down on the job.

Day one – the excavator operator used the bucket like a butter knife to gently peel away the turf from the surface. This was neatly piled to one side of the job.

Day two and three – the excavator became the monster and dug a fairly deep and fairly wide trench ready for the pipes to be laid.

Day four – each pipe was rigged to the excavator bucket and gently lowered into the trench. One by one they all went in.

Day five – the trench was back-filled. I thought that was it – job done and I won’t see them again. Wrong.

Day six – back again – this time, as gentle as a baby, the excavator operator carefully scraped and combed the sides of the filled-in trench pulling in all the loose debris. Behind him his fellow workers were relaying the turf that had been pulled up on day one.

Now they are gone. I couldn’t resist it; I had to go and look at the worksite. You can see where the turf has been put down. However, that is all you can see. You would never know there had been a deep trench there a couple of days earlier. That excavator operator had cleaned the area to perfection – that takes skills – skills that are acquired first through quality excavator operator training, and secondly through years of practice.

I know his face looked familiar. I may have seen him on another work site – but then again, I wonder if he was one of ours and had undertaken his training through ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Schools. I should have asked.

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