Although many people assume technologies such as AI, analytics and the Internet of Things are…
If you’re a former operator returning to the field then changes in heavy equipment technology will no doubt astound you. In fact, for decades, heavy equipment rejected the introduction on new technology. The old ways worked and worked well and operators didn’t see the need for the added expense of technological change. The last ten years has seen a complete turnout in thought.
Actually, cost has been the driving force behind technological change although in recent years, legislative requirements have played a role as well. As machines got older, parts became harder to find, and more expensive. The increase in the number of owner operators also meant more competition with incomes from contracts actually dropping. Less income has meant that machinery has to work harder, and faster, to pay for themselves. Simple devices like GPS tracking has reduced heavy equipment theft losses by almost 70%. Whilst insurance can cover a loss, it often doesn’t cover the down time while waiting for a new machine.
Heavy equipment technology is changing across the board. GPS tracking is one area, GPS navigation; laser technology; and digital systems to monitor performance and other areas. Fuel emission legislation, together with its increased costs, has lead to other changes. Modern heavy equipment uses far less fuel than the older models and pump out far less in the way of emissions.
A modern cab looks very different to some of the older cabs – where they had a cab that is. Operation controls have changed from pure lever and hydraulic to, in some cases, electronic controls that use nothing more than a joystick.
What hasn’t changed is the dirt. It’s still the same. And operating today’s heavy equipment, whilst different when it comes to controls, is still pretty much the same. Dirt is dirt and rock is rock and as an operator, you need to know how each responds. Heavy equipment training using equipment that incorporates the latest in heavy equipment technology is the only way to start – or restart – a career in heavy equipment.