A heavy equipment operator can be many things, and their workday very different, depending on…
The perception amongst most people is that graders are difficult vehicles to drive. The truth is probably the opposite, driving them is a piece of cake. However, setting the controls, such as the angle and height of blade is a little different. That does take some skill, especially when setting them to fine degrees. However, it doesn’t really matter what type of heavy equipment you are operating, they all have their little idiosyncrasies that make them a challenge at times.
Whether it’s a grader, excavator or backhoe, being able to work to fine measurements is part of the job. Even bulldozer operators have a set of plans that they must work off and they too have to work to pre-ordained measurements. If a farmer wants a dam 6 feet deep then that is what he expects to see, not a dam that is ‘close enough’ 4 feet.
Being able to operate heavy equipment like a grader to produce finished results that perfectly match plans is a result of good training, and experience behind the controls. I am amazed when people tell me they learned how to operate heavy equipment simply by sitting in a classroom for a week or two then spending an hour or two behind the controls. That is more like familiarization than learning.
Students attending ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Schools can expect to spend some time in the classroom – there is a lot to learn that is theoretical in nature. However, it is equally important to spend as much time behind the controls as possible. It is only by operating heavy equipment that you can get a feel for what is really happening – it is the only place where you can learn fine controls and how a machine reacts every time you touch a lever, pedal or button.
Graders are not the hardest heavy equipment to operate, they are all fairly equal. It is the standard of heavy equipment training that will determine how ‘easy’ any piece of heavy equipment is to control. Contact us at ATS if you want to try out a training program – we have open days running through to the end of the year where you can try out a free heavy equipment training program – and when we say free, we really do mean – no charge. Who knows, you may take to graders as a born natural, and find yourself starting a new career as a grader operator.