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There Is More To Heavy Equipment Than Bulldozers And Graders

When people think of heavy equipment, their initial reaction is to think of bulldozers, graders, excavators, and perhaps backhoes. There is actually a much wider range of machinery that is used in construction or mining that is classified as heavy equipment – you may often see it in use without having a name to put to it.

Skid steer loaders, or skid loaders as they are often called, are one example. Although small and lightweight in comparison to their much larger relatives, the skid steer is nonetheless important on a job site. The skid steer gets its name from the way it operates.

This little machine is run in four wheel drive with the left and right wheels driven independently. That means the left can be moving forward whilst the right hand side is stopped, effectively turning the machine on the spot. Because the right hand side is stopped, it will ‘skid’ through the turn.

A skid steer loader is often used in tight situations where larger equipment has no access. Although its normal configuration is with a loader attachment, there are many other attachments that can be used. These include backhoe, hydraulic breaker, pallet forks, angle broom, sweeper, auger, mower, snow blower, stump grinder, tree spade, trencher, dumping hopper, ripper, tillers, grapple, tilt, roller, snow blade, wheel saw, cement mixer, and wood chipper machine.

Another piece of heavy equipment that you may see in use is referred to simply as a scraper – since that is what it does. This is a strange looking piece of equipment – they often remind me of a strange looking insect. The machine is comprised of a scraper blade, a little like a cheese knife, a hopper, and an articulated drive cab. The machine is used to scrap layers of the surface depositing the scraped material into the hopper. Like a cheese knife, they are good at slicing even layers from the surface leaving a fairly smooth surface.

There are many other different types of heavy equipment, each requiring certain skills to operate them effectively. These skills need to be developed using the equipment on a suitable surface, or in work-like situations. Before selecting a heavy equipment training provider, check whether or not they provide training on the type of equipment you want to operate, and whether or not they provide real life training – ATS Heavy Equipment Operators Schools do.

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