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When talking to those who dream of a heavy equipment career, it can be hard work trying to get them to think realistically. As with most careers, you can’t expect to start at the top – after all, if you start at the top, the only direction you can go is down. Operating a large excavator or bulldozer is not out of the question, but you do have to get the basics right first and to then work your way to more responsible roles.
If you are considering a career in heavy equipment, start by thinking like an employer – who are you going to employ and what sort of jobs are you going to give them? Novices are obviously going to get the more mundane easy jobs. The harder task will go to those that have experience. Just remember, those experienced operators once started at the bottom, as you will. How they applied themselves to the various tasks then reflected in the types of jobs they were asked to do – the more they applied themselves and learned about their roles, the more difficult the tasks.
So starting with the basics then becomes important. Heavy equipment training that exposes students to a range of equipment and a range of tasks is the best start. Hands on training is obviously the best way to learn. Standing behind someone and watching them may teach you how to use the controls, but it doesn’t give you a ‘feel’ for the equipment. There is so much more to learn by actually sitting in the operator’s seat. Your hands and feet play an important role in ‘feeling’ what the equipment is doing – for example, is it straining, is it hitting rock, and what about the many other situations?
This is what is often termed ‘instinctive’ control of your equipment. Your body feels what is happening and acts almost before your brain clicks into gear. The more hands on experience you gain, the more control you will have over your equipment. ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Schools have been training prospective heavy equipment operators for decades. We can’t teach you ‘instinct’ – you develop that over time. We can, however, teach you to become highly proficient operators, ready to start in the work place and ready to gain that ‘instinct’ in the workplace. Your heavy equipment career starts by getting those basic skills right – and that’s where we can help you.