When you need to remove accumulated sediment from the bottom or sides of a body…
The role of a heavy equipment operator is often more varied than many people realize. Their main job is to operate heavy equipment, often a range of different heavy equipment, depending on their experience and the employers requirements. However, it’s important to realize that operators are still part of an overall team, and sometimes that means getting out of the cab, rolling the sleeves up, and getting stuck into some good old-fashioned laboring work.
Operating heavy equipment is generally not for prima donnas. You can’t refuse to pitch in and help out ‘because you’re an operator’. You’re an employee, and your employer can and will ask you to do alternative work when required. That is not to say it happens every day – let’s face it, an employer doesn’t really want to pay a laborer heavy equipment operator wages. It makes more sense having laborers do the laboring work and operators operating their heavy equipment.
Often, an operator may need to switch off his machine for just ten minutes, for example, to help remove a stubborn tree stump or large boulder before continuing on with the bulldozing. It is a normal part of an operator’s job, and one which employers are utilizing more often. In fact, they are even advising potential job applicants of laborer expectations when listing job vacancies. Some employers are smarter – they are advertising laboring positions but adding heavy equipment experience as a preference.
The bottom line is straightforward for anyone considering a career as a heavy equipment operator. There are times when you will need to get out of your cab and pitch in with general laboring work. However, it’s also worth pointing out that this is one part of your working life that really does make you a part of the team, and that it’s one way to really earn the respect of your work colleagues.