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Heavy Equipment Operators Are Drivers As Well

It may surprise some potential heavy equipment operators to learn that up to half of their working life is spent driving their equipment. Now I know most would say, “of course they drive their equipment; how do they move around if they don’t drive?” However, the point I am making here is that driving skills and the awareness of driver is just as important as knowing how to operator your heavy equipment.

Heavy equipment, if not handled correctly, can roll fairly easily. You may feel that a bulldozer is big and heavy and that it wouldn’t be possible to roll – believe me, they can roll, and when they do it can be quite devastating. Excavators and front end loaders have a higher center of gravity and will roll quite easily given the right circumstances.

Operators also need to be aware when operating their heavy equipment in congested areas such as construction sites. Giving way to other equipment and trucks, being aware of pedestrian traffic, buildings, and overhead power lines are all part of a heavy equipment operator’s day. These are driving skills as much as operator skills, and generally run true for all heavy equipment.

Workplace safety is a big factor today. Operating equipment in a safe manner is the goal as businesses aim for zero down time because of accidents. Every time there is a serious accident, the workplace, the employer, and the employee come under close scrutiny from government agencies. If they feel there is a lack of safe work practices, they will come down hard with severe penalties. The best way to avoid an accident is by undertaking heavy equipment training through an accredited training organization. Once you have completed your training, remember that you are a driver.

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