Truck drivers transport almost three-fourths of the country’s freight, and 80 percent of communities depend…
The role of a heavy equipment operator has changed little over the years. They use their heavy equipment to move earth – in fact, in some circles, heavy equipment is referred to as either earth moving equipment or heavy earth moving equipment. Where there has been a change is in the requirements of some employers. It’s quite normal now to see employers asking for heavy equipment operators with CDL, a commercial drivers license. Employers are looking for operators who can truck the heavy equipment to a job site, unload, complete the task, then load up again and drive to the next job.
There are a number of reasons for the increase in demand for operators with a CDL. One is cost – why employ two people when one person can do both jobs. If employers hire both a truck driver and a heavy equipment operator, there is a risk that one will be sitting idle whilst waiting for the other to complete their role. One operator to do both jobs saves money – and in this day and age, that’s an important factor for any business. Another factor that has led to dual skill requirements is a lot simpler – there is a shortage of truck drivers and, in the past, employers have often struggled to find drivers to move heavy equipment.
Having complementary skills is also good for operators. It means they have several employment options. If it is quiet in the heavy equipment field, for example, during the winter months, then they can take on work as a truck driver as a fill-in until the demand for their skills returns – as it often does in the spring and summer.
For those considering entering the heavy equipment operating field, obtaining a CDL early can be a wise investment. Heavy equipment operator training only takes three weeks. If you are prepared to study at home, you can also gain a commercial drivers license with as little as three weeks of training. That’s a total of six weeks training to obtain dual skills that you will have for a lifetime and that you can use in a range of jobs. It certainly reduces the chances of long periods of unemployment.