Although many people assume technologies such as AI, analytics and the Internet of Things are…
Heavy equipment technology is a little like new car technology. It doesn’t matter what they do under the hood or inside the cab, operating the equipment (or car) is still the same. Many of the changes we see now relate to computerized components, the use of lasers and GPS, or the addition of new tools.
The introduction of laser or GPS technology often requires a little training to operate effectively, however, the equipment still operates in the same fashion. Like a car, if you add a GPS device, you will need to learn how to operate the device. The car will still be driven using the existing skills.
The addition of tools is a different matter. Here you may need to learn a few new operator skills. Using the car analogy again, it would be similar to adding a boat or trailer – the basic operations remain the same, you just need to learn to drive with the load. With heavy equipment, the levers and pedals still do the same job, you just need to learn that new job.
Cranes are a good example of the introduction of new technology. You can add a lot of devices such as cameras and in-cab video screens, but the basic principles of lifting a load remain the same and the initial training you receive is still relevant.
When it comes to training for a career in heavy technology, it is not always possible to include every new device that has come onto the market. Backhoes and excavators have attachments that number into the hundreds. If you were to learn each and every one of them, it would probably take a year of training. Getting the basics right is the first step to a long career as a heavy equipment operator. As heavy equipment technology arrives, you undertake training only if it is appropriate. The bottom line – there is no change to your normal operating practices.