Although many people assume technologies such as AI, analytics and the Internet of Things are…
Technology is everywhere and over time it has developed to the point that mankind has almost become redundant. Where advances won’t take over from humans is in the area of heavy equipment technology. There are many reasons why this won’t occur – here are a few:
Reaction to changes in dirt – it takes more than a human eye to know when the dirt under the heavy equipment is changing. Operators will tell you it’s in the hands – really, it’s like a sixth sense – they feel the change in the hands and feet just like an experienced driver can feel the changes in a road’s surface. There is no way you can build that into technology without it consuming a lot of time as it senses the area before it digs.
Reaction to the environment – machines are not that good at avoiding anything that moves, especially if it moves unexpectedly. An operator can see a child, adult or animal that wanders too close. They can also see vehicles, buildings and intangibles like wind and the effect it has on the environment. Even if a robot had ‘eyes’ to see these changes, would it react as quickly as a human?
Experience – experience has shown that even in areas where robotic heavy equipment has been trialled – for example in mining, it is has still taken an operator somewhere to control that robot – so it is still not working on auto pilot.
A career as a heavy equipment operator is quite safe from any modern technology. Heavy equipment technology can do a lot to make the work environment safer, more comfortable and to work faster – but it will never replace a human at the controls. Heavy equipment operator training is still a worthwhile investment in your future – an investment that has a lot of rewards to offer.