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Why Can’t I Just Learn On The Job? My Dad Did!

There are times when I get asked why I need heavy equipment operator training through a school and not just on-the-job. In reality, you can. However your training wont be complete, wont be recognized nationally and can harm future job prospects. Here is an example of how most of the job descriptions are written when vacancies arise.


  • Transports and operates a variety of heavy equipment including, but not limited to tractor trailer unit, lowboy, bulldozer, grader, crane skip loader, tandem drive axle rigs, service trucks, and backhoe/loaders
  • Operates a backhoe for excavating utility trenches, placing pipe and backfilling

Ability to:

  • Operate a variety of heavy equipment including tractor trailer unit, lowboy, bulldozer, grader, crane skip loader, tandem drive axle rigs, service trucks, and backhoe/loaders.
  • Adjust and perform preventive maintenance and make minor repairs on the vehicles and auxiliary equipment.
  • Operate equipment in compliance with District, State, and Federal Safety Codes.
  • Learn to operate and maintain newly acquired heavy equipment.
  • Understand the operation of heavy equipment and report any variance from proper operation.



  • One year of experience operating heavy equipment.


  • Operation and maintenance requirements of a variety of heavy equipment.
  • Practices, methods, and materials used in construction and maintenance work.
  • Traffic laws, ordinances, and rules involved in truck and heavy equipment operations.
  • Principles and practices of routine and preventive maintenance of light and heavy equipment.
  • The use of hand tools and safety gear.
  • Occupational hazards and standard safety practices.

Don’t let all of that put you off. Heavy equipment training schools cover most of those topics at some stage in their training. On-the-job training can provide you with some experience on one piece of equipment, however that limits your future employment to that piece of equipment.

ATS Heavy Equipment Training Schools can provide you with training to get started in the heavy equipment industry. We can also help you get your first job so you can gain that 12 months experience that many employers, particularly government related, require.

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