Going to a heavy equipment training school to undertake excavator training can provide you with a really good skills base. However, once you get out into the workplace, your training continues. Learning by doing is certainly one of the best options, however, sitting back and just watching the experienced operators at work can be a big lesson in itself.
It’s not restricted to excavators either. Just watch the experienced hands at work on bulldozers, graders or any other heavy equipment. The reason I picked on excavators today is because I took a little time yesterday to watch an excavator at work. They may be large cumbersome beasts, but there are a few little tricks that some operators pick up with experience.
The excavator I was watching had almost finished digging a large trench. It had about 10 feet left but was really cramped for any room to move. It certainly had difficulties extending its arm. One option was to send the excavator home and get either a smaller unit in or perhaps a backhoe. Of course, that takes time and you know what they say, ‘time is money’.
Here is where the experience of the operator came to the fore. He set about building a mound, only five or six feet high. Once completed, he navigated his excavator to the top of the mound. From an increased height of only five or six feet, he had the extra room to extend the excavator’s arm and complete the trench, the last part being only a few feet in front of the mound he had built. Where it would have taken a couple of hours to swap equipment, he had the job completed.
Of course, without a solid training base you will never come to appreciate the little tips that experienced operators can demonstrate. Excavator training by a quality heavy equipment training organization is a must if you ever hope to be in a position where your experience can be passed on to the next generation. You have to get the basics right before you can learn the more advanced processes.