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Employers are changing their focus as modern heavy equipment becomes easier to operate. In years gone by, you could specialize in one piece of heavy equipment, let’s say a bulldozer, and spend your whole working life just operating that equipment. There are still opportunities to specialize, however, they are becoming less of an option for new operators entering the industry. The preference for many employers is for heavy equipment operators who can operate a range of machinery.
In fact, employers are going beyond heavy equipment, often requesting applications from skilled heavy equipment operators who also have a commercial drivers license (CDL). From employers’ point of view, it makes a lot of sense. Why employ ten separate operators and truck drivers when five will cover all of the equipment used, and the flat-bed trailers required to transport them. This reduces costs for the employer and gives them the flexibility to place operators wherever they are needed each day.
For new heavy equipment operators, the aim should be to gain experience on as wide a range of heavy equipment as possible. If you have the opportunity, you should also consider adding a commercial drivers license to your repertoire of skills. This will make you more employable and will open far more doors than those available to specialist heavy equipment operators.
The heavy equipment operator training program at ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Schools includes access to heavy equipment such as:
- Wheel Loaders
- Road Graders
- Rock Trucks
- Skid Steers
- All-Terrain Forklifts
We also have a truck driver training program available that helps operators obtain a commercial drivers license. Once you have graduated from these programs, you will have all the skills required to obtain entry level employment in the heavy equipment industry. You will also have the added benefit of a CDL should demand for heavy equipment operators ever drop off.