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What Do Heavy Equipment Operators Do?

There’s a lot of big machinery out there, and that means heavy equipment operators are working. Heavy equipment is a category of machinery that is designed to do big jobs that involve moving things that are too big or bulky to move any other way. The types of heavy equipment ATS trains students on include:

  • Backhoes
  • Scrapers
  • Bulldozers
  • Graders
  • Skid Steer Loaders
  • Wheel Loaders
  • Excavators
  • Off-Road Haul Trucks
  • Front End Loaders
  • All-Terrain Forklifts

Each machine is a little bit different because it is designed to do specific jobs. But heavy equipment operators don’t just learn to operate a variety of equipment because sitting in the driver’s seat is only one part of the job description. Operators are trained to know how to properly inspect their equipment for safety and maintenance purposes. They learn how to monitor materials, events, and environment so the changes in the job site are adapted to and everyone stays safe. The job of a heavy equipment operator changes the world around them, so the operator needs to understand what to do in a changing environment.

Operators Do More Than Drive

Heavy equipment operators also understand their machine and the regulations it falls under. There are lots of laws covering the skilled trades industries because this is a dangerous career — not just anybody can operate this machinery safely. Employers look for well-trained heavy equipment operators because it is cheaper in the long run even though the wage guidelines are good in this career. It’s cheaper for the employer because the job gets done professionally and safely.

Heavy equipment operators do an important job that cannot safely be done by an untrained person.


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