@bigjon636 said “Question for you good sir. This may seem silly but I’m curious about something. What does one need to do or have accomplished in order to be able to operate heavy machinery? I’ve operated large farm equipment and harvesters as well as played a little in an excavator but nothing formal. I’d drop what I’m doing currently in a heartbeat to operate heavy machinery but don’t know where to begin. Any suggestions?!” •
I decide to respond to this question with a post because I’m certain that there are more people out there with this same question. The biggest factor is desire. It helps if you have any experience in large equipment (i.e. farm equipment, large trucks, some heavy equipment) so that you don’t have the intimidation factor these large pieces of equipment can bring. It also helps build spatial awareness skills needed when operating something so large. Getting started, you will most likely start out in a haul truck. While this isn’t what most have in mind when they see this page, this position allows you to fully observe the full operation. There is so much to be learned by watching. Subtle maneuvers such as which side of the cut is taken first, how and when the bucket is curled, and just the overall natural movement of the machine can be observed. •
Same goes for a dozer. Watching someone with 20+ years of experience in a dozer will blow you away with just how much can be done. Whether it’s a D6T pushing piles to build compacted fills, a D8T cleaning the cut and haul roads to the hoe, or a D11 carry dozer filling up his blade and pushing, watch and learn. •
Eventually you will get to the point where you feel like you have picked up enough to try it out. Any time a small opportunity comes up where the foreman needs someone on a dozer or on a hoe, take your chance and try it out! Show that you are willing and have the desire to do more. •
It’s all about desire and taking your opportunities. If you want to get started, don’t wait. We look for people who have a desire to be in this industry and the drive to put in the time to be successful in it- the experience can be gathered along the way.