The Responsibilities and Challenges of Heavy Equipment Operators

A heavy equipment operator is a person who works in the engineering, construction, manufacturing, distribution, or industrial industry. They operate heavy equipment like bulldozers, forklifts, backhoes, cranes, dump trucks, crane trucks, hydraulic equipment, cargo trucks, and more. A heavy equipment operator typically must have experience, training, and certification to operate specific types of equipment. Let’s look at the responsibilities and challenges of heavy equipment operators in the U.S.

What Are a Heavy Equipment Operator’s Job Duties?

A heavy equipment operator typically has many and varied job duties. They are responsible for inspecting, operating, maintaining, cleaning, and sometimes repairing heavy equipment on a job site. They are also required to undergo and maintain specific training requirements, safety requirements, and management or communication duties. The primary job duties of a heavy equipment operator are:

  • Operate, drive, load, and unload heavy equipment.
  • Understand and maintain the machine’s settings and accessories.
  • Inspect and maintain the equipment.
  • Maintain performance, maintenance, and repair records for the equipment.
  • Perform equipment maintenance.
  • Adhere to all safety policies and procedures.
  • Complete pre- and post-trip evaluations for equipment.
  • Perform minor equipment repairs.
  • Refer equipment for major repairs or replacement.

Do You Need Special Training or Certification to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator?

You typically need to have a high school diploma or GED to become a heavy equipment operator. You may also need the following training, certification, or licenses:

  • Commercial driver’s license.
  • Certification to operate specific heavy equipment.
  • Clean driving record.
  • At least three years of experience operating specific heavy equipment.
  • On the job training.

What are the Challenges of Heavy Equipment Operator Jobs?

As a heavy equipment operator, you will face certain challenges that will help you develop specific skills, such as:

  • Verbal and written communication.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Teamwork and teambuilding.
  • Hand and foot coordination.
  • Strength and stamina.
  • Ability to follow verbal and written instructions.
  • Ability to make fast decisions.

At Tygart Contracting, we can help you find a heavy equipment operator job in the U.S. Call us today or contact us online to get started.