Heavy Equipment Operation Schools Make Light Work
This operation requires a mindset that is different from others. The job usually requires you to operate bulky machinery (usually highly-specialized), such as forklifts, bulldozers, cranes, boring machines, backhoes, harvesters and just about any other machinery where the laws of mechanics are used to perform tasks that require extraordinarily large amounts of power and force. Most it uses hydraulics to get the job done.
What Does It Take To Become a Heavy Equipment Operator?
Such large machinery and equipment usually finds application in industries such as construction, mining, agriculture, infrastructure projects such as dams, power plants, re-claiming land for sea, etc. Needless to say, the qualifications to operate the equipment are very different from those of a layman. If you have ever peeked inside a crane’s operator cabin, you would be bewildered by the amount of gear levers, pedals, switches and dials you will see. However, while traditionally people would learn on the job as apprentices, you need not resort to such Flintstones-era learning options. Enrolling in a equipment operation school would be your best bet. Unfortunately, there are no international associations or schools for them.
Rapidly changing technologies and the need for constant upgrading of skills have made the need for heavy equipment operation schools greater than ever before. The need of the hour is that of a combination of theory and practical knowledge that is aimed at the needs of the industry and can generate gainful employment for graduates from such programs.
On passing out from such a program, you would typically find employment in the following areas:
* Construction companies
* Public works departments
* Road works
* Mining, piping, excavation & landfill projects
* Cargo handling and haulage
While there are no international associations and schools, there are a few national level equipment schools where operators are trained. The National Association for Heavy Equipment Training Schools (NAHETS) is one such body that sets standards, guidelines and approves heavy equipment operation schools.
All member schools of NAHETS must meet the following criteria:
* Full time certified faculty, administration, admissions and finance personnel
* Full time job placement support resources, such as a career resource centers
* Minimum 20 acre training area for hands-on operation of equipment
* Absolutely no involvement with business activities on the campus
* Safety standards
Individual NAHETS member schools may customize their programs regionally, but they still have to meet the given standards. The NAHETS aims to provide end-to-end student programs from training to job placement assistance, which makes them a good place to start your search for knowledge.