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Excavator Operators – What Skills Are Employers Looking For?
Do you know what skills employers are looking for in excavator operators? Just as importantly, do you know what skills your excavator training organization is going to teach you? It makes sense when looking at training programs for excavator operators, to find out who delivers training that provides graduates with the skills that employers are looking for.
When it comes to core skills, there are four that every heavy equipment operator needs to possess. These are:
Can you differentiate between different soil types? This is an important part of any heavy equipment operator’s working day. Different soils can often require different approaches. Sandy soils, for example, may need support to prevent the sides from constantly filling a trench.
I think it is fairly obvious that safety issues would be up amongst the most important skills required by an operator. It is not just knowledge of safety that is important – it is the ability to work putting in place safety practices.
Understanding blueprints and how to access sites under construction is also important. You cannot just barge in and start work. Often you have to navigate in and around other areas of the site to get to your part of the job.
Heavy equipment maintenance
Like safety, heavy equipment maintenance is an important issue. Every hour of downtime is an hour of lost income for an employer. If they are working to a tight schedule, the employer may be forced to hire in a replacement machine. Preventative maintenance is the key area of any operator’s job.
Of course, those four core skills form the basis for other skills. The fifth skill that I haven’t mentioned is machine-specific and that certainly relates to actually operating an excavator. Can you actually use an excavator or can you just tell me how to operate one? Naturally, being able to competently operate an excavator is an important skill.