The construction and transportation industries in The United States are booming once again and need qualified heavy equipment operators now more than ever. If you’ve ever thought about investing in heavy equipment training, now is the time to do it. Heavy Equipment Training can open up a world of career possibilities and earning potential.
Unlike many industry-related job classifications which require licensing, OSHA oversite, and certification by nationwide organizations, heavy equipment training can be as easy as acquiring adequate on-the-job experience.
Why is Heavy Equipment Training So Attractive?
Though it’s a specialized skill, operating heavy equipment isn’t as heavily regulated as other industry-specific job classifications.
1) You Don’t Need a CDL
No special licensing is required to operate heavy machinery at a job site. (However, having your CDL will make you a much more valuable employee and open opportunities for you.)
2) OSHA Doesn’t Require Certification
OSHA only requires that employers instruct (or find an appropriate heavy equipment training program to instruct) each operator in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe job site conditions and ensure they understand regulations applicable to their work environment. (29 CFR 1926.21(b)(2))
3) You Can Learn While You Work
Heavy Equipment Training can be completed while you work, using on-the-job training hours to backup any classroom learning.
What Heavy Equipment Training Covers
While it’s not as heavily regulated by OSHA as crane training, heavy equipment training requires candidates to learn some of the same skills. Some of those essential safety skills that transfer between job classifications include:
- Understanding site layout
- Learning to read grades
- Using laser levels and GPS equipment
- Knowing the effect of soil type (density, compaction, make-up)
- Worksite safety practices (including hand signals)
- Heavy equipment inspection and maintenance
Additionally, heavy equipment training includes machine-specific operation instruction so you’ll be ready to operate:
What’s Involved in Heavy Equipment Training?
So what are the basic requirements for candidates looking for heavy equipment training?
- Minimum age of 18 years
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Standard state-issued driver’s license (not necessarily a CDL)
In addition, candidates must be able to pass a standard Department of Transportation physical exam which screens applicants for physical defects and medical conditions (such as seizures) which could lead to job site accidents.
Heavy Equipment Training can be completed solely through the use of on-the-job training. It can also be completed through a vocational school program. Additionally, some nationally-recognized apprenticeship programs teach necessary skills.
However, because OSHA does not specifically regulate the heavy equipment operator job classification, no certification is needed.