Hands-On Construction Equipment Training for Beginners

by | Feb 6, 2024 | Blog, Heavy Equipment, Heavy Equipment School | 0 comments

A successful career in construction starts with the right training program. The construction equipment training you undergo will set you on the right path to a longstanding and stable career and give you the skills to operate the equipment properly and safely. It will also provide you with the classroom learning and hands-on experience needed to prepare you for a construction site.

At West Coast Training, we know this well because it’s what we do. We prepare the next generation of heavy equipment operators to do their jobs and do them well. We know the training required to get beginners off to a great start.

To help you decide if enrolling in construction equipment training is the right choice for you, here’s a deeper look at what it entails.

Who Can Learn to Operate Construction Equipment?

Almost anyone can learn how to operate construction equipment if they put in the effort. Students at West Coast Training commit to an eight-week Heavy Equipment Operator Program where they learn everything from operation to job safety. To enroll, the only requirement is a high school degree or GED equivalent. Many employers also require a high school degree or its equivalent, so getting that in order now can help you gain access to excellent training and be prepared for future job applications.

What To Expect From Construction Equipment Training

Quality construction equipment training should provide you with both classroom experience and hands-on training. Working with heavy construction equipment is complex. It takes both physical strength and mental attention to detail. That’s why it’s fundamental to have some classroom training in your chosen field. In the classroom training at West Coast Training, students learn workplace safety, machine maintenance, proper tool usage, useful civil engineering concepts, and mathematics.

Students then take this knowledge to the field, where they have the chance to implement everything they have learned by performing project-based tasks under the supervision of NCCER-certified instructors. Our hands-on practical instruction provides students with the opportunity to practice on the same types of equipment they will one day be using in a job setting. This helps give beginners the confidence and skills they need when operating heavy construction equipment on the jobsite.

What Are the Different Equipment Types?

There are many different types of equipment on a construction site, each with its own set of different jobs it’s capable of doing. As part of our eight-week Heavy Equipment Operator Program, you’ll receive hands-on training and time operating each piece of machinery that we have here. Our fleet includes backhoes, dozers, graders, excavators, loaders, scrapers, vibratory compactors, and utility tractors and trenchers. And thanks to our low participant-to-instructor ratio, each student gets plenty of time operating the equipment and training with our professionals.

In addition to heavy equipment training, West Coast Training also offers four- and eight-week NCCCO crane operator and rigger training for those who would like to expand the equipment they are certified to handle. In the eight-week Crane Operator & Rigger program, students receive classroom and hands-on, supervised training to operate multiple mobile cranes and training rigging loads with hook blocks and overhaul balls. In the field, they practice different mobile crane operations such as smooth operating techniques, rigging, signaling, and designed lifts.

The four-week Mobile Crane Operator course offers students classroom and practical training for mobile cranes. Both training programs offer certification in lattice boom crawler, lattice boom truck, telescopic boom swing cab, and telescopic boom fixed cab cranes.

What Safety Protocols Do I Need to Know?

When operating heavy construction equipment, there are three safety priorities you should always keep in mind. The first is to be familiar with the equipment and the setting you’re in. It’s important to watch your surroundings and be mindful of overhead powerlines, oncoming traffic, and passing workers, as these are all potential dangers.

Second, you should learn the applicable, safe operating procedures for each piece of heavy construction equipment. This includes safe vehicle entry and exit, regularly conducting inspections, and keeping the machinery free of clutter, paper, or any extra items.

The third priority is preventive maintenance. As a heavy construction equipment operator, it’ll be your responsibility to keep your machine in optimum condition. Maintenance procedures vary based on the type of equipment and are something you will learn while getting hands-on experience.

There are also ASME and OSHA regulations that are in place that will need to be followed. By going to an accredited construction equipment training, you will learn what these are and be prepared for the job field.

What To Do Next

If you are a beginner looking for construction equipment training, it’s important to keep the above in mind. You should enroll in a training program with both classroom and hands-on training in the field. It should cover safety and maintenance, as well as offer training on a variety of types of equipment.

You can research different construction equipment training programs online. Speak with their staff for more information. Check out reviews, and if you can, talk to people who have attended the training programs to get an inside look at what it’s really like. Read up on the type of construction equipment they train on too. These practical tips will help put you on the right path as you start your journey to becoming a heavy construction equipment operator.

If there’s no heavy construction equipment operator training near you, don’t let that deter you. West Coast Training is located in Washington but takes students from all 50 states and beyond. Contact us to learn more about construction equipment training. We’ll answer any questions you have about our programs and help you enroll. We can’t wait to see you as a student in the future!