How Do I Operate an Excavator?

Blog, Heavy Equipment


If you’re looking to advance yourself in your career in construction, as well as increase your income while seeking personal enrichment, your best option is to increase your marketable skills. Doing so effectively can be a bit of a challenge, if only because choosing the right skill set to pursue isn’t always easy.

For a person who is pursuing a career in construction, learning to operate heavy machinery can be the best option. Heavy machinery includes cranes, tractors, loaders, and excavators. Many of these are similar to one another, but learning to operate an excavator can require some extra effort. Nevertheless, learning to do so can be well worth it since excavator operators are in high demand by many prospective employers in the world of construction.

What Is an Excavator?

An excavator is a versatile piece of heavy equipment that can be found on many different types of construction sites. While, as its name suggests, it is primarily used for digging up large amounts of earth, the attachment can also be switched out in order to accomplish a wide variety of other tasks. Most excavators are diesel-powered, with a cab that sits atop a large set of tracks that can move the machine across all manner of terrain with ease. Attached to the cab is a hydraulically powered arm, which is controlled by an operator and utilized to perform the excavator’s various functions.

Excavators come in a number of different sizes, although the basic principle for their use remains the same, regardless of how big they are. The digger attachment is operated by way of several joysticks located in the cab where the operator sits.

Learning the Controls

Learning how to operate an excavator is more difficult than many other machines. Most excavators make use of one joystick that controls the movement of the arm and another that controls the digger or other attachment. You will need to practice moving both of them in tandem in order to dig with an excavator. This requires a certain amount of practice and coordination, which can render an excavator more challenging to use than other types of construction equipment.

As with any type of heavy machinery, safety is critical when operating an excavator. Always do a thorough inspection of any construction site where you will be working before you start work on a job. Ensure that there are no people within range of the machine and that there are no hazards, such as live electric cables or large ditches. Also, make sure to inspect your machine itself to ensure it is in good working condition before you begin to operate it.

Learning for Mastery

If you’re seeking to master the use of an excavator so that you can apply for construction jobs, your best option is to take a course at West Coast Training. There, you’ll not only spend time in the classroom learning the ins and outs of how to operate excavator machines, as well as all other types of heavy equipment, you will also get plenty of field experience under the watchful eyes of experienced instructors.