Mastering Heavy Equipment Operation: Tips for Beginners
Becoming a heavy equipment operator is a step toward a thriving career that can be done in almost any part of the world. Each day, many men and women make the choice to take this career path and attend a professional training school like West Coast Training to ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
If you’re a beginner in the field or curious if heavy equipment operation might be a career for you, then we have a few useful tips for how you can become a skilled heavy equipment operator and have a rewarding career. With the right training and mindset, anyone can become a master at heavy equipment operation.
Learn the Basics
Whether you’re getting into heavy equipment training with on-the-job experience or starting out at a school like West Coast Training, it’s important that you learn the basics beforehand. The equipment you’ll be operating is large and powerful and can be dangerous on a jobsite if not handled properly.
You’ll need to learn the correct operating techniques and preventative maintenance for each piece of machinery. Basic engineering, applied math, and surveying skills will be essential in becoming a master of heavy equipment operation. A true professional acquires a deep understanding of the basics and implements that knowledge in their work each day.
Put Safety First
Your safety and the safety of others on the jobsite should be your top priority when you become a heavy equipment operator. You’ll be dealing with machinery and equipment that can easily lead to injuries when not handled the right way. If you want to master heavy equipment operation, mastering heavy equipment safety is an essential step.
Start by always wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a hard hat, ear protection, and steel-toe shoes. Always inspect your equipment before you climb inside and begin work. Look for signs of damage or wear and tear and make repairs where necessary. Do not operate machinery that could become dangerous to you, your coworkers, or the jobsite.
Once inside your equipment, never skip a step when it comes to handling machinery. There are safeguard activities in place for a reason, such as double-checking that your path is clear or checking in with those around you before you begin. These extra steps will ensure that you keep yourself and those around you as safe as possible.
Become Professionally Credentialled
Professional credentials can set you apart from the crowd when it comes to finding a job operating heavy equipment. Potential employers won’t get a good understanding of your knowledge of basic machine operation or safety skills until you’re on the job, but providing them with a list of your credentials will show them your operation skills and safety knowledge are top-notch.
When you attend and complete the eight-week Heavy Equipment Operator course at West Coast Training, you’ll leave the course with the opportunity to become NCCER certified. This is a great way to show potential employers you are well on your way toward becoming a master heavy equipment operator.