What Does a Heavy Equipment Operator Trainee Learn?

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What Does a Heavy Equipment Operator Trainee Learn?

The first step to becoming a heavy equipment operator is to attend a professional heavy equipment training program. By becoming a heavy equipment operator trainee, you will learn everything you need to know to safely and correctly operate heavy equipment. At West Coast Training, we make sure that our students receive both classroom learning and on-site training, making them well-rounded in both aspects. Let’s take a further look at what a heavy equipment operator trainee actually learns.

Classroom Training

In our Heavy Equipment Operator Training course, trainees spend five hours a day, Monday through Thursday, learning in the classroom. Here, they are taught workplace safety, applied mathematics, and basic civil engineering concepts. Additionally, trainees learn project layout and surveying, which includes learning the proper use of transits, plumb bobs, chain and rod, laser levels, and hand-sight levels.

On-Site Training

The next five hours on Monday through Thursday are spent in the field, providing all trainees with the opportunity to utilize their classroom learning straightaway. Here, they can develop the skills they need to safely and efficiently operate heavy equipment. Proper techniques are used and stressed.

On Fridays, trainees spend all 10 hours of the day in the field with supervised instruction. Trainees take the skills they have learned and developed throughout the week and put them to the test in project-based crew tasks. These tasks are assigned at the appropriate level for the students as they progress through the course.

Related Duties Also Taught

In addition to the duties mentioned above, our trainees also learn how to do other related duties to further ensure safety and efficiency. These duties include flagging, grade checking, operator preventative maintenance, and site preparation. Most projects have basic survey work integrated into them, such as project layout and cut or fill to subgrade.

Operating Machinery

Both our classroom training and field training include learning about the operation of the major types of equipment. This equipment includes dozers, graders, loaders, scrapers, backhoes, excavators, vibratory compactors, and utility tractors and trenchers. During field training, students practice operating the actual machines. Additionally, these are the same machines that our trainees use when taking their NCCCER credential exams, meaning they are already comfortable with the machines.

Each heavy equipment operating training school or course can vary. At West Coast Training, it’s an 8-week course for a total of 400 hours. During this 8-week course, the NCCER Core Curriculum and Heavy Equipment Operator Levels 1, 2, and 3 are covered.

One thing that’s important to us is ensuring each trainee receives personal attention from instructors and plenty of time with each piece of equipment. Because of this, each class has no more than 12 students.

Additionally, as West Coast Training is an Accredited NCCER Training Unit, you are guaranteed to get the necessary coaching and examinations to earn the NCCER training credentials needed to professionally operate heavy equipment. If you are looking to become a heavy equipment operator trainee, reach out to us today.