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equipment operator

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by RAM4x4HONDA, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. RAM4x4HONDA

    RAM4x4HONDA Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 9

    Im 17yr old still in high school in metal fab., got one year left n looking to become a heavy equipment operator. Can you guys give me any advice what I should do, should I go to school for it, or just get the training and go work for someone till I have some time and money and knowhow to start a small excavating/landscaping business.
  2. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    i'm taking a course in may close to me so i'm going the school route,not cheap it'll teach me the basics and hate to go that way but it'll be an advantage over the 100 other labourers i work with lol.

    try a smaller company and express your interest to the owner or forman during a slow time he may show you some things to get the basics and save u the money. its not great pay compared to a larger civil contractor like i work for but the owner will at least know your name unlike mine lol,i've got time in a rubber tire backhoe,excavator and loader

    i'm 22 myself so i'm a young guy and know where yer comming from.its all up to you, the course is the fast track in basics but its all about seat time then u'll be doing what you want to do and hey btw,learn as much about welding while yer in that high school class as you can, you have no idea how many times i've welded on buckets at work i got my ticket and its a major asset as well if your good with mechanics ;)
  3. RAM4x4HONDA

    RAM4x4HONDA Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 9

    yea.. my grandpa first taught me how to weld when I was 12, and Ive been welding ever since. Im the best stick welder in shop and one the best mig welders, cant master tig though.been fabricating some pretty cool stuff. built myself a nice 5x8 tilt trailer, couple treestands for hunting, custom racks for my quad, working on a plow for my dads quad, built my own logslpitter. I definately want to work on my own equipment than pay someone else, I love tinkering with things.. rebuilt an old kawasaki dirtbike I picked up for cheap.My 2 neighbors both are equipment operators, so this summer I am working with them and learning the basic stuff, then off to equipment school when I finish high school. Id like to find some plans for a small tow behind backhoe that uses a 10hp or so engine to build in shop and play aroudn with out back.get the idea how these things really work. thanks for the advice
  4. drmiller100

    drmiller100 Senior Member
    from idaho
    Messages: 119

    go work for a farmer. it is AMAZING what you can working on a farm or ranch.

    option b is to go find someone that wants some work done, and rent a skid steer. learning on a rental is the american way. you get to learn how, and someone pays you to do it!!!!
  5. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    i am 18 soon to be 19. I work excavation in the summer and on breaks from school and run trackloader, skidloader, and backhoe. If its what you truly want to do, get a foot in the door with an excavation company. Most likely you will start as a ditch rat and work your way up. Most companies wont even let you set foot in a piece of macheinery until you are 18. I got lucky and ran stuff at 16. Its a rough job. 5:30am wake up 5:30pm get home if you're lucky, personaly I am going to school learning how to design the roads I build in the summer. Its all about getting your foot into the door, dont get discouraged by labor in the beginning, if you stick with it you will be an operator soon.
  6. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    im with drmiller i got out to wisconsin every summer adn work on the farms owned by my family and thats where i learned to drive everything
  7. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    Farming and Heavy Equipment operating are similiar in the fact that you will learn how to handle large machines. And not to put anyone down when i say this, but running a backhoe over the tops of peoples heads in a ditch requires a lot more skill then dropping a chisel plow on the ground. I know that farming needs skills to...I rake and ted hay along with discing fields every spring and summer for my buddy. Its a diffrent skill set though with construction equipment. Personally if you want to go to any school go to a truck school and get your class A CDL. Companies are always lookiing for a truck driver/operator and they will be paying you too much to stick you in a ditch...good luck
  8. ShannonS

    ShannonS Member
    from IOWA
    Messages: 96

    I agree class a cdl much more important. We hired a guy and he had class b and he wants to move the equipment we have around to do jobs but he cant, he has little experience with heavy equipment but we are willing to teach him but he gets very mouthy saying thats not the way i learned it.
    Like i tell him my grandfather started the business , my father runs it and i got u hired and i can get u fired. He got nailed by the dot one time over weight and the last thing he said to them was " it's good thing you guys didn't come earlier we have been running all day without our cheaters down"
    I told him never say that to them even if they are your friends or not ( he used to be scwhans man too, DOT guys were his customers) u just put a big bullseye on the back of all of our trucks now. But another thing is education is something nobody can take away from u, but if u didnt learn the same way or close to what i did , or until u prove to me u can do it better you will do the work the way we say. And to prove ur boss wrong is not always good.
  9. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    It's too bad you don't live close to me. I could put you into work on the farm right away. From driving tractors, to skid steers to any other equipment we have.

    The number one thing when learning heavy equipment is the safety. The rest just comes from experience. A farm is a good place to start.

    One wrong move on heavy equipment and you are dead. PTOs, etc... can wrap you around a pole 1000 times in the blink of an eye.

    I reccomend finding a small course to get you licenses. Hi-ho, etc... That way it's a one time fee. You get training aswell as the rental to write your test and get everything. Requirements for equipment very state to state and country to country.

    Some people can adapt to machinery quite easily. If you are one of those people you can learn easily. It's just getting seat time to master it.
  10. citybobcat

    citybobcat Junior Member
    from NYC
    Messages: 18

    If you can you should try to get into an apprentice program with the Operating Engineers Union they will teach you alot