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  1. #91
    Super Member ovrszd's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    Missouri
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    Kubota M9540, Ford 3910FWD, JD2210

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    Quote Originally Posted by sdkubota View Post
    There are plenty of people who claim to be an operator yet can't read a grade stake or grade finish grade to within 1/2". A good road grader operator is worth his weight in gold and they are as hard to find as Sasquatch. Anyone can gouge dirt but getting it to grade without wasting diesel fuel and time is another matter.
    Very true. A lot of people can "run" a blade, but few can "operate" a blade. Big difference.
    Richard

    "Happiness isn't having everything you want, it's wanting everything you have."

  2. #92
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    Location
    CA, United States
    Tractor
    CAT

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    Hello "Rubes2311". I'm a heavy equipment operator with over 5 years experience. I have extensive grade checking experience and have about 7 years experience as a grading foreman on mostly public works projects. When considering a career it is wise to make sure you are aware of both the good and the bad of this job. When you are going to becoming a heavy machinery operator, one of the best ways to start a career in this industry would be with heavy equipment operator training. Skilled employees are very much in demand in this industry.
    Read information available about Heavy Hauling Trucking Jobs

  3. #93
    Bronze Member rubes2311's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    66
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    Peterborough, Ontario
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    Dynamark

    Default

    Ok thanks, do you guys think I should go straight to school or work with a construction crew for a year and see where that takes me?

  4. #94
    Bronze Member rubes2311's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    Peterborough, Ontario
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    Dynamark

    Default

    Ok thanks, do you guys think I should go straight to school or work with a construction crew for a year and see where that takes me?

  5. #95
    Veteran Member crashz's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    1,022
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    Eastern MA & Upstate NY
    Tractor
    John Deere 770, Bobcat 753

    Default

    Both. Start working part time and summers while you are in high school and continue through trade school. This will be a good start and you'll most likely know if it's for you by the time you get through high school.
    I've had a wonderful evening, but this wasn't it. ~ Groucho Marx

  6. #96
    Platinum Member
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    Aug 2012
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    983
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    Hartford, SD
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400F

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    Crashz gave you good advice. It may turn out that operating heavy equipment and all that accompanys that isn't right for you. Life is an adventure with many turns and twists.

  7. #97
    Platinum Member
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    May 2011
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    765
    Location
    Trent Hills, ON
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE HST

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    Quote Originally Posted by rubes2311 View Post
    Ok thanks, do you guys think I should go straight to school or work with a construction crew for a year and see where that takes me?
    Talk to your co-op teacher in your high school, I bet the Drain Brothers would take a co-op student, or Accurex, or Kawartha Capital. That way you can get some experience and have a contact in the business. I hear good things about the Fleming College Heavy Equipment program as well, I went there for Geographical Information Systems and the college is always in direct contact with employers and their courses cover what employers want. I got a job within a couple weeks of finishing.
    If you do get a co-op placement find out who does the hiring and ask them how to get a job there, what they are looking for, and then go do it.
    2011 DK40SE HST

  8. #98
    New Member
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    Dec 2012
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    Elkhorn, WI
    Tractor
    IH

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    I just retired as a member of Local 139 IUOE. I got into the union when I was 33 and have been a member for 30 yrs. If you live in a right to work state you would most likely be working for substandard wages for several years but if your any good as an operator you can probably keep busy if your willing to travel. If your in a state that has a IUOE local with any clout definitely apply for the apprentice program when your old enough and be prepared to work your butt off and take any and all training classes that are offered. Meanwhile, pay attention in school, especially geometry and trig. The industry is becoming more and more technical all the time and these classes will only make your skills more valuable to any contractor. Be willing to travel and if you get laid off from one contractor find where the work is and go there. If your good the bosses will remember you and be glad to put you to work when they have a seat to fill. Networking in construction is a great way to sell your abilities. It can be a great life. Good luck

  9. #99
    Bronze Member rubes2311's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    Peterborough, Ontario
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    Dynamark

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    Thanks everyone I will go talk to the co op office and I have seen the drain bros around here a lot. Also my dad and step dad know the bosses of local construction companies so that might help me

  10. #100
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    Location
    Canaan, NH
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    Kubota L3540

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    This is the first time I've noticed this thread.

    I'm a heavy equipment operator for a local municipality; specializing in water and sewer infrastructure. I've been at it for about 5 years and it's getting old. At only 31 years of age I've got arthritis in my left shoulder and two bad knees that need replacing. In my line of work being a "heavy equipment operator" means you get as much time on the smart end of a hand shovel as you do in the seat. You may get lucky and find a job that gives you 10 hours of seat time a day, but that's a good way to get fat. The alternative is to be like me and get a little bit of it all (including driving commercial trucks) but I go home sore and tired at the end of the day.

    I'm lucky that I went to college and got two bachelor's degrees before I started working. I've got those to fall back on and now that my 31 year old body feels like a 61 year old body I'm looking for an exit strategy. With a little luck I'll be back in school for a masters degree in a medical field within the year.

    Good for you for having motivation, direction, and ambition. If you keep it up with those three attributes you'll do great in life. Please don't rule out school for something beside equipment operating. Think of degrees that will keep you happily employed- any of the trades, anything in the medical fields, (nursing, etc). There's nothing wrong with wanting to be an HEO but be open minded to other paths.

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