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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    9
    Location
    Oregon

    Default Newbee

    I have a chance to apply for an apprentice program to the local union as a heavy equipment operator. I have been looking for a career change for a long time. Any thoughts about doing this? Has anyone done this?
    I currently work in the high tech and have really felt the need to get back out side for some time.

    Regards,

    Rob

    P.S. Cool site
    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,830
    Location
    Iuka Mississippi USA
    Tractor
    3550 Fard Backhoe and a 1948 Farmall Cub,

    Default Re: Newbee

    Its a great profession, dads been doing it for 47 years, my older brother 20 years i started when i was 11, im 23 now and get up every day and move dirt. It does have its drawbacks, The exposure to weather the bodily abuse of some machines and a few other downs. But on the other hand Id have to be awful hungry to do anything else. I had 4 years of metal traes in high school and 2 in college with a dgree in tool and die making, I just couldnt stay indoors at all. It takes alont time to get an eye or feel or your work and some machines like a dozer grader and crane take years to master. But then again some folks take up fast with some machines. I took the crane up in a hurry but i was used to swinging pipe and culverts with an excavator.
    Quarry work is usually year round because of the good ground to work on but its in the same spot day after day.
    I dont want to sound like im trying to scare you but its can be a rough line of work to get into, i had to work alot in the trenches ith a shovel hop hubs for a grader, rig lines, set grade, Layout jobs to get alot of experience. Also helps to have some mechanical knowledge to maintain a machine. The last job i was on when a machine i was on had something wrong i usually fixed it before the mechanics got there. Now i can go set up a job and do all the layout, maintenance, set the order of operations and a few other essnetial things. If you go through with your training be prepared to get stuck lol Ive had every type of machne ive ever been on other than a back hoe or excavator stuck,including a 5299 American crane with 125 foot boom . Again i dont mean to sound discouraging Its a great line of work to be in. Best wishes Taylor Lambert

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    9
    Location
    Oregon

    Default Re: Newbee

    Taylor
    Thanks for the reply, I didn’t really see anything that would discourage me in what you said. I have a similar background, I worked as a machinist, including a year in the local CC machine shop program. Changed after a year and got my two year degree in mechanical engineering tech. And have worked as a mechanical designer/engineer for the last 11 or so years. I know that when I finished the MET program, I only needed a couple of classes to get my Civil two year degree, I am checking to see what it would take now.
    I really like being outside, heavy equipment and the like. Now I just have to qualify and be selected.
    Any advice on getting started would be appricated.

    Regards,
    Rob

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,830
    Location
    Iuka Mississippi USA
    Tractor
    3550 Fard Backhoe and a 1948 Farmall Cub,

    Default Re: Newbee

    It takes a little time and experience thats all. I have 2 of the best teachers around my dad and brother. Just like machining you learn from mistakes dirt is mor e forgiving, the wold is made out of it. When i tell most folks about the rain and all the weather and they see me after a good hard day they get discouraged about being an operator. I love everything about it the smells, the sounds, the work, and the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a days work. Plus youll have a roaming 2nd family from now on. Best wishes Taylor Lambert

  5. #5

    Default Re: Newbee

    If there is one thing this world needs its construction workers. The tech industry is slow right now and my brother cant get a tech job but there are always job openings for equipment operators. Be prepared spending long hours on a tractor in the heat not to scare you or anything but many times it will be this way. There is nothing like being behind the wheel of a powerful beast and you being in control. Nothing like the smell of diesel and the sound of the engine turning over when you first start her up.

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