Using heavy machinery, Equipment Operators move construction materials such as dirt, rocks and heavy materials often found in construction sites. Essential on almost any construction job site, the number of different machines for various applications is large enough that heavy equipment jobs are almost always available.
The nature of the equipment operator job varies from site to site. Typically used for preparing and clearing land for buildings or structures, heavy machinery is used in trench digging, pipelines and oilrigs and road paving projects.
The number of projects using equipment operators is almost endless. Almost all work is done outside in nearly every type of climate. Some areas are not able to operate heavy machinery in cold or winter months. Heavy equipment operator jobs are typically considered dangerous work. Accidents occur like most machinery jobs, but can prevented with proper equipment operator training and safety practices.
Heavy Equipment Operators tend to work irregular hours often in remote locations such as national highways and mining operations.
Truck drivers operate heavy trucks to transport goods and materials over urban, interurban, provincial and international routes. They are employed by transportation companies, manufacturing and distribution companies, moving companies and employment service agencies, or they may be self-employed.
Long-haul truck drivers perform some or all of the following duties:
- Operate and drive straight or articulated trucks, weighing over 4600 kg with three or more axles to transport goods and material to destinations
- Oversee all aspects of vehicles, such as condition of equipment, loading and unloading, and safety and security of cargo
- Perform pre-trip inspection of vehicle systems and equipment such as tires, lights, brakes and cold storage
- Perform emergency roadside repairs
- Obtain special permits and other documents required to transport cargo on international routes
- Record cargo information, distance travelled, fuel consumption and other information in log book or on on-board computer
- Communicate with dispatcher and other drivers using citizens’ band (CB) radio, cellular telephone and on-board computer
- May drive as part of a two-person team or convoy
- May transport hazardous products or dangerous goods.
- Line-haul and local truck drivers perform some or all of the following duties:
- Operate and drive straight trucks to transport goods and materials over urban and short inter-urban routes
- May drive lighter, special purpose trucks such as tow trucks, dump trucks, hydrovac trucks or cement mixing trucks
- Perform pre-trip inspection and oversee all aspects of vehicles such as condition of equipment, and loading and unloading of cargo.
- Completion of secondary school is usually required.
- On-the-job training is provided.
- A Class 3 or D licence is required to drive straight trucks.
- A Class 1 or A licence is required to drive articulated trucks.
- Air brake endorsement (Z) is required for drivers who operate vehicles equipped with air brakes.
- Transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) certification is required for drivers who transport hazardous products or dangerous goods.
- Progression to supervisory positions or to non-driving occupations, such as driver trainers, safety officers or truck dispatchers is possible with additional training or experience.