Heavy Equipment Operator
Specialize in operating massive construction machinery, like bulldozers.
A construction project requires an amazing amount of very large equipment such as bulldozers, cranes, tractors, pile drivers, and cement mixers. These gigantic machines, in turn, require the expertise of a Construction Equipment Mechanic so the project can progress on schedule.
Construction Equipment Mechanics are the ones called when a piece of equipment breaks. As a Construction Equipment Mechanic, you test it to determine what’s broken and how you should fix it. You may use machines to help you run these tests, or you may know the machines so well that no testing equipment is needed. In this job, you’ll develop an ear and an eye for problems—you’re a bit like a horse whisperer for machines.
You also perform routine maintenance to ensure that the machines are safe to use and that they won’t break down in the first place. You test oil and brake fluid levels, replace parts that are worn down, and ensure that the hoses aren’t ruptured. The workers in the field may resent the loss of their equipment, even for just a few hours, so you need to work quickly and effectively to return it as fast as you can.
You may spend part of your day on the worksite, picking up or returning equipment, but the bigger part of your day is spent in your shop. Here, you have the lifts and tools you need to work on the incredibly heavy equipment you deal with. You climb over and squeeze under equipment, and you’re likely to be quite dirty at the end of your shift. You may be required to work long hours during the spring and summer months, when construction projects are at their peak.