Heavy Equipment Mechanic
Repair and maintain big tools like backhoes, fire trucks, and cranes.
Excavators move earth, either a few grains or a few yards at time, depending on their size. These commercial-sized marvels of engineering can dig holes of any size. Whether you want a small hole to plant a tree, or a three-story hole to search for gold, an excavator will serve you well. As an Excavator Operator, you’re in charge of maneuvering the machine in a way that gets the job done—whatever that job might be.
In order to safely operate the machines, an Excavator Operator has to know about them. As a novice Excavator Operator, you typically start with smaller versions and work your way up. A backyard excavator, for example, might be used to dig small holes for landscaping, while a slightly larger version creates trenches for pipes or cables. Another type, called a suction excavator, works as a large vacuum to suck out loose debris from a hole.
As you progress through the ranks, you’ll learn about the weight and balance capabilities of the equipment you’re handling. Most excavators run on tracks, like a tank, but can tip over if stressed or weighted too heavily.
You’ll also learn to control depth and to remove materials properly. Say, for example, you’re working on an archeological job site. You would need to gently peel away small portions of the land to carefully unveil each layer. Other jobs, such as gold mining, require quick digging and transfer of the material into the next stage of the panning process.