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Becoming a Better Heavy Equipment Operator

July 23, 2019

Every company wants the best candidates for the job. When it comes to operating heavy machinery, you want skilled and knowledgeable operators to handle your construction or demolition project. Other than operating forklifts and manlifts, OSHA does not have basic qualifications for heavy equipment operators. This means that a combination of natural skills, characteristics, and on-site training are what make the best machine operators.

Looking for a new machine operator?

If you’re looking to hire a machine operator, there are many characteristics and skills that can set someone ahead of the competition. The best operators are self-motivated with strong problem-solving abilities. They take personal pride in their work and have a strict attention to detail.

Skilled operators will pick up the movements and flow of the operation quickly. They have good body-awareness and can coordinate their eyes, hands, and feet to subconsciously make the machine perform as they want without having to think about every movement. This is particularly important when running 3rd Member Hammer Bracketsand wrecking attachments on high reach machines.

Many people have natural skill and understanding when it comes to operating machinery. People who grew up on farms make great operators, as they often are exposed to heavy equipment early and get to see how it works and functions. They learn how to use their body and the machine together naturally.

Patience is another virtue of a good heavy equipment operator. When wrecking, processing concrete, or running a hydraulic hammer, operators must understand that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. A previous customer called us after breaking three bits on their Stanley Hammer MB100. Thinking the hammer was defective, we sent a technician to them to evaluate the machine. After a few minutes, they saw the problem and were able to offer training and explanation to the operator to keep production going with no downtime or expensive bit replacements.

Unfortunately, it’s true that not everyone will make a good heavy equipment operator. Operating equipment needs to become a fluid process with brain and body fully in sync. Naturally good operators will pick up these movements and operate the machine with ease.

Becoming a Better Machine Operator

For machine operators looking to increase their abilities, time and experience are your best teachers. Get lots of practice and exposure to new machines and techniques. If possible, start young and see if there are instructional classes or experts offering tutorials or continued training. While it may seem like an excavator is just an excavator, technologies are changing, and new techniques and operating procedures can help save on fuel and increase power.

Don’t be shy about asking for advice and education from senior operators or your site/plant operator. They want to have the best operators possible and will be happy to show you how to make the machine run at its highest performance level for the best production and safety.

When operating a crane or high reach machines, it is particularly important to have training and experience beyond a beginner level to ensure safety and reduce the potential for an accident. Excavator work near utilities requires a higher-than-normal level of patience. Grading operations with a tolerance of ½ inch or less require training, experience, and a high degree of skill. Graders and dozers for finish production are simply not machines anyone can hop in and begin productive operation.

How Company Wrench helps your workers be the best heavy equipment operators around…

While most workers can pick up the skills necessary to be an excellent heavy equipment operator, there are limits to what time and experience can teach. That’s why Company Wrench is clearly different from other machine sales and rental companies. With every sale and rental, we provide you with an equipment trainer and mechanics who offer operating techniques, maintenance tips, safety training, and other working procedures.

We don’t just sit you down in a classroom or hand you a manual. Our expert trainers will explain the function while actually getting in the driver’s seat and showing you the mechanics of the operation. This teaching methodology increases production and improves the overall safety and performance of the machine. No one wants to buy or rent a $500K or $1M machine only to have an inexperienced operator handling it. We are able to get the operator comfortable with the machine and guide them on what to do and how to do it.

Our customer service improves your machine performance, increasing productivity, worker safety, and your bottom line. And the training isn’t finished when we leave your job site. Our mechanics give out their direct lines and renters or purchasers can call any time there is a problem or they have a question. A simple phone call can often save time and money.

Buy or rent your next machine from Company Wrench and experience the difference our machine operator trainers can make to your operators. Whether you’re looking to hire a new operator or train your existing operators, Company Wrench has what you need.