These heavy equipment operators operate tractor-loader-backhoes (TLB) used in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports and utilities, and the construction of gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures. They also operate equipment in surface mining, quarrying, and land clearing activities.
Heavy equipment operators (TLB) are employed by construction companies, heavy equipment contractors, public works departments and pipeline, logging, mining, oil, cargo-handling and other industries.
Heavy equipment operators operate tractor-loader-backhoes to move and load earth, rock, gravel or other materials during construction and related activities, including clean-up operations. They also maintain winter roads and move, load and unload cargo. Heavy equipment operators (TLB) are also responsible for preparing their equipment for transportation, conducting pre-operational checks on their equipment before each shift/daily and post-operational checks at the end of each shift/daily for cleaning, oiling and refueling their equipment.
Noise from machinery and equipment hinders communication at the work site. Often hand signals and flags are the only practical forms of communication. Distance between workers, the need to wear ear protection and the presence of dust and blind spots blocking eye contact with other workers also make communication difficult.
Key attributes for people entering this trade are good eye-hand coordination, mechanical aptitude, alertness and safety consciousness. Heavy equipment operators (TLB) sit in vehicles for extended periods of time. Adjusting equipment or co-ordinating activities with other workers may require some walking, lifting and bending.
For more information, see Red Seal Trades – Heavy Equipment Operator (Tractor-Loader-Backhoe)