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Any heavy equip. operators?

The artist formerly known as DanoThe artist formerly known as Dano Member Posts: 29,215
edited March 2009 in General Discussion
I'm thinking about going to a heavy equip. operator school down the road.

I've always had a fascination with bulldozers. The bigger the better. [:p]

Anyways, I've heard the pay is decent as long as you don't mind traveling to the job sights.

How long are the schools and anything I need to be aware of?

TIA!! [:D]

Comments

  • jimdeerejimdeere Member Posts: 20,384 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sorry, last thing I ran was a three stick Case.
  • bamafanbamafan Member Posts: 4,011
    edited November -1
    Tomahawk can help you on this one. I believe the school is three or four years. Depends on how fast you can go through it.
  • Sav99Sav99 Member Posts: 16,036 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Going to school to learn to operate the heavy equipment would be fun. It wouldn't get you a job doing it, but would be a good time for a few months.
  • The artist formerly known as DanoThe artist formerly known as Dano Member Posts: 29,215
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by bamafan
    Tomahawk can help you on this one. I believe the school is three or four years. Depends on how fast you can go through it.



    Three or four years? [:0]

    I just want to operate um, not design / manufacture um......[xx(]

    I was thinking something like 9-12 months......[:(]
  • joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,929
    edited November -1
    i dont work with them myself but the last company i was with had a lot of heavy equipment. you talking union or non union? union i think base scale is around $28 here in ct. and thats for the little bobcat skidsters. it goes up from there. and the spprenticeship program lasts for i think 2 years befor you make the full pay scale.[xx(] non union id think would be at least lower to mid 20 dollar range depending on what your operating. not sure how long the schooling would be
  • bamafanbamafan Member Posts: 4,011
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by dano
    quote:Originally posted by bamafan
    Tomahawk can help you on this one. I believe the school is three or four years. Depends on how fast you can go through it.



    Three or four years? [:0]

    I just want to operate um, not design / manufacture um......[xx(]

    I was thinking something like 9-12 months......[:(]


    That's what they told my cousin when he tried to get in. They teach you how to operate quite a few different pieces of equipment.
  • winch_warriorwinch_warrior Member Posts: 82 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I went to a heavy equipment school and it was a waste of money-but it was fun. I have since found out that you usually start at the bottom of the barrel "swamping" for another operator before you even get the chance to operate a piece of equipment. I found that most employers were not impressed with schooling......they want actual time that you have ran equipment on the job. Thats just the way it usually works........[;)]
  • Flying Clay DiskFlying Clay Disk Member Posts: 35,219 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I got into it going to work as a superintendent for a big earth work outfit many moons ago. I wasn't an operator, but I had to know how to operate some equipment. Over time I got to where I could run most. Some equipment like graders are a lifetime pursuit to learn to operate well. Surprisingly, operating a dozer (well) is not easy either. Sure, pushing dirt is simple, but actually grading with one takes a fair amount of skill.

    The big dozers were fun though. Ran a few D-9's and a couple D-10's even. Track hoes were the ticket; we had a couple monsters too. One was a Cat 245-ME (magnum). Tore up a freeway in MI once; this thing would rip through 6" of concrete and 12" of road base without the need for pavement breakers out in front of it...and wouldn't even grunt. Scrapers are the worst, and that's probably where you'd start. They beat you to death; Cat 631 and 637's (twin engine).

    I worked for this old country italian guy. He'd come bombing across a field in his Mercedes (ultra 990XXLXT series behemouth) shakin' his fist out of the sun roof yelling "Black-a-smoke, I wanna' see black-a-smoke. I don' see no black-a-smoke, the iron, she's a not a workin' for me!! I give a you all a my money...now you wanna' my BLOOD!! Black-a-smoke!!"

    Tough business though. Production is everything.

    There were good days though. That big job with a short fuse, everyone making overtime, teams of three 637 scrapers all hooked together and being pushed by a D-9. Seven several hundred horsepower diesels all belching black smoke out of the stacks lowering solid clay 18" in a single pass...that was money and work getting done!
  • FrancFFrancF Member, Moderator Posts: 35,278 ******
    edited November -1
    Dano-

    This will be your final exam.[:D]
    http://tinyurl.com/cekuou
  • EO1EO1 Member Posts: 222 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Forget any schools! You have to pay for that. Contact your local Intl Union of Operating Engineers. There is an apprenticeship program. They put you to work at a lower wage until you journey out. It could be 4 years, but as you progress, your wages will be increased, getting closer to journeyman wages. The program consists of ojt and occassional classroom.
    Yeah, I know the union crap and the Dems, but you cant beat the benefits.
    And, yes I'm an operator.
    Send me an email for any more info.
  • kristovkristov Member Posts: 6,633
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by dano
    I'm thinking about going to a heavy equip. operator school down the road.


    I thought that you were some sort of soldier of fortune or a commando of one type or another. Whats up? You stash some of Saddam's gold somewhere deep underground and now need to dig it up [8D]?
  • tomahawktomahawk Member Posts: 11,826
    edited November -1
    sign on at your local operators union. the apprenticeship is for 3 years through their school. as said above, other schools you have to pay and when you graduate, good luck finding a job, the unions will not recognize the school...see eo1 's post...the trade is usually handed down ,father to son. there is no textbook and it is a lifelong of learning from the old grey hairs, danger is everywhere,and the machines are unforgiving of mistakes. please learn the right way, the wrong way can cost you ,your or other life [;)]
  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 63,043 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Worked for a Tenn. guy when I was in my 20's. He did backhoe work, dozer work. Turned me loose in a large field with a dc-9 and no assistance. I dug up a huge hole and then filled her back up. Worked scraping sides of interstates from the bottom. Throw the coal to her all the way up to the guardrail and then slide down. Dozer work is for young guys, they beat the heck out of you.
  • catpealer111catpealer111 Member Posts: 10,695
    edited November -1
    My last job before getting into the Air Force I taught myself how to operate the company's two endloaders; a John Deere and an ancient Allis Chalmers. They were there, I needed to move something big, so I used them. There's definitely a learning curve involved and formal training would've made a big difference.
  • Joe DreesJoe Drees Member Posts: 2,953 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 15,806
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by kristov
    quote:Originally posted by dano
    I'm thinking about going to a heavy equip. operator school down the road.


    I thought that you were some sort of soldier of fortune or a commando of one type or another. Whats up? You stash some of Saddam's gold somewhere deep underground and now need to dig it up [8D]?



    Maybe he wants to drive one of those giant Diamond Mine trucks, those are awesome[:p]
  • CaptplaidCaptplaid Member Posts: 20,202 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Joe Drees
    Seabees

    '

    My Grandfather was in them in WWII. He said back in the day they'd line 'em up and ask "Anyone know how to operate one of them?" He'd step forward figuring it can't be that hard and no one else here knows squat.
  • JamesRKJamesRK Member Posts: 25,672 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    A long time ago I used a D-4 for a forklift and a D-8 to pull sled trains, but I never did get good with the blade. It takes most people a long time. It's not as easy as it looks. I could cut a road for you, but if you wanted it level it had to be six or eight feet below ground level.

    I think EO1 is or was a First Class Equipment Operator. He can probably tell you more than the rest of us put together.
    The road to hell is paved with COMPROMISE.
  • Horse Plains DrifterHorse Plains Drifter Member Posts: 35,736 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yep, my advice is join an Operating Engineers apprenticeship program. It lasts 4 years or 6,000 hours. Apprentices in Local 302 are starting out at $20 and change. When you journey out your pay scale will be $32.00-$36.00/hour plus $13.00/hour benifits.

    Be advised though you will be despised by many people here because they hate union workers. You will also be despised by the elites on this board because you work with your hands, therefore you are a lowlife and only one step up from a skidrow bum. Any wage you make over a dollar an hour is way to much according to them.

    Here is a link to my union local. You can check a lot of things out.
    You will want to check out local 400 also.

    http://www.iuoe302.org/
  • spasmcreekspasmcreek Member Posts: 38,925
    edited November -1
    D-8, D-9, pan & elevating scrapers, wheel & track loaders, backhoe(got one), all sorts of construction & farm machinery...do not like a grader...worked 7 winters for a consulting surveyor on boundary & construction jobs & 6 years highway dept the same besides maintaining all county survey records..fun but now old bones are paying for the ride
  • cowdoccowdoc Member Posts: 5,807 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    FCD
    " shakin' his fist out of the sun roof yelling "Black-a-smoke, I wanna' see black-a-smoke. I don' see no black-a-smoke, the iron, she's a not a workin' for me!! I give a you all a my money...now you wanna' my BLOOD!! Black-a-smoke!!"

    now that's funny!
    though in the day of electronic diesel engine....it damn hard to get any smoke....damn EPA..[:D]

    BLACK-A-SMOKE BLACK-A-SMOKE[:D]

    421866256BMKdHx_fs.jpg

    P9110291.jpg


    kurtwileman3.jpg
  • JohnnylikesgunsJohnnylikesguns Member Posts: 2,885
    edited November -1
    I'm like Tomahawk.
    Also a Union Operator.
    Apprenticeship program is 6000 hours here.
    Start at 60% with full benafits to start.
    You need to attend classes, on your time.
    When you top out, 6000 hours and about 3-4 years you will be able and quailfied to operate all the machines and make some serious money.

    Been there over 30 years and will collect a nice retirement
    starting June of this year.

    email me if you want more info.
  • rcrxmike_2rcrxmike_2 Member Posts: 3,275
    edited November -1
    Never been to 'school' but I can run most anything......In our part of the woods, that's a necessity!
  • D@D[email protected] Member Posts: 4,407
    edited November -1
    My father just got a new truck. It looks like this.


    00401684.jpg
  • n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    I've found that on the job training is about the best you'll get.
  • fishkiller41fishkiller41 Member Posts: 50,608
    edited November -1
    I started as a "crane oiler" and worked up from there.
  • EO1EO1 Member Posts: 222 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I had considered suggesting an enlistment in the Bees, but by the time you get out of basic and A school then at the bottom of the pile in some battalion trying to build rank, the union apprentice route would be faster.
    And as Johnny sez, those of us that are union operators will recieve a good retirement.
    He's also correct about the apprentice benefits. The same as for journeymen.
    And give that man (James) a cigar, rank & rate - not my ego. Not many recognize a Seabee rate.
  • Joe DreesJoe Drees Member Posts: 2,953 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I would then suggest joining the reserve seabees if you go the apprentice route. You will gain a lot of contacts in the buisness and if work is slow you can do projects from two weeks to a year. A lot of my buddies are in Kuwait doing six months as customs inspectors for the navy. Keeps the bills paid. Seabees, especially in the reserves are a lot more informal than active duty types, and strongly believe in cross training. In Iraq our corpsman drove a dump truck when he had the time. If you want to learn welding or plumbing or framing people will be glad to have you learn. I was a UT (plumber) in the reserves, but had a lot of stick time driving truck, back hoe, front end loader, and skytrak. A lot of reserve seabees are journeyman or higher and they are mostly very patient with newbies. There is also very little harrassment in the reserves compared to active duty. You are treated fairly and equally from day one. I did 14 years active and eight years reserves and both have advantages and disadvantages. You also get to shoot some nice firearms like 50 cals, 249s, 203s, AT4s. [:D]
    Also the Air Force Red Horse guys are first rate(and have top notch equipment), but then, jeez, your in the Air Force[xx(].(just kidding flyboys. I got to work with them in Iraq for a while. Only group I saw that had real US non formaldehyde lumber)
  • The artist formerly known as DanoThe artist formerly known as Dano Member Posts: 29,215
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by kristov
    quote:Originally posted by dano
    I'm thinking about going to a heavy equip. operator school down the road.


    I thought that you were some sort of soldier of fortune or a commando of one type or another. Whats up? You stash some of Saddam's gold somewhere deep underground and now need to dig it up [8D]?




    Well.....there's this big ole chunk of land down in S. America that I want to upgrade.....[;)]
  • buddybbuddyb Member Posts: 3,863 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Did the Seabees thing from 1970-74.
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