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What Constitutes Heavy Equipment In Today’s Workforce?

Is there a clear definition of heavy equipment in today’s workplace? According to Wikipedia, heavy equipment is defined as:

…. heavy-duty vehicles, specially designed for executing construction tasks, most frequently, ones involving earthwork operations. They are also known as, construction equipment, construction plant, earth movers, engineering vehicles, or simply equipment. They usually comprise five equipment systems: implement, traction, structure, power train, control and information.

Now that’s quite a definition, especially the latter part which names the equipment systems. What should be noted is that the word ‘heavy’ is not mentioned in reference to weight. In fact, weight is not the issue in today’s workforce as can be seen by the use of skid steer loaders and mini excavators. While relatively lightweight, they are still classified as heavy equipment. Generally speaking, the follow vehicles are typical of what could be described as heavy equipment:

  • Backhoes
  • Wheel Loaders
  • Scrapers
  • Excavators
  • Bulldozers
  • Road Graders
  • Rock Trucks
  • Skid Steers
  • All-Terrain Forklifts

These range in size from small vehicles up to massive vehicles (if you can still call them a vehicle) the size of small buildings, often used in the open cut mining industry. You should see the size of the dump trucks that are used alongside them – a single wheel stands almost twice as tall as most people and requires a special forklift when a tire change is required.

Size is irrelevant when it comes to determining heavy equipment. What is interesting is that training for a mini excavator is virtually the same as training for a standard excavator and for one of the giants used in the mining industry. Training is the key to using this equipment. If you are interested in heavy equipment as a career, then start by gaining your skills through a reputable heavy equipment training organization. That way you will be sure of having all the base skills required to launch a successful career as a heavy equipment operator.

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