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Excavator Operators Rely On Soil Type Knowledge

It may sound strange, but soil type knowledge is one of the most important skills an excavator operator can acquire. Soils are not the same – that’s fairly obvious, but what I mean by that statement is that soils react very differently when being excavated. Knowing how they are going to act is an essential skill for an excavator operator.

Digging a trench in sandy soil is very different to digging in clay-based soils. Most clay-based soils tend to stick so it is fairly easy to dig trenches with walls. Sandy soils don’t stick so the walls will tend to fall back into the trench. This often means the trench needs to be wider thus creating more work.

You have the many soil types in between, each reacting slightly different to each other. And that’s not the end of the story. Soil can be made in layers and can include rock, which, in itself, is another set of knowledge. You can learn a lot about soil when you first undertake excavator training. However, it is experience that fine tunes that initial knowledge.

The next time you look at any heavy equipment operator, look beyond the basic skill of working levers and pedals. There is a set of skills based on understanding soils, rock types and often a variety of attachments for their equipment to deal with differing soils. Add to that the knowledge of safety and heavy equipment maintenance and you have highly skilled operators.

Excavators are only one type of heavy equipment, but they have become essential tools to our construction industry. As tools, they require highly skilled operators that have received their excavator training through a professional and accredited training provider.

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