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Excavator Operators Under Pressure

We often talk about grader operators and the need for accuracy in the work they do, however, they are not the only operators that need to work with accuracy. In fact, almost every piece of heavy equipment has a role that requires accuracy. Excavator operators are often under more pressure than most other operators; but then, they are venturing into delicate territory.

There has been a real push over the last decade to bury services. When you consider those services, there is electricity, gas, telephone, cable TV, and the latest – fiber optic cable. One false move by an operator and you have a gas leak, or the operator is being zapped by thousands of volts. Even worse, everyone loses power, or loses their internet connections and telephone. For the excavator operator, they only need to be out by an inch, and there’s problems.

Fortunately, most excavator operators are well trained so we rarely hear of incidents – and when we do, they are often big incidents. The key to working to precise measurements comes from the original training. Part of that training often includes learning to read site plans. It also includes heavy equipment safety training. In the past, the operator’s mantra was always ‘look up first’ – this was in reference to overhead power cables. Now, it also applies to ‘look below’.

It doesn’t matter what type of heavy equipment you are operating, safety is always going to be an issue. For some operators, such as excavator and backhoe operators, digging in areas where underground services are located is always going to be a tricky and delicate operation. When working under pressure in these situations, a cool head on the shoulders of a well-trained operator will always win through. Can you handle that pressure? Do you have a cool head? If so, have you considered a career as a heavy equipment operator?

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