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Has Heavy Equipment Technology Made The Job Too Easy?

If you talk to some of the old timers, they will tell you that our modern equipment is too easy. A child could operate it. In a way, it’s true. The equipment that was around 50 years ago was heavy, awkward, and often took brute strength to operate. Today, some of the controls could be operated using one finger. But has it made the job easier?

While the equipment has become easier to operate, the range of jobs required from that heavy equipment has broadened considerably. Heavy equipment like a bulldozer can now venture into terrain where older equipment never dared to go. Look at how easy some of these machines work on sandy beaches, restoring the sand after a storm. They maneuver over the top of that sand like it was a concrete highway.

So, while heavy equipment technology has made the operation of some equipment easy, it has not necessarily made the job easier. Heavy equipment operators now require more skills than they did 50, or even 20, years ago. Knowledge of soils and how they react when moved, being able to read site plans, and, today, being able to operate equipment such as GPS units come together to make the job more taxing on the brain rather than the brawn.

The one thing that new heavy equipment technology has done is influence the way new operators are trained. When those old timers learned to operate their equipment, it was virtually a trial-by-error learning experience. Five minutes instruction from another operator to learn what the levers did, then on to the job. In today’s workplace, that type of training just doesn’t cut it. Employers are looking for operators that have been trained by reputable heavy equipment training companies – companies that have built their reputations on the delivery of skilled and employable graduates.

You know, things haven’t changed that much. Sure, the equipment is more modern and easier to operate. But the training is still delivered by experienced operators – the big difference being that today’s trainers are also qualified to train, and they train to a specific set of skills. Has heavy equipment technology made the job too easy? Definitely not – industry today expects our graduates to be well trained and ready to go to work – and that’s our aim too.

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