A heavy equipment operator can be many things, and their workday very different, depending on…
There are many people who look at motor graders driving up and down a stretch of what will soon be a road or highway and think, “that looks so easy.” In a way, for an experienced operator, it is. However, it takes good basic training and a lot of experience before you can say “it’s easy.” The reality is, a motor grader’s job is quite involved and it certainly involves more than just “driving up and down.”
Part of the training that is essential to motor graders is the theoretical, or classroom-based, training. This covers subjects such as:
- grade reading
- grade stakes
- laser levels
- site plans
- site layout
- soils and
Being able to read site plans is important since a grader operator’s role is to work to precise measurements. This brings in skills such as grade reading and laser levels. If you think about a stretch of road, particularly highways, they are not completely flat. They built with a small amount of slope to them – this is to enable water to flow from the center to either side rather than just pooling in the middle of the road. Corners have a camber to them that makes them safer to drive on at highway speeds.
It takes a lot of skill to get these slopes and cambers just right and that comes back to a grader operator’s ability to read plans, and to work to those precise measurements. Training followed by on-the-job experience is the only reliable way to build these skills. Being a grader operator is not as easy as some people may think. However, with the right heavy equipment training behind you, it’s not that difficult either.