What do Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators Do?
On any construction or excavation job, an excavating and loading machine and dragline operator is responsible for operating and maintaining scoops, buckets and shovel machines. Employees use these machines to carry materials, debris and dirt into or away from work sites.
Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators Skills and Abilities
Mechanical skills are necessary for operating all heavy machinery. Operation and control skills are required for the upkeep and accurate operation of various equipment. Because safety is a concern, active listening, communication and monitoring skills are important to follow directions, communicate directions and foresee any potential problems. When problems do arise, critical thinking and decision making skills help you come up with solutions. During machine operation, quick reaction time and coordination can help avoid problems.
Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators Duties
Most of your duties as a machine operator involve the operation of various heavy machines. This includes manipulating foot petals, levers and dials to perform tasks. You need to learn each new device and their purposes and limitations. Following guidelines and procedures to maintain safety during digging is an important duty. You will also be responsible for these tasks:
- Inspect all material, structures and machinery before operation to ensure safety and that the correct operating procedure is followed.
- Manipulate equipment components and materials with arms and hands to move, position or install.
- Navigate and move digging vehicles.
- Monitor work area for hand signals or markings.
- Backfill, break concrete or rock, or make roads.
- Ensure the cleanliness of machine parts and work areas, including maintaining lubrication of gears, bucket teeth and bearings.
- Produce inclines using dirt or other materials.
Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators Tools and Technology
Tools are your main responsibility. You may only work with one machine per job or you may work with many different ones. Machines you will be responsible for operating include scoops, shovels, buckets and excavators (mini, telescoping or track). You will work with draglines, levels and various software programs. Proficiency in basic email, spreadsheet and word processing software is important for record keeping. Machine control programs help you monitor your machines.
Education and Training for Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators
It is very likely that you will gain employment as a machine and dragline operator with only a high school diploma. Some employees get hired with more or less education. Very few come to the job with completed degrees. Courses or training in construction, earthmoving and heavy equipment operation is beneficial. Work experience is important for obtaining employment in this field. You can expect to receive a moderate level of training after being hired.