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Heavy Equipment Operations - Overview


Vehicle and equipment operations programs prepare people to operate and maintain trucks, bulldozers, tractors, and cranes. They learn how to keep travel records and maintain safety.

Remember your childhood days spent playing in the sandbox? With a few tools, you could build tall sand castles, tunnels, fortresses - you name it. Shovels and buckets were fun to use, but nothing was quite as cool as your good old Tonka dump truck. You could fill the back with sand, drive it to other side of the sandbox, and then dump the sand out just where you wanted it. Today, you may not be able to even fit in the sandbox! But you can learn to drive a real dump truck and other equipment like it, such as bulldozers, tractor-trailers, and excavators.

With training from heavy equipment operation programs, you can become a professional truck driver. This means you can drive long distances, carrying cargo such as cars or food. Or, you can become a delivery person, driving shorter distances to deliver packages and other goods to homes and businesses. If you learn to drive equipment such as backhoes and forklifts, you can work for manufacturing, utility, mining, or construction companies. You can build roads and buildings, clear land, or dig ditches.

Heavy equipment operations programs combine course work with hands-on training. You learn how to drive several types of vehicles. You also learn how to maneuver trucks and heavy equipment on different types of road and terrain. In addition, you learn safety laws and procedures and how to prevent accidents. You also are trained to do minor repair and maintenance work.

Many vocational schools offer one- to three-month certificate programs in heavy equipment operations. Equipment operation training may be available through programs for truck drivers. A handful of community colleges also offer courses or complete heavy equipment operations programs. Most schools assist graduates in finding jobs with local and national companies.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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