Construction equipment operators use machinery to move construction materials, earth, and other heavy materials at construction sites, mines, and sometimes your back yard. They operate heavy equipment that clears and grades land to prepare it for construction of roads, buildings, and neighborhoods. They dig trenches to lay or repair sewer and other pipelines, and they hoist heavy construction materials. They may even work offshore constructing oil rigs. Construction equipment operators also operate machinery that applies asphalt and concrete to roads and other structures.
Operators control used heavy equipment by moving levers or foot pedals, operating switches, or turning dials. The operation of much of this equipment is becoming more complex as a result of computerized controls. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology also is being used to help with grading and leveling activities. In addition to controlling the equipment, construction equipment operators also set up and inspect the heavy equipment, make adjustments, and perform some maintenance and minor repairs.
Used Construction equipment operators include: paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators; piledriver operators; and operating engineers and other construction equipment operators. Operating engineersand other construction equipment operators operate one or several types of power construction equipment. They may operate excavation and loading machines equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets that dig sand, gravel, earth, or similar materials and load it into trucks or onto conveyors. In addition to the familiar bulldozers, they operate trench excavators, road graders, and similar equipment. Sometimes, they may drive and control industrial trucks or tractors equipped with forklifts or booms for lifting materials or with hitches for pulling trailers. They also may operate and maintain air compressors, pumps, and other power equipment at construction sites. Construction equipment operators who are classified as operating engineers are capable of operating several different types of construction equipment.