How do you learn to operate an excavator?
If you asked someone what they thought an excavator operator did, they would most likely say they dig holes. A skilled excavator operator can do far more than that! Excavators are one of the most important pieces of heavy machinery on a construction site and while learning their basic operation can be fairly straightforward, excavator mastery can takes many years of practice.
Learning to operate an excavator is based on understanding what each of the excavator's levers and pedals does, then learning to coordinate your hands, feet, and eyes to undertaken the required action. Learning health and safety related to construction and specifically the excavator is also key.
The first step in learning to operate an excavator is to have someone teach you the basic operations. Many construction companies offer 'on the job' training, where a trainee will be closely supervised while they learn. There are also numerous companies who offer formal excavator training.
In New Zealand, if you operate an excavator on the road, as well as being trained to operate the excavator, you must have a T or W endorsement on your driver licence. For information on the New Zealand Transport Agency's 'Special-type vehicle endorsement' requirements, click here.
Practice makes perfect! Once you understand how to operate an excavator and have the appropriate liciences, the next step is to get in the seat and start operating. With practice, you will be able to learn to more smoothly and quickly operate and maneuver the excavator.