Grader, Bulldozer, and Scraper Operators Job Description video

Career Videos >> Architecture and Construction >> Grader, Bulldozer, and Scraper Operators video

Few jobs in the construction industry are as exciting as a heavy equipment operator’s job can be. Grader, bulldozer and scraper operators maneuver bulldozers, front-end loaders and other vehicles that have shovels or large plows and scrapers attached to them. They prepare the land at construction sites, by uprooting trees, grading terrain, and removing boulders. Bulldozers and scrapers are controlled by levers, foot pedals, switches and dials, which often need to be operated at the same time. Good hand, eye and foot coordination is essential. Good balance is also essential, because this type of equipment is often operated on steep slopes. Individuals who choose this career must be sturdy, and able to endure many bumps and jolts that are part of the daily job. They must also be prepared to work outdoors in nearly every type of weather condition. A typical day begins by setting up and inspecting the machinery. Connecting hydraulic hoses and belts is also part of the job. New graders and dozers have computerized controls. Therefore, understanding electronics is as important as understanding mechanics. Most equipment operators learn their skills on the job, but formal apprenticeship and other training programs are also available through unions and private vocational schools. Beginners start on light equipment and work their way up to more advanced machines. Most operators work for construction companies. Some work in mining, and others for local governments. This industry is sensitive to the economy. Growth is expected to increase during the next decade, but it may be at a slower rate than many other occupations As equipment continues to become more advanced, operators will need to acquire more skills than in the past, so employers generally prefer people who are at least high school graduates.


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