Building a home, installing a sewer line and widening a road are a few examples of the myriad tasks that require heavy equipment. In our Heavy Equipment Operations & Preventive Maintenance program, students explore the diverse employment opportunities for heavy equipment operators.
As they learn about the role of mobile machinery in various industries, students master the following skills:
- Operating articulated dump trucks, bulldozers and excavators
- Operating backhoe loaders, crawler loaders, skid-steer loaders and wheel loaders
- Inspecting equipment systems and performing preventive maintenance
- Using hand and electric or gas power tools ranging from hammers to jackhammers
- Surveying, site preparation and grading; employing erosion and sediment control
Instruction begins with job-site safety, blueprint reading, equipment rigging, and other fundamentals before advancing to activities like building a pad, backfilling a trench and slot dozing. Working in one of the nation’s best-equipped program labs of its kind, students learn to use more than 20 machines made by Case, Caterpillar, John Deere, Volvo and other big-name manufacturers.
Exercises on virtual equipment simulators are followed by plenty of practice with the real thing on an expansive outdoor training course. Students gain real-world experience by assisting with maintenance projects on the school’s 47-acre campus and off-site jobs supervised by their instructor.