An excavator operator drives a tractor that is equipped with an excavator blade. Bulldozers are used to move dirt, rock, and other materials, in a wide variety of settings from the battlefield to construction sites. Pay rates for excavator operators vary, depending on the fields they work in and the level of training they have received. People can learn how to operate an excavator through on-the-job training or through apprenticeship programs offered to heavy equipment operators.
In many cases, the operator of an excavator is responsible for maintaining the equipment he uses, in addition to running it. Bulldozer operators report to the job site early to make sure their equipment is in good working order and to lubricate and clean their tractors. Minor problems can be repaired on the job site, while the excavator may need to be sent in for major repair work. Grader operators are also responsible for confirming that their safety systems are in place and working properly.
On the job, an excavator operator may work in mines, quarries, road construction, agricultural operations, and construction sites. The bulldozer operator uses the tractor and blade to level the ground, move rocks and debris to other locations on the site, and dig up soil. Bulldozers are capable of pushing dirt, rocks, clay, sand, and vegetation. They can also be used in the demolition of structures such as sheds and single-story houses, along with walls and other barriers.
This job can be dangerous. Although the excavator operator is generally reasonably safe while working on the excavator, he or she should be aware of workplace hazards that could cause the excavator to tip over, and it is also important to watch out for co-workers or bystanders. who could be injured by the bulldozer. Excavator operators are also at risk of health problems caused by inhalation of dust, exhaust fumes, and other forms of pollution that may be present in the workplace.
An excavator operator may need to be prepared to travel. Many companies provide heavy equipment services that cover a large area and may require days or weeks away from home for their employees. Being able to travel also provides more job opportunities for excavator operators, such as the ability to work in mild climates during the winter, when the climate at home can be too inhospitable for most excavation jobs.