Heavy machinery requires significant training and experience to operate at a high level. On the construction site or in the field at the farm, there are many different types of heavy equipment that require varying levels of skill and simply time spent in the drivers’ seat to become adept at operating.
For owners or managers of fleets of heavy equipment, the best way to ensure that your operators and employees are able to reach that type of skill level in operating heavy equipment is to train them. Even if specific employees came into the job with past work experience or received technical training in operating machinery, they will still benefit from on the job training.
In many ways, training that occurs on the job can be more valuable than any other form because it allows operators to take a hands-on approach by making decisions and problem-solving for specific scenarios in real time.
The benefits of that hands-on, real time training can be invaluable.
As for the owners and managers, a well-trained crew can lead to better heavy equipment performance, which is directly related to the bottom line of the business. Better operators know how to get the most out of equipment without pushing the machinery too hard, which could result in more mechanical problems and induce significant repair costs.
But there are several other reasons for why you should train heavy equipment operators – and many of those reasons can have a positive impact on not only performance, but also the bottom line.
Let’s dig into a few of those reasons.
When you’re working against the clock, and with the sun being that clock at many heavy equipment job sites, efficiency is the name of the game. Getting the work completed in a timely and efficient manner means deadlines will more likely be met and costs will be better controlled.
An operator who is well trained can be more efficient with the equipment because they have likely spent more time working with that specific type of machinery, or machinery that is at least very similar.
This means that a skilled heavy equipment operator will have a stronger understanding of how the equipment controls work and how hard they can push the equipment without sacrificing performance or safety.
Operators of a higher skill level are also less likely to make mistakes. In construction, or even farming, mistakes when operating equipment may not always be easy to fix. In fact, these types of mistakes often result in time-consuming fixes.
That added time puts everyone else on the site in a time crunch, making it harder to meet deadlines and keep costs controlled and under budget.
On a related note, operators who can get the most out of their machinery and run them as efficiently as possible can also realize a better fuel economy and even lower maintenance costs in the long-term.
Less skilled operators who are not as familiar with heavy equipment, especially equipment that is powered by heavy diesel engines, may inadvertently make the machinery work harder because they run it at the highest output.
On the other hand, properly trained operators know how to better control the equipment and know when they may be able to get enough out of the equipment at lower RPMs and speeds.
The lower settings can be helpful in saving fuel – and helping the engine run more efficiently in the first place. An engine that runs more efficiently will, on average, have fewer regular maintenance needs.
Another way to decrease fuel consumption is to check air filters on heavy equipment diesel engines. If the air filters are too dirty upon inspection, then it could be time to clean the air filters.
This requires the right equipment, though. Be sure to do your research on a filter cleaning product that allows for proper cleaning without damaging the filter itself.
Cleaning air filters can also help with fuel economy and efficiency for heavy equipment engines.
Perhaps above all else, skilled heavy equipment operators can help increase the level of safety for not only themselves, but everyone on the farm or construction work site.
Safety must be a top priority wherever heavy equipment and machinery are present. With such large, powerful equipment moving around, accidents are more likely to occur – but they can also be prevented.
The best way to prevent work site accidents is to invest in proper training for operators and help them understand how best to stay aware of their surroundings and know the limitations of their equipment.
Some safety risks to make sure everyone around heavy equipment is aware of include:
If operators have been trained to stay aware of these risks, then everyone’s safety is increased.
Well-trained heavy equipment operators can do a lot for your business operation. They can save on costs, generate better profits and keep themselves and everyone around them safe.
It’s important to stay aware of all best practices for increasing heavy equipment performance that can save your business time and money, as well as increase profits.
Learn more by reading more of our blog posts about heavy equipment, diesel engines and finding skilled operators.