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7521.0 – Heavy equipment operators (except crane)

Heavy equipment operators operate heavy equipment used in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports, gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures; in surface mining and quarrying activities; and in material handling work.

Profile

Example titles Help

  • Backhoe operator
  • Bulldozer operator
  • Excavator operator
  • Gradall operator
  • Grader operator
  • Heavy equipment operator
  • Heavy equipment operator apprentice
  • Loader operator - construction
  • Side boom tractor operator
  • Surface mining equipment operator

Main characteristics Help

  • General learning ability to operate heavy equipment such as backhoes, bulldozers, loaders and graders to excavate, move, load and grade earth, rock, gravel and other materials during construction and related activities
  • Spatial perception to manoeuvre construction equipment to avoid other moving and stationary objects, and to operate heavy equipment with pile driver heads to drive pilings into the earth to support buildings, bridges and other structures
  • Motor co-ordination and Manual dexterity to manipulate hand levers, foot pedals and steering devices
  • Objective interest in operating bulldozers and heavy dredging, paving and surfacing equipment to deepen waterways, reclaim earth fill, lay, spread and compact concrete, asphalt and other surface materials during highway and road construction; and in operating power shovels to excavate rock, ore and other materials from open-pit mines, strip mines, quarries and construction pits
  • Methodical interest in comparing information to move, load and unload cargo and to clear brush and stumps before logging activities using bulldozers and other heavy equipment
  • Innovative interest in conducting pre-operational checks on equipment and in cleaning, lubricating and refilling equipment, and in building roads at logging and surface mining sites using bulldozers and other heavy equipment

Aptitudes Help

One of five levels assigned for each factor, with levels representing normal curve distribution of the labour force:

G
General learning ability
V
Verbal ability
N
Numerical ability
S
Spatial perception
P
Form perception
Q
Clerical perception
K
Motor co-ordination
F
Finger dexterity
M
Manual dexterity

Levels legend
  1. The highest 10% of the working population
  2. Upper third, exclusive of the highest 10%
  3. Middle third of the working population
  4. Lowest third, exclusive of the lowest 10%
  5. Lowest 10% of the working population

An individual's overall capacity to learn the skills needed to perform job duties is based on his or her specific aptitudes for acquiring information and transforming it into action.

General learning ability G-3

Ability to 'catch on' or understand instructions and underlying principles; to reason and make judgments.

Verbal ability V-4

Ability to understand the meaning of words and the ideas associated with them, and to use them effectively; to comprehend language, to understand relationships between words and to understand the meaning of whole sentences and paragraphs; to present information or ideas clearly.

Numerical ability N-4

Ability to carry out arithmetical processes quickly and accurately.

Spatial perception S-3

Ability to think visually about geometric forms and comprehend the two dimensional representation of three dimensional objects; to recognize the relationships resulting from the movement of objects in space. May be used in such tasks as blueprint reading and in solving geometry problems. Frequently described as the ability to 'visualize' objects of two or three dimensions.

Form perception P-4

Ability to perceive pertinent detail in objects and in pictorial and graphic material; to make visual comparisons and discriminations and to see slight differences in shapes and shadings of figures and widths and lengths of lines.

Clerical perception Q-5

Ability to perceive pertinent detail in verbal or tabular material; to observe differences in copy, to proofread words and numbers, and to avoid perceptual errors in arithmetical computation.

Motor co-ordination K-3

Ability to co-ordinate eyes, hands and fingers rapidly and accurately when required to respond with precise movements.

Finger dexterity F-4

Ability to move the fingers and manipulate small objects with the fingers rapidly and/or accurately.

Manual dexterity M-3

Ability to move the hands easily and skillfully; to work with the hands in placing and turning motions.

Interests Help

Three of five descriptive factors, assigned in order of predominance and lower case rating indicating weaker representation:

D
Directive
I
Innovative
M
Methodical
O
Objective
S
Social

Objective O

Objective persons enjoy working with tools, equipment, instruments and machinery. They like to repair and/or fabricate things from various materials according to specifications and using established techniques. Objective persons are interested in finding out how things operate and how they are built.

Methodical M

Methodical persons like to have clear rules and organized methods to guide their activities. They prefer working under the direction or supervision of others according to given instructions, or to be guided by established policies and procedures. Methodical persons like to work on one thing until it is completed. They enjoy following a set routine and prefer work that is free from the unexpected.

Innovative i

Innovative persons like to explore things in depth and arrive at solutions to problems by experimenting. They are interested in initiating and creating different ways to solve questions and present information. They enjoy scientific subjects. Innovative persons prefer to be challenged with new and unexpected experiences. They adjust to change easily.

Data, people, and things Help

Data

0
Synthesizing
1
Co-ordinating
2
Analyzing
3
Compiling
4
Computing
5
Copying
6
Comparing
7
N/A
8
Not Significant

People

0
Mentoring
1
Negotiating
2
Instructing - Consulting
3
Supervising
4
Diverting
5
Persuading
6
Speaking - Signaling
7
Serving - Assisting
8
Not significant

Things

0
Setting up
1
Precision working
2
Controlling
3
Driving - Operating
4
Operating - Manipulating
5
Tending
6
Feeding - Offbearing
7
Handling
8
Not significant
Data Comparing 6

Identifying the obvious functional, structural or compositional characteristics (in terms of similarity with, or difference from, established standards) of data, people and things.*

People Not significant 8

Not significant

Things Operating 3

Starting, stopping and running machines and equipment that must be steered or guided in order to fabricate, process and/or move things or people. Involves activities such as observing gauges and dials, estimating distances and determining speed and direction of other objects, pushing clutches or brakes, and pushing or pulling gear shifts or levers. Includes such machines as cranes, conveyor systems, tractors, and hoisting machines. Excludes manually powered and power-assisted machines.

Physical activities Help

V - Vision

1
Close visual acuity
2
Near vision
3
Near and far vision
4
Total visual field

H - Hearing

1
Limited
2
Verbal interaction
3
Other sound discrimination

L - Limb co-ordination

0
Not relevant
1
Upper limb co-ordination
2
Multiple limb co-ordination

C - Colour discrimination

0
Not relevant
1
Relevant

B - Body position

1
Sitting
2
Standing and/or walking
3
Sitting, standing, walking
4
Other body positions

S - Strength

1
Limited
2
Light
3
Medium
4
Heavy
Vision Total visual field V-4

The use of sight in the work performed. The levels are organized in terms of the visual field involved in the performance of the work.

4 - Total visual field

Work activities involve the entire field of vision – Near and far vision (3) – as well as depth perception and peripheral vision.

Examples:

  • driving vehicles
  • refereeing sports events
  • fighting fires
  • dancing onstage in ballet performances
Colour discrimination Not relevant C-0

The use of colour descrimination to identify, distinguish and match colours and different shades of the same colours.

0 - Not relevant

Colour discrimination is not relevant in the performance of the work.

Examples:

  • cleaning windows
  • providing information over the telephone
  • interviewing, hiring and overseeing staff training
  • translating documents
Hearing Limited H-1

The use of hearing in the work performed. The levels are organized in terms of the type of auditory discrimination involved in the performance of the work.

1 - Limited

Hearing is limited to short and/or infrequent verbal interactions in order to perform the work.

Examples:

  • typing and proofreading correspondence
  • cutting and trimming meat, poultry and fish according to customers' orders
  • carrying linen to and from laundry areas and running errands
  • assisting mine workers in constructing underground installations
Body position Sitting B-1

Primary type of posture or body movement involved in performing the work. These postures or body movements range from simple to complex and from sedentary to mobile.

1 - Sitting

Work activities primarily involve sitting. Standing and/or walking (2) may occur but is incidental to the work being performed.

Examples:

  • reading and editing copy to be published or broadcast
  • preparing financial statements
  • issuing aircraft take-off and landing instructions to pilot
  • interviewing clients
Limb co-ordination Multiple limb co-ordination L-2

The use of limbs in performing work.

2 - Multiple limb co-ordination

Work activities are carried out by co-ordinating the movements of upper limb(s) simultaneously with lower limb(s).

Examples:

  • digging ditches using shovels
  • operating and driving automobiles, vans and trucks
  • climbing and working aloft on poles, ladders or other support structures
  • performing in figure skating competitions
Strength Light S-2

The use of strength in the handling of loads such as pulling, pushing, lifting and/or moving objects during the work performed.

2 - Light

Work activities involve handling loads of 5 kg but less than 10 kg.

Examples:

  • repairing soles, heels and other parts of footwear
  • filing materials in drawers, cabinets and storage boxes
  • preparing and cooking meals
  • repairing paintings and artifacts

Environmental conditions Help

Location

L1
Regulated inside climate
L2
Unregulated inside climate
L3
Outside
L4
In a vehicle or cab

Hazards

H1
Dangerous chemical substances
H2
Biological agents
H3
Equipment, machinery, tools
H4
Electricity
H5
Radiation
H6
Flying particles, falling objects
H7
Fire, steam, hot surfaces
H8
Dangerous locations

Discomforts

D1
Noise
D2
Vibration
D3
Odours
D4
Non-toxic dusts
D5
Wetness
Discomforts Noise D1

Work conditions that create disturbances but are not hazardous. In general, these conditions create discomfort, but are not direct sources of injury. In extreme instances, however, these conditions might cause injury.

D1 - Noise

Work that produces sufficient noise – constant or intermittent – to cause marked distraction or possible loss of hearing.

Examples:

  • operating drilling equipment in underground mines
  • using power saws in logging operations
  • blasting rock surface in mining
  • operating heavy equipment for construction jobs
  • using firearms
Discomforts Vibration D2

Work conditions that create disturbances but are not hazardous. In general, these conditions create discomfort, but are not direct sources of injury. In extreme instances, however, these conditions might cause injury.

D2 - Vibration

Work that produces an oscillating or quivering motion of the body.

Examples:

  • operating jackhammers to break up pavement
  • driving tractors
  • operating drills to produce blasting holes in mines
  • shaping metal using power-forging machinery
Discomforts Non-toxic dusts D4

Work conditions that create disturbances but are not hazardous. In general, these conditions create discomfort, but are not direct sources of injury. In extreme instances, however, these conditions might cause injury.

D4 - Non-toxic dusts

The presence of non-poisonous airborne particles such as textile dust, flour, sand, sawdust and feathers in the work environment.

Examples:

  • preparing dough or batter
  • cutting fur pelts or fabric for garments
  • operating woodworking machines
  • cleaning chimneys
  • removing poultry feathers
Hazards Equipment, machinery, tools H3

Potential hazards to which the worker may be exposed. The codes provide an indication of the type(s) of hazard(s) most likely to be present in the workplace environment. They are not a measure of frequency, duration or degree of exposure to hazards, but an indication of the presence or absence of a particular hazard in the work environment.

H3 - Equipment, machinery, tools

Working near or with equipment, instruments, machinery or power/hand tools that may be a potential source of accident or injury.

Examples:

  • operating metal machining tools to shape metal
  • using hand tools to fabricate wood products
  • operating power saws to thin trees
  • performing surgical procedures
Hazards Dangerous locations H8

Potential hazards to which the worker may be exposed. The codes provide an indication of the type(s) of hazard(s) most likely to be present in the workplace environment. They are not a measure of frequency, duration or degree of exposure to hazards, but an indication of the presence or absence of a particular hazard in the work environment.

H8 - Dangerous locations

Working in locations that are inherently treacherous and are potential sources of injury. Such work locations include construction sites, underground sites, erected support structures and marine environments.

Examples:

  • building underground passageways in mines
  • installing roof shingles
  • washing exterior windows of buildings
  • commanding fishing vessels
  • operating underwater video, sonar, recording and related equipment
Location In a vehicle or cab L4

The work performed is carried out indoors in a regulated environment, indoors in an unregulated environment, outdoors or in a vehicle. In many occupations, the Main Duties may be performed in more than one location. Therefore, a group may have more than one Location code, for example:

  • firefighting and fire prevention duties
  • maintenance of interior/exterior of buildings
  • managing operations and paperwork of farms

L4 - In a vehicle or cab

An interior space in any form of vehicle or in the cab of heavy equipment operated by the worker.

Examples:

  • driving buses
  • operating cranes
  • providing service to passengers during flights
  • operating subway transit vehicles

Employment requirements Help

Education/training Help

1
No formal education or training requirements
2
Some high school education and/or on the job training or experience
3
High school
4
Course work, training, workshops and/or experience related to the occupation
5
Apprenticeship, specialized training, vocational school training
6
College, technical school (certificate, diploma)
7
Undergraduate degree
8
Post-graduate or professional degree
+
Additional requirement beyond education and training
R
Regulated requirement(s)
2, 4, 5, R
  • Some secondary school education is required.
  • Completion of a one- to two-year apprenticeship program
    or
    some high school, college or industry courses in heavy equipment operating combined with on-the-job training are required.
  • Trade certification for heavy equipment operator (dozer, excavator, tractor-loader-backhoe) is compulsory in Quebec and available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Ontario.
  • Internal company certification may be required by some employers.
  • Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified heavy equipment operators upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Workplaces/employers Help

  • Construction companies
  • Heavy equipment contractors
  • Pipeline, logging and cargo handling companies
  • Public works departments

Occupational options Help

  • Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.
  • The Red Seal endorsement allows for interprovincial mobility.

Exclusions Help

Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
7 - Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations
Skill level
C - Occupations usually require secondary school and/or occupation-specific training
Major group
75 - Transport and heavy equipment operation and related maintenance occupations
Minor group
752 - Heavy equipment operators
Unit group
7521 - Heavy equipment operators (except crane)
Version
2016
Date modified: