A heavy equipment operator drives and operates heavy equipment used in engineering and construction projects. Typically only skilled workers may operate heavy equipment and there is specialized training for learning to use heavy equipment.
Much publication about heavy equipment operators focuses on improving safety for such workers. The field of occupational medicine, researches and makes recommendations about safety for these and other workers in safety-sensitive positions.
Heavy equipment refers to heavy-duty vehicles specially designed for executing construction tasks most frequently ones involving earthwork operations. They are also known as heavy machines, heavy trucks, construction equipment, engineering equipment, heavy vehicles or heavy hydraulics. They usually are comprised of five equipment systems: implement traction, structure, power train, control and information. Heavy equipment functions through the mechanical advantage of a simple machine meaning the ratio between input force applied and force exerted is multiplied. Currently most equipment use hydraulic drives as a primary source of motion.
These subdivisions in this following order are the standard heavy equipment categorization. Some contractors place numbers on the side of their equipment corresponding to the category - Grader '02' - followed by a sequential number that usually corresponds to the number it was purchased, for example, 02-112, is the 112th grader a company has purchased since their founding. This allows for easy recognition of the equipment type and the relevant age.
Track-type tractors (Bulldozer)
Military engineering vehicles
Skid steer loader
Excavator (bagger, digger)
Slurry wall excavator
Backhoe loader, Backhoe
Construction & mining tractor
Construction & mining trucks
Wheel dozers – soil compactors
Skip loader (skippy)
Wheel loader (front loader, integrated tool carrier)
Aerial work platform / Lift table
Knuckleboom loader (trailer mount) & Knuckleboom loader (trailer mount)
Concrete batch plant
Pneumatic tire compactor
Roller (road roller or roller compactor)
Vibratory compactor, Compactor
Stomper:concrete drop hammer
Tunnel boring machine
Underground mining equipment
Rotary tiller (rototiller, rotovator)
Highway 10 yard rear dump
Highway bottom dump (stiff), pup (belly train), triple
Highway end dump and side dump
Highway transfer, Transfer train