• Operators
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • NOCs #7521, #7302

Heavy Equipment Operator

Job Overview

Heavy equipment operators operate heavy equipment to excavate, grade and landscape earth or move materials and equipment. In the oil and natural gas industry, heavy equipment is used to build and maintain oilfield roads, wellpads and pipeline right-of-ways, as well as assist in oil sands mining and reclamation.

Some heavy equipment operators work with several types of equipment while others may choose to specialize. The typical roles in this occupation include:

  • Bulldozer operators operate crawler-tractors equipped with large front blades to move obstacles and with back rippers to tear up terrain. They clear and level dirt, sand, rock and gravel on construction and mining sites, as well as push other equipment.
  • Backhoe operators or excavators use rubber-tired or track equipment to dig holes, trenches and ditches. They load, scoop and dump heavy materials, vibrate and break rock, back-fill excavations and level slopes.
  • Front-end loader or power shovel operators operate rubber-tired or tracked equipment with movable arms and tilting buckets. They pick up heavy loads of earth, rock, sand, gravel, ore or snow, and dump material into piles, excavations or truck.
  • Grader operators control the height and angle of grader blades to spread and level earth, sand, gravel, rock and snow. They carve ditches and slopes.
  • Heavy haul truckers operate electric and diesel trucks on oil sands mining sites in order to transport bitumen.
  • Motor scraper or buggy operators operate the fastest shovel on wheels to scrape, load, dump and spread earth. They level work areas, haul soil for roads and right-of-ways and haul ore at surface mining sites.

Heavy equipment operators are also typically responsible for cleaning and lubricating equipment, refilling fluids and conducting pre-operational checks on equipment. They also perform minor repairs to equipment.

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