Watching huge bulldozers, graders and earthmovers in action fascinates most people – but only a skilled few can actually operate them. Construction equipment operators use machinery to move earth, construction materials, and other heavy supplies. They prepare sites for major construction projects such as roads, bridges, and buildings, and also mines, dams, and other structures. Construction equipment operators work in all kinds of weather, and often get dirty, greasy, muddy, or dusty. Equipment can be noisy, and make no mistake – safety practices are essential. Communication is key in this field, but typically conducted with hand or audio signals rather than conversation. These workers generally work full time, at times in remote locations. Some projects demand around the clock shifts. Operators specialize in different equipment. Operating Engineers work with power construction equipment like bulldozers, trench excavators, and road graders. Paving and Surfacing Equipment Operators spread and smooth asphalt or concrete for roadways or other structures. Pile-Driver Operators use large machines to hammer heavy beams – called piles – into the ground for supporting bridges, piers, or building foundations. After earning a high school diploma or equivalent, many workers learn on the job starting with light equipment. Some attend vocational schools or learn through an apprenticeship. Most jobs require a commercial driver’s license to haul equipment to jobsites.
Operate pile drivers mounted on skids, barges, crawler treads, or locomotive cranes to drive pilings for retaining walls, bulkheads, and foundations of structures, such as buildings, bridges, and piers.
Pile Driver Operator Jobs and Careers
How to become a Pile Driver Operator / Pile Driver Operator Apprenticeships
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Pile drivers drive steel, concrete, or wood piling into the earth during the early stages of construction. Skill is crucial to both a project’s success and the safety of workers, since the piling is necessary to hold back the earth during excavations; to set up the foundation of skyscrapers, highways, and bridges; and to build docks and wharfs.
UBC pile drivers are experts in all aspects of this challenging job, beginning with pre-installation inspections of the material and job site using static and dynamic testing. They are skilled at determining load-carrying capacities, gauging hammer performance, and accommodating lateral, compression, or tension loads.
Some pile drivers are also commercial divers, responsible for the underwater construction required by many industries, including construction and power generation.
What Do Pile Driver Operators Do?
Pile-driver operators use large machines mounted on skids, barges, or cranes to hammer piles into the ground. Piles are long, heavy beams of concrete, wood, or steel driven into the ground to support retaining walls, bridges, piers, or building foundations. Some pile-driver operators work on offshore oil rigs.