Mobile Plant Operator

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Agricultural and Horticultural Mobile Plant Operator
Backhoe Operator

Bogger Operator
Bulldozer Operator
Excavator Operator
Grader Operator
Linemarker
Loader Operator
Paving Plant Operator
Railway Track Plant Operator
Road Roller Operator

Streetsweeper Operator

Mobile Plant Operators (not covered elsewhere)

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Mobile Plant Operators or Earthmoving Plant Operators drive and operate heavy machinery used to level, excavate, load and move earth, rock and other material. Future Growth Strong

They ensure that the equipment they use is in working order, and manipulate the controls to direct and manoeuvre equipment. Depending on the kind of equipment they work with, mobile plant operators may also select or change attachments for particular jobs, smooth and compact dirt and rubble, and clean and repair the equipment.

Mobile plant operators generally work in the construction or mining industries, though there may also be opportunities in other areas.

Often working in conjunction with other physical and construction labourers, Earthmoving Plant Operators run machinery to move and excavate earth, break up pavement, and smooth out other surfaces in preparation for construction projects. Earthmoving plant operators may also be known as backhoe, bulldozer, excavator, grader, or loader operators.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A mobile plant operator needs:

  • An interest in machinery and industrial equipment
  • Technical and practical skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Physical fitness and stamina
  • A detailed and methodical approach to their work
  • Ability to listen closely to follow exact instructions
  • Basic mechanic skills to maintain and repair machinery as needed
  • Good concentration and focus on the task at hand
  • Smooth hand-eye coordination for operation of machinery
  • Solid communication skills to work with others to complete jobs

Duties and tasks

  • Adjusting controls of machinery to match project specifications
  • Choosing attachments to fit the task at hand
  • Following verbal or written instructions
  • Maintaining and repairing complex machinery
  • Manipulating controls to break up pavement or excavate earth

Working Conditions

Like other physical and construction labourers, the workplace of an Earthmoving Plant Operator varies based on the type of job. Construction jobs can involve highway repair, work on entirely new buildings, or repairs on older buildings. Weather conditions are an important aspect of the job, but will also vary based on each labourers location.

Mobile plant operators generally work on construction sites and mines. Conditions may be loud and dirty and operators may come into contact with hazardous equipment or materials. They may work regular hours, or may work in shifts including late nights, early mornings, and on weekends and public holidays, depending on the kind of equipment they operate.

They may be on call in case of emergencies.

Tools and Technologies

Mobile plant operators may specialise in operating one or two particular types of plant machinery, such as: the machinery shown below.

The specific type and size of the machinery they use may vary depending on the industry they work in and the requirements of a particular job.

Depending on the nature of their role they may also be required to wear safety equipment such as masks, gloves, boots, hard hats and high visibility clothing.

Education and Training

To become an earthmoving plant operator you usually need to complete a formal qualification in civil construction plant operations. The Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations is offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The mobile plant operator or civil construction plant operator traineeships usually take 24 months to complete. To work as an earthmoving plant operator in Australia, you must obtain a High Risk Work License. 

Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a “white card”).


Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

 

Earthmoving Plant Operators and their machinery

Agricultural and Horticultural Mobile Plant Operators

Cotton Picker
Cotton Picker
(Source: John Deere)


Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1


Agricultural and Horticultural Mobile Plant Operators operate agricultural and horticultural plants to clear and cultivate land, and sow and harvest crops.

Future Growth StrongSpecialisations: Cotton Picking Machine Operator, Harvester Operator, Tractor Operator.

Duties and Tasks

Prepares and positions plant for operation.
Operates tractor-drawn and self-propelled plant to plough land and sow, fertilise, cultivate and harvest crops and avoid damaging crops.
Adjusts speed, height and depth of implements.
Keeps log tallies and writes work reports.
Services plant and performs minor repairs.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as an Agricultural and Horticultural Mobile Plant Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in rural machinery operations might be helpful.
Backhoes

Backhoe

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1

Backhoe Operator

Backhoe Operators operate backhoes and attachments to excavate, break, drill, level and compact earth, rock and other material. FutureGrowthModerate

Duties and Tasks

Prepares and positions plant for operation.
Selects, fits and removes attachments.
Operates controls.
Monitors operation of plant and adjusts controls to regulate pressure, speed and flow of operation, and ensure safety of other workers.
Raises, lowers and manipulates attachments using manual and hydraulic controls.
Services, lubricates, cleans and refuels plant and performs minor adjustments and repairs.


Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Backhoe Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in civil construction plant operations might be helpful.


Bulldozers

Bulldozer

Bulldozer Operator

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1
Bulldozer Operators operate bulldozers using blades and other attachments to gouge out, level and move materials in construction, forestry, mining and other projects.

Specialisations: Scraper Operator (Earthmoving).FutureGrowthModerate

Duties and Tasks

Prepares and positions bulldozers for operation.
Selects, fits and removes attachments such as loading scoops, shovel blades and rippers
Operates controls to excavate, break, gouge out, move, load and spread materials including earth, rock, rubble and soil.
Monitors operation of the bulldozer and adjusts controls to regulate pressure, speed and flow of operation while ensuring safety of other workers.
Raises, lowers and manipulates attachments using manual and hydraulic controls.
Works from drawings, markers and verbal instructions.
Services, lubricates, cleans, refuels and performs minor adjustments or repairs to the bulldozer.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Bulldozer Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in civil construction plant operations might be helpful.
Excavators

Excavator

Excavator Operator

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1

Excavator Operators operate heavy excavation plants to excavate, move and load earth, rock and rubble. FutureGrowthModerate

Specialisations: Hydraulic Rockbreaker Operator, Trench Digging Machine Operator.


Duties and Tasks

Prepares and positions plant for operation.
Selects, fits and removes attachments such as buckets, winches, loading scoops, shovel blades and rock breaking hammers.
Operates controls to excavate, break, drill, level, compact, gouge out, move, load and spread earth, rock, rubble, soil and other materials.
Monitors operation of plant and adjusts controls to regulate pressure, speed and flow of operation, and ensures safety of other workers.
Raises, lowers and manipulates attachments using manual and hydraulic controls.
Works from drawings, markers and verbal instructions.
Services, lubricates, cleans and refuels plant and performs minor adjustments and repairs.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as an Excavator Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in civil construction plant operations might be helpful.
Graders

grader

Grader Operator

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1

Grader Operators operate graders to spread and level materials in construction projects.FutureGrowthModerate

Duties and Tasks

Prepares and positions plant for operation.
Selects, fits and removes attachments.
Operates controls to move earth, rock, rubble, soil and other materials.
Monitors operation of plant and adjusts controls to regulate pressure, speed and flow of operation, and ensures safety of other workers.
Raises, lowers and manipulates attachments using manual and hydraulic controls.
Works from drawings, markers and verbal instructions.
Services, lubricates, cleans and refuels plant and performs minor adjustments and repairs.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Grader Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in civil construction plant operations might be helpful.
Boggers

Bogger   Bogger driver


Bogger Operator/ Driver

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Solid history in underground mining;
Experienced with Sandvik and/or Cat Boggers
Experienced with Tele-Remote Boggers
Valid Australian Driver’s License
Flexible and willingness to assist with varied tasks and responsibilities;
Good communication skills, both oral and written

Duties and Tasks

Perform loading and dumping cycles from development and production areas;
Bog from open stopes;
Bog out and clean faces;
Tram material from stockpiles and other bogging duties as required;
Keep all roads in working areas tidy and free from hazards;

Road Rollers

Road Roller

Road Roller Operator

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1


Road Roller Operators operate power-driven rollers to prepare surfaces for roads, runways and car parks. Future Growth Strong

Duties and Tasks

Drives roller over surface until desired condition is obtained.
Maintains equipment.


Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Road Roller Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in mobile plant technology might be helpful.
Linemarkers


Linemarker

Linemarker

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1

Linemarkers operate plants to apply markings to roads and other surfaces such as car parks, airports and sportsgrounds. Future Growth Strong

Specialisations: Road Marker.

Duties and Tasks

Drives over surface to lay appropriate markings.
Reads drawings and plans.
Maintains equipment.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Linemarker without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in traffic management might be helpful.
Front-end Loaders                                                                    Bobcats

Front End Loader  Bobcat


Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1

Loader Operators operate motorised loaders to move and load soil, rock and other material. FutureGrowthModerate

Specialisations: Bobcat Operator, Front-end Loader Operator.


Duties and Tasks

Prepares and positions plant for operation.
Selects, fits and removes attachments such as buckets, winches and loading scoops.
Operates controls to move and load a range of natural materials.
Monitors operation of plant and adjusts controls to regulate pressure, speed and flow of operation, and ensures safety of other workers.
Raises, lowers and manipulates attachments using manual and hydraulic controls.
Works from drawings, markers and verbal instructions.
Services, lubricates, cleans and refuels plant and performs minor adjustments and repairs.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Loader Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in civil construction plant operations might be helpful.

Paving Plant Operator

Paving Plant
(Source: For Construction Pros)

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1


Paving Plant Operators operate plants to spread and level hot bituminous paving materials and lay concrete on areas such as highways, roads and car parks. Future Growth Strong

Duties and Tasks

Operates bitumen plant using a range of foot and hand controls focussing on applying paving materials systematically to the area to be paved.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Paving Plant Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in civil construction might be helpful.
Railway Track Plant Operator

Rail Crane
(Source: Aries Rail)

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1

Railway Track Plant Operators operate plants to lay, align, repair and maintain railway tracks. Future Growth Strong

Duties and Tasks

Drives plant to lay, align and carry out maintenance work on railway tracks.
Maintains equipment.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Railway Track Plant Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in rail infrastructure might be helpful.

Mobile Plant Operators (not covered elsewhere)

Cable Ferry Operator
Cable Ferry Operator - Wisemans Ferry
(Source: Wisemans)

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1

Mobile Plant Operators (not covered elsewhere) includes jobs like Future Growth Strong

Cable Ferry Operator,
Dredge Operator,
Mulcher Operator,
Snow Groomer,
Straddle Carrier Operator, and
Tunneller.


Duties and Tasks

Prepares and positions plant for operation.
Selects, fits and removes attachments.
Operates controls to carry out required tasks.
Monitors operation of plant and adjusts controls to regulate pressure, speed and flow of operation, and ensures safety of other workers.
Raises, lowers and manipulates attachments using manual and hydraulic controls.
Works from drawings, markers and verbal instructions.
Services, lubricates, cleans and refuels plant and performs minor adjustments and repairs.


Did You Know?


A road roller is a compact type engineering vehicle that is used to compact gravel, soil, asphalt, or concrete in the construction of foundations and roads.

Road Roller History Facts

Did you know that the first road rollers were horse-drawn? The roller was an agricultural tool used for breaking up huge clumps of soil or for flattening land. During this time, there were no trucks; hence, the roller was pulled mostly by animals like oxen and horses.

During the 19th century, peoples started building roads with concrete, mixing aggregates, asphalt and clay together. This road type was soft and tough. As a result, people made use of the transformed rollers in order to flatten and harden roads. This is actually how the road roller came about.

But since horses could just bear limited, self-powered vehicles replaced the rollers drawn by horses. The very first replacement was steam rollers. The invention of steam rollers was indeed very remarkable.

During the 20th century, rollers powered by kerosene, gasoline, and diesel replaced their steam-powered counterparts. The very first internal-combustion powered road rollers were quite similar to the steam rollers they have replaced. But most companies did not like these rollers. So as a result, almost all road rollers in commercial use today are diesel-powered.

(Source: Great Online Trivia)

Mobile Plant Operator

Mechanic

Taxi Driver

Autoelectrician

Truck Driver

Travel Agent

Air Traffic Controller

Furniture Removalist

Bus Driver

Waterside Worker

Forklift Operator

Flight Attendant

Transport Economist

Panel Beater

Pilot

Crane OperatorCoxswain

Logging Truck Driver

Livestock Transport Driver

Mobile Plant Operator

Chauffeur

Flying Instructor

Delivery Driver

Driving Instructor

Transport Company Manager

Ship's Master

Car Detailer

Caravan Park & Camping Ground Manager

Supply, Distribution & Procurement Manager

Helicopter Pilot

Mechanic

Taxi Driver

Autoelectrician

Truck Driver

Travel Agent

Air Traffic Controller

Furniture Removalist

Bus Driver

Waterside Worker

Forklift Operator

Flight Attendant

Transport Economist

Panel Beater

Pilot

Crane Operator

Coxswain

Logging Truck Driver

Livestock Transport Driver

Mobile Plant Operator

Chauffeur

Flying Instructor

Delivery Driver

Driving Instructor

Transport Company Manager

Ship's Master

Car Detailer

Caravan Park & Camping Ground Manager

Supply, Distribution & Procurement Manager

Helicopter Pilot

Mechanic

Taxi Driver

Autoelectrician

Truck Driver

Travel Agent

Air Traffic Controller

Furniture Removalist

Bus Driver

Waterside Worker

Forklift Operator

Flight Attendant

Transport Economist

Panel Beater

Pilot

Crane Operator

Coxswain

Logging Truck Driver

Livestock Transport Driver

Mobile Plant Operator

Chauffeur

Flying Instructor

Delivery Driver

Driving Instructor

Transport Company Manager

Ship's Master

Car Detailer

Caravan Park & Camping Ground Manager

Supply, Distribution & Procurement Manager

Helicopter Pilot

Mechanic

Taxi Driver

Autoelectrician

Truck Driver

Travel Agent

Air Traffic Controller

Furniture Removalist

Bus Driver

Waterside Worker

Forklift Operator

Flight Attendant

Transport Economist

Panel Beater

Pilot

Crane Operator

Coxswain

Logging Truck Driver

Livestock Transport Driver

Mobile Plant Operator

Chauffeur

Flying Instructor

Delivery Driver

Driving Instructor

Transport Company Manager

Ship's Master