Heavy Equipment Operator

Heavy equipment operators drive and control agriculture-related equipment such as backhoes, digging equipment, tractors and combines. By driving and controlling machinery, they can maintain the quality and production of farms, crops and livestock. Additionally, heavy equipment operators will perform daily checks and preventive maintenance to ensure their equipment works properly.

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

  • Operate heavy machinery including backhoes, tractors, trucks and combines
  • Maintain heavy equipment and monitor its performance
  • Remain alert to any environmental conditions
  • Understand and use personal protective equipment
  • Request and execute repairs on equipment as required
  • Maintain the quality and production of farms, crops and livestock
  • Calculate appropriate loads and follow blueprints
  • Report irregular data, system malfunctions or other issues promptly
  • Work outdoors on uneven terrains with varying temperatures
  • Perform work in a safe manner in conformance with all applicable regulations and procedures
  • Attach farm implements such as plow, disc and drill to tractor
  • Utilize hand-eye-foot coordination and good depth perception
  • Review the work to be performed and adjust equipment attachments as required

Recommended High School Courses:

  • agricultural education, particuarly agricultural mechanics
  • business
  • mathematics

Education/Training Required:

A high school diploma, valid state driver’s license and commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to become a heavy equipment operator. Additional certifications may be required depending on the position.

AgExplorer Partners