Are you planning to become a backhoe operator in Australia? If so then there are many factors you need to put into consideration to succeed as a backhoe operator.
Besides relevant training and experience, you need to understand various legal provisions that govern the heavy equipment operation industry.
With the ballooning demand for backhoe operators in Australia and worldwide, it is important to equip yourself with the necessary skills to deliver quality services.
That way, you will become marketable and access more opportunities than others who may not have undergone relevant training.
Though many people underscore the importance of training, it gives you essential skills and knowledge that will enable you to operate a backhoe and other heavy construction machines with ease.
As such, we give you a highlight into how to become a backhoe operator. Before diving into details about how to become a heavy equipment operator, we give you an insight into what are the things you have to undergone, here are what you need to do:
- Find an approved training organization also called as a Registered Training Organization (RTO) in your location. This is where you get the training in the operation of backhoe to be able to receive adequate practical skills. If you are looking for an RTO, find your territory in the menu located below or beside this web page, there you’ll find list of RTOs in every state or territory. If you’re presently employed, training can be supplied on site by your employer.
- Complete the hands-on training. Well, basically, you get your hands dirty. You will have the chance to operate this equipment in simulated work environment. You will be given tasks to complete to be able to understand and familiarize yourself in the operation of the backhoe. This takes days or weeks to complete. The competency you can earn to become a backhoe operator is the RIIMPO319E - Conduct backhoe/loader operations.
- Pass the assessment process. After you’ve completed the hands-on training, you’re sure enough how to operate the equipment. Your performance has to be assessed if it is up to the industry standard. The assessor or the RTO representative will do the assessment. You will be given sets of tasks, the assessor will rate you accordingly. If you pass the assessment, you will then receive your certificate of competency.
Length of the Backhoe Training Course
The length of training to qualify as a professional backhoe operator vary from one RTO to another. However, the duration of training is dependent on the student's level experience and knowledge.
The backhoe training can be completed in as short as 1 week to several weeks, again the duration will depend primarily on the student’s skills. If you an absolute beginner, the training tends to be more comprehensive and longer, and more expensive as well.
Most training organisations offer a flexible training model that runs either over the weekend or on weekdays. Additionally, trainers can choose whether to train on-site or utilize workplace facilities to get trained.
Employers have the option to conduct the training onsite. If you ask me, the onsite training is the most suitable way to supply the training to the operators. Why is it so? Because the curriculum can be modified to suit the present workplace condition, types of equipment used on-site, and the behaviors of the operators.
Areas of Backhoe Training Coverage
• Machine familiarization
• Removing selecting and fitting attachments
• Relocating the backhoe attachments
• General backhoe maintenance practices
• Theory oriented training
• Operational assessment
• Theory assessment
• Preoperational checks
• Preparation and planning
• Operating the backhoe i.e carry, load, and placing materials
Student Entry Requirements
To become a backhoe operator in Australia, enrolling in a backhoe training program equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to enable you to operate a backhoe. The following are some of the criteria you need to meet before enrollment.
- You must be competent in reading and writing English
- You have to pass a language assessment test
- You have to be at least 16 years old
- Submit identification documents
- You need to be well equipped with safety boots, a hat, sun protection, long sleeves, etc.
On the flip side, in case you don’t have prior heavy machine operating experience, it's unlikely that a backhoe supplier will offer you a machine for fear of damage. In that case, it is recommended that you either hire an expert backhoe with an operator or undergo relevant training.
Duties and Responsibilities of Backhoe Operator?
Backhoe operators are typically construction workers who specialize in operating and driving backhoes. Generally, backhoes are big construction machines used for digging holes, trenches and moving large amounts of earth. Backhoe operators play a major role in clearing construction sites to pave way for construction.
The main duty of a backhoe operator is not only to operate large construction machines like skid steers, tractors, bulldozers, cranes, directional drills but also to maintain the equipment. With safety being a top priority in the construction industry, backhoe operators adhere to stipulated safety standards and regulations to discharge their duties.
Backhoe operators in Australia are required to undergo training to be able to earn a ticket or licence. Regardless of where you are trained in backhoe operation, Australian authorities prefer refresher training to ascertain your level of competence. The measure ensures highly trained and skilled backhoe operators are licenced to deliver credible services in the construction sector.
Why Do you need Backhoe Training?
Just like driving school or any other industry, relevant training gives backhoe operator’s skills needed they discharge their duties professionally. This reduces the risks and hazards that may come up during operations.
Besides understanding industrial needs, relevant training allows you to expand your services and become a major player in the sector. This is because professional backhoe operators are more preferred by most entities due to proof of training.
Attracts well-paying employers
Just like any industry around the world, regardless of how many years of experience you may have, relevant training puts you ahead of the park.
Though referrals work magic in expanding your customer base, certification makes it easier for potential employers to ascertain your abilities. That increases your bargaining power and opens open opportunities for growth and better earning. The bottom line, ensure you get enrolled in a credible training institution to put you ahead of the park.
Do You Need a Licence to Become a Backhoe Operator?
Under the Australian work health and safety regulations, backhoe operators are not required to apply for a particular crane (EPC) to operate a backhoe. Though machine suppliers will furnish you with safety measures on how to use the backhoe, those hiring a backhoe do not have to submit any sort of certification.
Meanwhile, suppliers are required to provide proof of certification and relevant training to guarantee high safety standards during operation.
Be that as it may, various job offers come with various requirements. In that case, some job descriptions may require operators to submit proof of training and certification before getting an offer. As such, it is important to get relevant training and experience to make it easier for you to fit well in the Australian job market.
Furthermore, relevant training and licencing make it easier for you to abide by the existing legal framework. This makes avoids legal hurdles that may emerge in case you run into problems with your employer.
How Do You Prove That You are Competent at Operating a Backhoe
- Completion of training given by a Registered Training Organisation.
- Proof of competence from the National Unit of competency conducts civil construction excavator operations.
- Proof of previous structured work training
- On-job training that can be verified through a previous employer or logbook.
Other Backhoe Operator Requirements Needed for the Job
A commercial driver's licence is a key requirement for backhoe operators in Australia. This is because you will have to use a driver's licence when transporting your backhoe from one site to another. In that case, it makes it easier for you to drive on the road in adherence to existing traffic laws.
While you may not need a certification to become a backhoe operator, you need a driver's licence to be allowed to drive on the road. Most employers require commercial driving because backhoe operators are always required to drive trucks that transport heavy machinery and materials.
Keen hand eye-foot coordination
Most employers are keen on hand eye-foot coordination. This is because operators are required to have steady hands and feet to control and drive heavy machinery.
Mechanical skills are offered at the training level. This helps backhoe operators to carry out simple maintenance practices on the backhoe.
Professional and prior work experience
Professional and relevant work experience gives confidence to your potential employer. This makes it easier for them to trust you with the heavy tasks associated with operating heavy construction machines.
Looking at venturing into the backhoe operator industry in Australia? The article gives you tips on how and what to do to establish yourself as a professional backhoe operator. While certification may not matter, prior training and registration put you ahead of other players in the industry.
Serious employers would rather prefer certified backhoe operators than those who never went through training. Regardless of whether you have prior experience or not, you should create time for training to increase your chances of getting more opportunities. Are you still wondering about how you can become an established backhoe operator in Australia? This article offers important insight that you should consider in your quest to venture into the backhoe operation service industry.