What do Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators do?

Operate or tend machinery equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets, to excavate and load loose materials.

  • Move levers, depress foot pedals, and turn dials to operate power machinery, such as power shovels, stripping shovels, scraper loaders, or backhoes.
  • Set up or inspect equipment prior to operation.
  • Observe hand signals, grade stakes, or other markings when operating machines so that work can be performed to specifications.
  • Become familiar with digging plans, machine capabilities and limitations, and with efficient and safe digging procedures in a given application.
  • Operate machinery to perform activities such as backfilling excavations, vibrating or breaking rock or concrete, or making winter roads.
  • Create and maintain inclines and ramps, and handle slides, mud, and pit cleanings and maintenance.
  • Lubricate, adjust, or repair machinery and replace parts, such as gears, bearings, or bucket teeth.
  • Move materials over short distances, such as around a construction site, factory, or warehouse.
  • Measure and verify levels of rock or gravel, bases, or other excavated material.
  • Receive written or oral instructions regarding material movement or excavation.
  • Adjust dig face angles for varying overburden depths and set lengths.
  • Drive machines to work sites.
  • Perform manual labor to prepare or finish sites, such as shoveling materials by hand.
  • Direct ground workers engaged in activities such as moving stakes or markers, or changing positions of towers.
  • Direct workers engaged in placing blocks or outriggers to prevent capsizing of machines when lifting heavy loads.

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