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Heavy Equipment Schools???

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ChipsEarthWorks, May 14, 2007.

  1. ChipsEarthWorks

    ChipsEarthWorks LawnSite Member
    from ct
    Messages: 44

    Hey Guys I got couple of friends,plus myself that where having a disscion the other day about schools that teach you how to run heavy equipment. We are talking about schools like Associated training services, National heavy equipment training , schools like that, that say "we can train you to run heavy equipment and help with job placement".

    What do you guys think? Me personally I know in my area it is next to impossible to get on with a company running equipment, so i said it would help teach you the basic then you could grow from there. There opinions are they are a waste of both time and money, I disagree. What do you guys think? are any of those schools any good, Not just the ones for heavy equipment, but the ones you see on TV for mechanics, like Universal tech,wyotech,etc. Let me know what you guys think. I am just curious.
  2. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    I know this has been discussed over at http://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/Forum/index.php and I agree with them that basically this is just a crash course and to introduce someone to a machine that they have never run. They help you learn some of the book part live elevation and cutting slopes, etc. but that is about it. Personally if I was you I would find a good friend or a company that is willing to let or help ya learn. Help them on some weekends for a cheap price and just be up front with them why you want to learn. I think it's better than paying $10,000 or better for a course hat dont last no time.
  3. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    Chips........quick story about two "recent" graduates. 1) Excavator setting rock, swings over slope with too big a rock, doesn't let go, rolls 200 sized machine down hillside creating nice pile of scrape metal. Machine totaled, employee fired. 2) Graduated and got a job with some friends of mine who dig holes for subdivisions. They have 20 full time guys and are a first rate company. They hire this guy, and within an hour the entire company has radioed each other and have pulled up to watch this guy run a machine. He was such a hoot, that everyone could not believe it and had to see it for themselves........he started his first day at 7am and didn't make it till 10am........he would've been better off delivering pizzas. If this is what heavy equipment school is about, stay away and save your money.........if there is a good school out there I would sure like to know.......The excavator #2 story was 2 weeks ago....we are still laughing about that one.
  4. ChipsEarthWorks

    ChipsEarthWorks LawnSite Member
    from ct
    Messages: 44

    Wow ! That is some screwed up stuff, In defense of the school tho maybe they where just really stupid. I mean it is like the old saying "you can lead the horse to water but you can not make hime drink" . I mean these schools can not be all bad,Some good people had to come out of them Right?? I mean I know in my area of the country, all the adds state exp,exp,exp,.... But you can not get the job without exp,but you need the job to get the exp, get my drift?? It is like I know school is important and is needed it is just a matter of finding the right one i guess.
  5. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Personally I think the best way to learn equipment is with time. All depends on where you live, some areas have an oversupply of labor and never need any operators, others are shorthanded and will give anyone a chance. It really depends on whether you are operating dozers, loaders, backhoe, excavator, etc. I never had the luxury of recieving training, but kind of figured it out on the job by watching others do it. If you can find someone who clears lots or does mostly farm work it's a good way to learn without the risks of being on a construction site and hitting something expensive. My first time on a dozer was building a dirt road from street to barn, took a while but came out fine. First time on track loader, clearing hurricane debris. The reason I ended up doing this was that after hurricane Andrew everyone was way too busy. Even recently I have driven down the highway further upstate and have seen "operators wanted will train" on several development sites. The pay isn't the highest, but it's a lot better than PAYING to learn equipment and you'll need several weeks on the job to develop your skill. Also note that some guys never become skilled, so not everyone's meant to run that iron.
  6. CBlandscaping

    CBlandscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 48

    chip, i agree in this area all anyone is looking for is experience, im going to school right now for construction managment and am currently looking for a summer job, id like to do something were im in the operators seat running machines, and learning the practicle side of what im learning in school, but everyone wants 1-54 years of experience, all i have is a few hours running a skid steer, backhoe, excavator, loader, and dozer, but a few hours doesnt get you a job and i cant find anywere to get more hours
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    One thing to keep in mind these equipment training schools are making more money teaching than being out in the field. Then they say anything you want to hear so you pay for training. After you get trained and you think you are going to get a job out of school what a laugh.

    When the economy is going good and these excavation contractors are taking on more jobs than they can handle they are looking for guys with experience. They want to put you on a job and you know what you are doing and make them money.

    I wanted to get back to excavation myself but all the contractors I know say I'am doing the best thing working for the gov't. I have a pension and benefits plus the job is gauranteed.

    The way for you to start is get with a excavation contractor as a labourer and start from there. Myself I have a CDL and have mechanical skills aka pulling wrenches and welding. My last job was supposed to be getting more seat time on excavators but I ended up with greasy hands and burn't skin doing mechanical repairs. My mechanical skills where more valuable to the contractor as its harder to find a person that can pull wrenches. The other employees have some experience with mechanics but not as much as I have so I ended up doing most of the repairs.
  8. jd5210

    jd5210 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 20

    Why not consider the Armed Services? My Dad was an heavy equipment instructor for a couple years. Not the best time to run out and join but an option. They will give you all the experience you need then some.
  9. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    It can be tough for people to give you a chance. I think that the only way most will give you any seat time is if your willing to work for basically nothing. This has to basically be on the weekend sort of thing because no one can afford to work for nothing during the week. I was fortunate enough to have grown in the ag industry since I was small and needed work done over the years. A rich guy (owned a truck/equipment sales company) gave me the opputinity free of charge to learn to run his equipment. We put in a $15,000 dollar waterway that gave me some good learning experience. The equipment he had was old and pretty much worn out but it was a good learning experience. There are books out there that will teach you the basic book part of excavation. I bought one and have learned allot. I often visit work sites and look at how they have things staked and I have friends that are in excavating that help me with knowledge or even seat time if needed or wanted. What you have to do and I know that can be tough living in town is put yourself in a situation to be around the equipment. Once you get there find out all the specs you can about the machines and what they are capable of. Let the owner know you are deepley interested in these machines and what you know about the machines. You would be suprised how easy that makes a buddy when they know you have some of the same interest as them. They will start letting you do little things with it and go from there.
  10. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    Chips.....I read my post again and it seemed to imply that all equipment schools are not good........I do not know that, there have got to be some good ones out there. I talked to a company owner yesterday or so and he is sending his daughter to the CAT equipment training school in Texas.......that's all I can remember from the conversation.....it should be easy to track down. There have to be some good educational resources out there.....if in your searches you find some good candidates, please post them.....I would love to know about them. I wish you well, this is a tough business (but alot of fun) and it can either be very very good or very very bad.....from my experience there has never seemed to be any middle ground in this game. It's real cut throat in my neighborhood, most of the guys that I share ideas, plans, dreams, puzzles of the day, job ideas......are not in my area, shoot they aren't even in my state! There are some great folks out there, and I am sure if you continue to bang on doors, one will open.

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