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My Journey Begins @ the IHEO School

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by DTEP, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. alco

    alco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    Nah, the smallest we have is 500 tons.......from there they go to 1500 tons.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. Fortress

    Fortress LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Kiewit not the worst place to work, but a new operator won't last a day. Plus a bunch of us just got laid off. You'll be a laborer/packer operator, if you've got a good company attitude. Shut up, head down, work hard. Realize I said work hard, not smart. Whatever, EI pay cheques aren't that bad. Feb/march i should be back working. Good luck at the school, just don't expect to hop in an excavator the day you graduate, maybe a year after? And once you get a job, don't stop learning, take initiative. Do saturday and sunday courses, learn learn learn learn. If you aren't ahead you're behind.
  3. alco

    alco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    That's something I don't think he's having an issue figuring out, that this is merely a way to open doors to be able to learn to operate. He seems to realize it's going to take some time to learn what he really needs to know. I for one, applaud his efforts to better himself. He's taking a step to start learning some basics. Basics that, if applied properly, can be a great foundation to build skills on top of for years to come.

    I also started out with the help of friends in construction, and learned on the job instead of going to school for it. I've done my fair share of labouring to get onto a machine. I've dealt with the unemployment, poor working conditions, and complete lack of basic safety to crawl my way towards the top........and it paid off!

    Now I have a job where I make an obscene amount of money, have great job security, and really only work 5 months a year when you figure in days off and vacation.

    Of course, I could have dropped out of school, lived in my parents basement, and bitched about everything, but I figured I was better off doing something with my life.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. shooterm

    shooterm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 463

    I'm actually going back to just plain jane running a shovel and blacktop work. Every unemployed guy wants to operate equipment as its "easier" work and looks fun. The operators themselves fight and bicker over the few available jobs. Just me but this industry is either Fed jobs or low ball charlatans selling snake oil.
  5. DTEP

    DTEP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Well said, thanks Alco.
  6. tbi

    tbi LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 491

    I started out as an oiler/grease wiper/spark plug changer/cleaner on a Gradall back in the 70's and feel you'll never really understand the job if you don't start out at the bottom. And here in NY the way people are leaving it's not long before you get a chance if you have any work ethic at all.
    Skip the school and go to work.
  7. thunderthud

    thunderthud LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    I can't recall an oiler on a machine since the early 90's, and that was on a crane!

    The problem is you can't just start out at the bottom of the pile anymore. Between OSHA, the hoisting, hydraulics and the forklift licences where do you expect someone to learn to pass those tests never having actually sat in a machine? When I started on a loader it was because the regular loader operator had Montezuma's Revenge and they needed someone to load trucks right then and there.

    I was lucky that someone took the time to teach me how to run the machine on his own time. I literally owe my job to one man who was a neighbor who saw I loved heavy equipment and took me under his wing. Where do you expect someone to learn that without a benefactor?

    The same person who taught me to run the Michigus also works for me today as my lead operator. A couple of years back he came in the office and said it was time to retire. He couldn't make the new dozer move. This man has 40 years plus of experience and taught me everything I know about machines, digging trenches and finishing slopes. I sent a 60 year old man who taught me everything to Cat Operator school a couple months later. He could have gone as a crotchety old man who knew everything, but instead came back energized about the equipment he was running and learned new things about our equipment because he realized these guys had knowledge he could use. Experience gives you wisdom, not necessarily skills.

    I'm sorry, but the old ways are pretty much gone. I may not like the laser grading, and the digging computers, and the 3D models on the machines, but they are here. And unless we start teaching people how to do all this technology on top of teaching them to pass the tests and then run the equipment, we're all screwed. I get to renew mine at the training center because I was inducted into the Union 22 years ago, what if I didn't have the option as a member of the local? What if you need to learn to run a motor grader and never have done so? What if my boss told me we're closing the doors tomorrow and I needed to provide for my family? Where would I learn the newer skills to pass the tests if I hadn't learned it earlier?

    An employee who isn't OSHA 30 and HAZWOPR certified is useless to me. An operator who can't make the dozer move is uselss to me. An investment in AccuGrade is useless to me unless someone taught us how to use it. I rely on my IUOE locals trainign center to make sure all my operators have the hoisting license, the forklift license and the hydraulics license. They also offer training for HAZWOPR, confined space and trench safety.

    Though I would not personally pay for training, I'd join the Union and avail myself of their program, there is nothing, and I mean nothing wrong with learning the skill and job.

    I'm beginning to think most of the people on this thread bashing this guy are laborers, because only laborers ***** and whine so much about operators.

    Lastly, I don't know why Kiewit is a four letter word in this thread. I've done three JV's with Kiewit and never found them to be anything but professional and good at what they do.
  8. DTEP

    DTEP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Thank you.

    I realized a long time ago that internet forums are full of two types of people. One's who had an exceptional experience with something and want to talk about it, or more likely, people who have had a shitty experience with something/someone/etc. So all must be taken with a grain of salt. Most threads eventually turn into a huge pile of **** talking, so again I thank you for giving some useful insight.
  9. bearmtnmartin

    bearmtnmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    Going to school is never a bad investment if you pursue the career you trained for. If you stick with it you can amortize the cost quite easily over 5 or 10 years in the industry, even if you do take a while to get rolling. If you bail out of discouragement in 6 months, then it was a terrible investment. It seems like if you are trying to break into an industry and you have some training, it will be easier than without the training, all things considered.
    My suggestion would be to follow it up with some business management classes. Thats where everything breaks down for a lot of people. You can be a great operator and not had a pot to piss in if you cant manage the money, and there is sure a lot to be made in the construction business if you go about it the right way.
  10. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    I'm too tired from wheeling in the back country to come up with a clever thing to respond and add fuel to the fire, so I'll just sign off here and let my head smash on to the keyboard as I drift into slumber.
    kef jh3i4t]34tyt2490yt]20twefjwt 3 0 358`23-5r2prj2ieytegh


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