• Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!

Certificates of Competency

BeaudesertSand

Active Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
26
Location
Australia
Occupation
Plant Operator
I`m being tested next tuesday for my certificates of competency for front end loader and excavator.

Jeeeeeeeez, I hope I pass. It`s all changed here now, it used to be a 10 question multiple choice test, then a quick operate and you were done.

Now, it`s 120 questions. 8 pages of mathematical formulas on how ascertain whether a wire sling has had it, and 4 sentences on loading trucks.

It`s tough to find the time to study doing 60 - 70 hour weeks. Most of the theory stuff I`ve never used, and as a mug sand miner, never will.

But... It`s whats required so be it.

It`s also costing me $850 for the testing all up. with our machines...
 

digger242j

Administrator
Joined
Oct 31, 2003
Messages
6,641
Location
Southwestern PA
Occupation
Self employed excavator
Come here to Pennsylvania. All you need to know is how to put the key in the switch...

It raises an interesting question though. Should we be required to pass some sort of competency test?
 
Last edited:

Squizzy246B

Administrator
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
3,388
Location
Perth, Western Australia
Occupation
Digger Driver
Jeepers....I did mine in QLD as a matter o fact...musta been..94 or 95...can't really remember. It would be good if they got it National and aligned everthing.

We all had to get new blue cards awhile back...what a joke....an hour on the puter doing multiple guess and pay $105 and its done.

A basic Loader, Excavator and skid steer course here runs $4,000.00 plus for the certificate.......but asking around it seems few have them...even on the mines...you can drive a 50 tonne loader without a ticket but you can't drive a forklift unless you've been lobotomised for 3 days.

OHSWA have now got in the act with new "licenses" for hazardous activities...so you have to change over your old crane ticket to the new "license"....which brings many people grumbling about "another way to rip us off".
 

BeaudesertSand

Active Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
26
Location
Australia
Occupation
Plant Operator
Squizzy, if I had of got in before the changes, about 6 months ago, it would have been a fraction of the price and 30 mins tops.

Now, a $50 enrolment fee has to be paid, and then about 400 per machine tested.

After I get tested, the only real change will be to my bank balance, pass or fail the guy will drive away and I`ll get back on the loader or excavator and go back to work, basically.

But after all the years I`ve put in, I`d just like a ticket... No other real reason.
 

Orchard Ex

Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
1,051
Location
Southern MD
It raises an interesting question though. Should we be required to pass some sort of competancy test?

What would it do except generate revenue for the state? Shhh.. don't say that too loud my Governor/Comptroller may be listening....:Banghead
 

JS580SL

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
558
Location
Massachuessetts
Occupation
operator
Mass requires a "hoisting License." Costs $75.00 and its all multiple choice. Common sense test.

A machine that meets any 3 of these requirements requires you to have a lic.

1 500LB lift capacity or more
2 10ft lift height or more
3 1/4 yard bucket or bigger

Personally I feel you should demonstrate you can handle the machine safely and properly. Any one can pass a test but can they "operate" is the question.
 

BeaudesertSand

Active Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
26
Location
Australia
Occupation
Plant Operator
I have a book to learn, and something like 120 questions. It`s mainly to do with wire ropes, slings and chains and mathematical formulas for ascertaining what you can and can`t lift with them. Formulas for guaging whether a sling has too many broken wires, um... Lifting capacity vesrus radius of the boom of an excavator.

I mine sand, we have like 2 or 3 chains we lift 200 litre drums of the boss` Nissan Patrol. I have not, and never will lay pipes, dig trenchs etc :(

I`m a mug sand miner.

The theory exam for the excavator is 1.5 hours, the loader is 1 hour.

Then maybe 30 mins practical on each machine.

Up till a few months ago it was 10 multi choice Q`s, pick something up and put it down, ya done, old son...

I`m scared I`ll fork out 800 bucks and fail the theory.
 

dirtslinger

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
23
Location
Bakersfield
california has no such rules neither.
Although, many companies do give you a "compentency" exam during the hiring process. Even though most of the questions are common sense questions, it still weeds out a lot of knuckleheads. And then a field test which ranges in difficulty depending on the foreman. Mostly they'll have you dig a trench x many feet long, x many feet deep, straddle it and then backfill it.

Cranes are a different story. Most of the larger companies are requiring you to have at least a class B license, and be ncco certified.
 

MKTEF

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
1,013
Location
Norway
Occupation
Production manager
Over here in Norway u got to be sertified to drive anything, with an engine bigger than 25kW and lifting more than 1000pounds.

32 hours of safety theory, 8 hours driving with a sertified instructor and 32 hours driving under supervision. Then u get a license for dirtmowing equipment.
The driving must be done for each type of equipment.(ADT, wheelloader, dozer, grader, exc, backhoe and others are the classes)
And u got to be sertified with a quality system to be allowed to do this type of edjucation.

Then your firm got to give u some education on the spesific type of machinery that u operate. They must document that u got the proper training on the spesific machine u operate.
This can be 10 min. or 40 hours, firm desides as long as no accidents dosen't happend....

Craning is another story, more hours and training....
 

BeaudesertSand

Active Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
26
Location
Australia
Occupation
Plant Operator
Let the pigeons loose!

Me pass!!! Yay! The 2.5 hours of theory test wasn`t easy, the 3 minutes operating part was a snap..

Flies and bugs were a bit bad, maybe the guy wanted to get the hell outa there, either way I have a certificate of competency for fornt end loader, and one for excavator and a $850 hole in my wallet.
 

Northart

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
761
Location
Talkeetna, Alaska
"Competency" ?

Hello Digger,

At least I know how to spell it ! :) LOL

Why of course, can you imagine the Military, sending untrained troops to the field, not knowing how to fire a rifle, throw grenades, fire machine guns, fly jets, helicopters ???? Weapons of warfare !

Absurd !

The cost of modern machinery is rising way above the simple stuff of yesterday ! Much more complicated to boot ! So it has to produce more than the older stuff !

Classroom time and OJT, (on the job training) or hands on, is required today !

The idea of allowing unfamiliar or untrained people to put peoples lives,equipment, material ,productivity, in jeopardy, is ?????? :mad:

No competent Supervision would allow it !:)
 

Countryboy

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
3,276
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Load Out Tech. / Heavy Equipment Operator / Locomo
Congrats on your accomplishment BeaudesertSand! :drinkup
 

Orchard Ex

Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
1,051
Location
Southern MD
Hello Digger,

At least I know how to spell it ! :) LOL

Why of course, can you imagine the Military, sending untrained troops to the field, not knowing how to fire a rifle, throw grenades, fire machine guns, fly jets, helicopters ???? Weapons of warfare !

Absurd !

The cost of modern machinery is rising way above the simple stuff of yesterday ! Much more complicated to boot ! So it has to produce more than the older stuff !

Classroom time and OJT, (on the job training) or hands on, is required today !

The idea of allowing unfamiliar or untrained people to put peoples lives,equipment, material ,productivity, in jeopardy, is ?????? :mad:

No competent Supervision would allow it !:)

So are you advocating mandatory "Certificates of Competency"? Who would issue them? The Fed's? Your state govt.? To what standard? Is there a widespread problem with these
unfamiliar or untrained people to put peoples lives,equipment, material ,productivity, in jeopardy
that I'm not aware of? I think that the equipment investment costs along with liability concerns makes this issue self policing. The military training reference is apples and oranges. Teaching someone to fire a rifle is not the same as training them to be part of an effective infantry squad. Just as certifying someone in excavator operation doesn't automatically make them a safe member of a trenching/pipe laying team. I still think that they are nothing more than revenue generation for the certifying agency as Beaudesertsand has found out first hand.
Congrats on passing BTW. :drinkup

PS - if you're gonna pick on digger's spelling, I'll have to point out that you have extra spaces before every punctuation mark...:D
 

digger242j

Administrator
Joined
Oct 31, 2003
Messages
6,641
Location
Southwestern PA
Occupation
Self employed excavator
Hello Digger,

At least I know how to spell it ! LOL

Whatever are you referring to? :confused:

:D (It's good to be able to edit posts, long after the time limit has expired for you mere mortals.)

(And you won't catch me making too many spelling errors. :cool2 )

But to get back to the question...

I wonder whether there's any documented difference in safety between jurisdictions that require competency testing, and those that don't? It seems to me that that would answer the question of whether they're important or not.
 
Last edited:

N.CarolinaDozer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
377
Location
Granite Falls, NC (U.S.A.)
Occupation
Heavy Equipment Operator
I received my certification to run heavy equipment by going to school in florida. We had been told that a lot of companies are going to start making there operator's get certified due to the insurance. Not sure if it will ever go nationwide, but I've seen where companies in different states are asking for "certified" operators. I have told my boss we should start giving I.Q. test instead of taking peope who apply, which they say they have years of experience.
 

CM1995

Administrator
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
13,344
Location
Alabama
Occupation
Running what I brung and taking what I win
So are you advocating mandatory "Certificates of Competency"? Who would issue them? The Fed's? Your state govt.? To what standard? Is there a widespread problem with these that I'm not aware of? I think that the equipment investment costs along with liability concerns makes this issue self policing. The military training reference is apples and oranges. Teaching someone to fire a rifle is not the same as training them to be part of an effective infantry squad. Just as certifying someone in excavator operation doesn't automatically make them a safe member of a trenching/pipe laying team. I still think that they are nothing more than revenue generation for the certifying agency as Beaudesertsand has found out first hand.
Congrats on passing BTW. :drinkup

Exactly Orchard! Just what we need - more layers of gov't Bureaucrap! :pointhead It does nothing to solve the problem, just create revenue and another gov't position. I agree that owners of expensive heavy equipment have it in there best interest to make sure the operators are fully capable of operating their machine in a safe and productive manner. I do not want my operators to be unsafe, abuse a machine or not make production goals. We implement training, observation of work habits and a probationary period on all new hires.

So make it mandantory that operators take a course for a license for say $400 per machine. I have 8 different kinds of equipment in my fleet. So do the math, that would be $3200 per operator, times 10 operators equalling $32k total for "certification". The kicker is we would still have to go through our training and probationary period - to see if they could actually operate the machine safely and productively (which we are doing already).
 

BeaudesertSand

Active Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
26
Location
Australia
Occupation
Plant Operator
Mostly for me it`s for employment, even though I have a job.

One thrusts out ones chest and exclaims: " I am a Plant Operator " Next question will be: " do you have tickets? " If the answer is " sadly, no... " Don`t let the door smack you on the butt on the way out...

Mainly though, its the liability angle, if someone gets hurt, or hey, a hose blows and I drop the bucket on some poor hapless shcmucks` truck, insurance is less of a hurdle if the answer to " did the operator have a ticket?? " is Yes..

I will admit that for me personally, and I have had plenty of jobs on machinery with out a ticket, was just in recognition of the years I`ve put in on these things.

Purely a personal acheivement.

I AM! a Plant operator now. I have tickets.

Back me up, Australian Members.
 

CM1995

Administrator
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
13,344
Location
Alabama
Occupation
Running what I brung and taking what I win
BeaudesertSand don't get me wrong- I am not knocking your achievement. Congrats!:drinkup

You gotta do what the man says you gotta do and that was what I was talking about. I just don't think the gov't should be in every aspect of our lives and businesses. We are more than capable of policing ourselves when it comes to heavy equipment training and safety - be it employers, unions or schools (of course not all and I know there are horror stories out there).

Sorry for the hijack into the philosophical realm.:cool:
 
Top