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Heavy Equipment Operator I


Drive, maneuver, or control the heavy machinery used for construction, demolition, excavation, transportation, or harvesting. Operate one or several types of heavy power construction/transportation/farm equipment, such as road graders, trench excavators, bulldozers, scrapers, derricks, shovels, tractors, front-end loaders, backhoes, roller compactors, cranes, tractor-trailers, refuse collection trucks, combines, harvesters, corn pickers, and/or and similar equipment. Drive and control industrial trucks or tractors equipped with forklifts or booms for lifting materials. Operate and maintain air compressors, pumps, and other power equipment at construction sites. Perform routine maintenance and minor repairs on equipment, in addition to other duties. Utilize knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures within the field. Rely on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job.

Examples of Work

Job functions are specific duties that would be included in the essential functions of the job description. These functions are not all-inclusive nor do they cover the full extent of the duties performed.

• Check to ensure that equipment functions properly
• Clean, maintain, and make basic repairs to equipment
• Report malfunctioning equipment to supervisors
• Learn and follow safety regulations
• Take actions to avoid potential hazards or obstructions, such as utility lines, other equipment, other workers, or falling objects
• Locate underground services, such as pipes or wires, prior to beginning work
• Adjust hand wheels and depress pedals to control attachments, such as blades, buckets, scrapers, or swing booms
• Start engines, move throttles, switches, or levers, or depress pedals to operate machines, such as bulldozers, trench excavators, road graders, or backhoes
• Move levers, push pedals, or turn valves to activate power equipment
• Coordinate machine actions with other activities, positioning or moving loads in response to hand or audio signals from crewmembers
• Load and move dirt, rocks, equipment, or other materials, using trucks, crawler tractors, power cranes, shovels, graders, or related equipment
• Check fuel supplies at sites to ensure adequate availability
• Drive and maneuver equipment equipped with blades in successive passes over working areas to remove topsoil, vegetation, or rocks or to distribute and level earth or terrain
• Test atmosphere for adequate oxygen or explosive conditions when working in confined spaces
• Signal operators to guide movement of tractor-drawn machines
• Keep records of material or equipment usage or problems encountered
• Align machines, cutterheads, or depth gauge makers with reference stakes and guidelines or ground or position equipment, following hand signals of other workers
• Operate tractors or bulldozers to perform such tasks as clearing land, mixing sludge, trimming backfills, or building roadways or parking lots
• Drive tractor-trailer trucks to move equipment from site to site
• Make emergency adjustments or assist with major repairs
• Connect hydraulic hoses, belts, mechanical linkages, or power takeoff shafts to tractors
• Operate equipment to demolish or remove debris or to remove snow from streets, roads, or parking lots
• Operate loaders to pull out stumps, rip asphalt or concrete, rough-grade properties, bury refuse, or perform general cleanup
• Operate compactors, scrapers, or rollers to level, compact, or cover refuse at disposal grounds
• Operate road watering, oiling, or rolling equipment, or street sealing equipment, such as chip spreaders
• Turn valves to control air or water output of compressors or pumps
• Select and fasten bulldozer blades or other attachments to tractors, using hitches
• Push other equipment when extra traction or assistance is required
• Perform specialized work, using equipment such as pile drivers, dredging rigs, drillers, or concrete pumpers
• Operate conveyors to remove grit and debris from digesters

Education and Experience

Completion of the ninth grade and two years of relevant experience.

Licensure and Certification

Classified driver license appropriate to the type(s) of vehicle(s) operated.


Positions typically report to a supervisor or manager and work under immediate supervision. Positions do not directly supervise others.

To see common career pathways for each position at the University of Florida please visit the Career Paths section of the UFHR website.