Job Prospects For Heavy Equipment Operators

Heavy equipment operators are in charge of moving equipment, goods and heavy materials in various sites. They are also known as backhoe operator, bulldozer operator, excavator operator, loader operator, surface mining equipment operator and grader operator.

Heavy equipment operators operate equipment that is commonly used in the construction and maintenance of roads, buildings, bridges and other structural work. They use these machines to clear the land and carry materials for construction work. It’s operators also operate machinery that is involved in spreading concrete and asphalt on roads.

It’s operators generally work for approximately 40 hours a day for five days a week. A lot of their work involves overtime although the demand for additional hours depends on the region and the sector. In any case, the work is challenging and requires sufficient training.

People who operate them are required to ensure that the machinery used for such work is in good condition. They have the responsibility of maintaining vehicles and equipment used for construction. These equipment and vehicles need precise handling and repair as they are controlled using levers, pedals, switches and joysticks. They will need to make adjustments to the machinery as and when needed.

According to a survey, about 53% of it’s operators work in the construction industry followed by the manufacturing, public administration and municipal sectors. Mining and forestry also need them.

Job opportunities are most favorable for those operators who have the necessary certification along with an apprenticeship certificate. Graduates with a DEP in Heavy Equipment operation are also sought after. Experienced operators who are currently unemployed are also much in demand.

These days, there is a good amount of requirement for them. During the recession that hit the country in the early 1990s, the number of heavy equipment operators had gone down considerably. One of the reasons is the slowdown in construction activities, civil engineering and developmental projects. However, once the recession abated, these activities increased steadily and the demand for heavy equipment operators rose correspondingly. It is expected that one can see a similar trend when the current recession tides out in areas where construction and developmental activities have slowed down.

Employment growth for heavy equipment operators depends to a large extent on the activity in the civil engineering and road works sector. As the government spends more readily on infrastructure, there should be a parallel increase in the number of it’s operators. As residential construction activities pick momentum, there will be a growth spurt here too. All in al, the future looks quite bright for them.

Enerpac Lifting Equipment

Enerpac was founded in 1959 and began manufacturing hydraulic equipment. It has gone through many changes over the years but one thing has remained, Enerpac’s driving desire to manufacture hydraulic equipment of exceptional quality and to a very high standard that is able to do the job for which it was intended. Over the next 20 years, they gained a reputation for the manufacture and development of a whole range of hydraulic and other precision engineered tools. They were innovative and came up with new types of equipment, some of which went on to really change the way things were being done. During the 1980s, Enerpac developed the actuation system for convertible roofs on cars. Using a hydraulic system to raise and fold down the roof was quite a revelation, it all had to be done manually before that and could take considerable time to achieve. These hydraulic systems were cutting edge and updated versions are still in use today by major vehicle manufacturers which use hard roofs such as VW, Ford, Audi and Peugeot. In 2000, Enerpac was taken over by the Actuant Corporation which has a longer but equally illustrious history.

Actuant was founded in 1910 but was then known as American Grinder and Manufacturing and was an engineering firm which produced pumps for the engines of Ford’s Model T motor car. The company changes its name from American Grinder and Manufacturing to Blackhawk Manufacturing and continued engineering but began to focus on hydraulics. In 1961, Blackhawk Manufacturing is rebranded as Applied Power Industries. In 1970 Power-Packer is founded, it is a subsidiary based in the Netherlands. This company develops and manufactures motion control systems for a variety of industries including the motor industry, medical, marine and agriculture. It also makes the actuation systems developed by Enerpac and these are used by automotive manufacturers all around the globe. During the 80s and 90s, Applied Power continues to acquire businesses and develop as a multi-national company. In the year 2000, Applied Power changed its name to Actuant Corporation and acquired Enerpac.

Since being amalgamated, Enerpac has been instrumental in the construction of many of the world’s iconic structures including the Athens Olympic Stadium, the Millau viaduct in France and the Birds Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. It is not just the construction of buildings and bridges that Enerpac is involved in, in 2009, Enerpac developed the stage using its synchronous lift system for U2′s 360 degree tour.

Enerpac manufactures high quality tools and components for a large number of industries. Products include hydraulic pumps, hydraulic jacks, hydraulic clamping and hydraulic torque wrenches. Some of the industries served include infrastructure, buildings, manufacturing, the oil and gas industry and shipbuilding. Enerpac do not believe in a one size fits all, they can tailor all your requirements to customize the perfect solution for your business.

Engineering has always been at the heart of the business and will continue to be. With the company’s innovative approach to engineering and development, the future looks very bright indeed.

Composite Materials in Ships, Pipelines, Liners and Aircraft

One future problem, which has not sufficiently been addressed, is that of the fumes and smoke created when composite material burns. Composite material is a truly great human achievement in material science, however as we use this material in more and more places we need to be acutely aware of the risks and potential consequences of their use. One risk is that many types of composite give of poison ness gaseous compounds such as cyanide gas. Not all composite materials will do this, but some do.

Composite material has been a godsend for aerospace as the material is light and very strong. Boeing announced it’s forward-looking hope to sell 200 of the 7E7 aircraft in calendar year 2005. Already in December of 2004 Japan Airlines gave its commitment to order 50 Boeing 7E7 aircraft. Boeing has recently received a commitment from Continental Airlines as well for billions of dollars worth of aircraft purchases between now and 2009 to lock in a special price. The 7E7 is a little over half composite and is the first passenger airliner to contain this much composite material. Boeing through economies of scale is determining ways for robots to build the composite material to reduce costs in labor and to eliminate human error while standardizing perfect flawless manufacturing of less than one, one thousandth of an inch variance. This will allow a rivet free aircraft, save thousands of pounds and an unmatched smooth skin for absolute advantage in laminar airflows and reduction of parasite drag. Such precision has never up until now been achieved.

Composite material has also been used in pipelines due to its ability to go from hot to cold without the huge expansion and compression that exists with metallic pipes. With proper UV protective coatings it is the perfect material for such things. Boat hulls and ships with composite parts also can be great pluses and not have corrosion problems that occurs in salt water. Ship companies with composite component ships will find that their maintenance costs are reduced for corrosion control and the ships life will be increased. Metal fatigue will no longer be an issue either. Automobiles built with composite will be stronger and lighter, thus safer, longer lasting, more durable, better performance and better gas mileage. Bridges, structures, towers, antennas and buildings are all good uses of composite materials and often favored in the modern period. Skateboards, sporting equipment, mars rovers, street signs and flag poles can all benefit from the material characteristics of composite. Composite can also be manufactured on robotic assembly lines. Composite comes without the high costs of mining iron ore or precious metals.

Composite is an excellent material and makes a lot of sense really, but what about its other characteristics when it burns. What happens when a lightweight high performance 7E7 runs off the end of a runway and catches fire? What happens when a pipeline ruptures? Sure there will be less likelihood of sparks with such material but what do you do when there is? For instance landing gear hitting a fence and jet fuel leaking on hot engines? Will the passengers be safe once the fire starts emitting poison gasses? What about a pipeline made of composite material, which ruptures from an attack my International Terrorists? What about an auto accident with another car or truck with a steel bumper providing the sparks or a battery lead meeting up with fuel line rupture? Cars in accidents do not usually burn to the ground, but it does happen. Any attempt to rescue victims could result in death by cyanide gas, first responders will need to suit up prior to rescue adding to the critical time period to save the occupants. No one knows this better than US Military Airport firefighters who are trained for such things. The military has learned the hard way that new composite materials although with all their advantages also have some severe and potentially fatal characteristics as well? Ships with composite have incredible advantages to service life and maintenance costs, but a fire aboard would be difficult to fight and if out of control could be lethal to all aboard.

We need to study how to use material sciences to prevent the toxins produced by burning composite. A solution needs to be available which can be mixed in with the material during manufacturing and a coating applied in the hardening process along with special after post manufacturing ceramic coats of approximately 1-4 Mils in thickness for items which need to consider weight as a primary objective and 10-12 Mils in thickness for such things like automobiles, railings, decks, ship interiors, etc. For things such as railcars and pipelines where weight is fairly insignificant I propose 10-20 Mils of ceramic coating on all sides of the material, interior and exterior of surfaces. By doing this we can prevent unintended consequences when we are struck by Mother Nature, Murphy, dumb luck or even International Terrorists nuisances. Funding should be provided to Universities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Virginia, Georgia and Texas, which currently have material science degrees available so we can stay leading edge and cover all the bases. This research should be funded by the DOE, DARPA and DOT, we must accelerate this sector now to keep up with the advances and needs we will see in the next five years. We must look at manufacturing, coatings, composite useful life and all possible variations of composite material. I propose this be done to take us to the next step while insuring;

“Strength and Safety now and forever.”