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Professional Heavy Equipment Training

Heavy Equipment Operator School Book Image - West Coast Training

The Heavy Equipment Operator Training course goes a long way in preparing students for professional construction work. Participants will receive instruction both in the classroom and on field projects, supervised by NCCER Certified Craft Instructors. Each instructor has no more than 12 students, ensuring personal attention and plenty of time with each piece of equipment.  

Because this is a rigorous, full-time course, we recommend that participants devote their full schedule to the training. 

Time Commitment & Instruction Timeline

Instruction will last for eight weeks, with 320 hours clocked at the end. Each day consists of a ten-hour schedule.

Five hours a day will consist of classroom training, where students will be taught basic civil engineering concepts, workplace safety, applied mathematics, and survey training, including the proper use of laser levels, transits, chain and rod, plumb bobs, and hand-sight levels.

The remaining five hours will be spent in the field, with hands-on supervised instruction in equipment operation and preventative maintenance. This prepares students for applications in construction, mining, industrial, and recycling work situations. 

For the first four weeks, trainees are introduced to each type of equipment, then select one specific type to specialize in. During the last four weeks, additional instruction is offered with each type of equipment, and a second specialty is selected. This way, each student receives basic exposure to all the machinery they are likely to experience in the field. 

We also offer the opportunity for students to earn NCCER certifications

Related Duties

During the program, each student will qualify to perform the following related duties: 

  • Site Preparation
  • Flagging
  • Grade Checking
  • Surveying

Survey work is integrated into most projects, including set-up, grade checking, cut and fill to sub-grade, and preventative equipment maintenance.

Current Equipment List

Each student gets plenty of hands-on time operating each piece of machinery. The low participant-to-instructor ratio ensures that each trainee gets plenty of exposure. Our extensive fleet consists of the following:

  • Ten Backhoes
  • Ten Dozers
  • Four Graders
  • Seven Excavators
  • Four Loaders
  • Two Scrapers
  • One Vibratory Compactor
  • One Utility Tractor & One Trencher
  • One Water Wagon & One Haul Truck

Specialty Extension Add-On Training (SEAT)

Graduates of our 8 week HEO course may take this four-week, 160-hour program to gain more hands-on machinery time. Participants use two additional types of excavation equipment in a completely field-based curriculum, essentially "specializing on two more machine types. There is also the opportunity to earn additional NCCER credentials.

Coordinated Excavation Team Operations (CETOPS) & HAZWOPER 120

This is an additional course designed for heavy equipment operator graduates. It takes the student through the work process as part of an excavation team, from an unprepared site, through layout, grading, and excavation. Students are tested on surveying skills, road building, grading, utilities trenching, digging foundations, material handling, and setting culverts. Also included is a 40-hour hazardous materials curriculum as preparation for HAZWOPER 120 certification.

Those interested in taking any of our courses should contact West Coast Training today!


Student At Heavy Equipment Operator School Photo - West Coast Training

"My favorite part was all the time I had working on the equipment. They make sure every student has their own rig to operate. I've gotten to the point where the excavator is like my third arm. I'm pretty proficient now and looking forward to getting a job back home in France. There is a lot of construction going on and plenty of jobs, so this is going to work out well for me."

Alexander Storm