The Truth About HEO Work

Working as a heavy equipment operator offers steady work and good pay. But it's tough work. Physical strength is a must. For most people choosing an HEO career, the good outweighs the bad. Find out below if you've got what it takes to succeed.

HEO Job Conditions

Construction projects take place at all hours — sometimes in messy or dangerous conditions. The job also has a high risk of slip and fall injuries. You must be alert and be able to pass a drug test. As a heavy equipment operator you may have to:

  • work late nights or overnight
  • work irregular hours including weekends
  • brave extreme weather
  • have work hours be affected by weather
  • perform in tight spaces
  • handle unexpected hazards
Excavator Operator Trainer

HEO Job Duties

Heavy equipment operators do a lot more than just dig holes and move dirt. The job requires that you follow safety procedures and maintain company equipment. You will often work without close supervision and will be expected to:

  • load and unload equipment
  • check filters and fluid levels
  • troubleshoot equipment
  • perform construction-related duties
  • keep work areas safe and clean
  • fill out paperwork and reports
Unloading heavy equipment

HEO Job Skills

Guiding very large machinery is an important technical skill. Social skills are important too. These include a can-do attitude, the ability to work as a team and speaking clearly. Successful heavy equipment operators can:

  • read and adjust gauges
  • coordinate hand and foot movements
  • maintain a sense of balance
  • think on their feet
  • follow signals from crew
  • manage time and meet deadlines
Heavy equipment crew
Transport heavy equipment on trucks by earning your CDL at Carolina Trucking Academy.


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