Are you considering pursuing a career as an excavation contractor? Job duties like moving large amounts of dirt and using heavy machinery to dig trenches through the earth can certainly set the stage for an exciting and challenging career. Which skills will you need to have a successful career in excavation contracting? Here are a few examples.
Learn to Use Heavy Machinery
To be a professional excavation contractor, you will need to click here for more info and know how to use heavy machinery like backhoes and dump trucks. You will want to learn tho use these machines from a skilled excavation specialist, and you will be required to spend many hours becoming proficient at operating these vehicles before you are ready to use them on your own.
Backhoes are used in excavation for digging dirt out of trenches and other areas that are under construction. Dump trucks are needed to move that dirt from one location to another. Some machinery used in excavation is run by hydraulic pumps, while other machines use systems with levers and pulleys.
Wheel loaders, industrial shovels and trenchers are other examples of machinery used in excavation.
All excavation equipment will need to be properly maintained, and repairs will need to be made when needed. As an excavation contractor, you will be responsible either for maintaining the machinery yourself or for hiring someone else to do it.
Develop Communication Skills
As an excavation contractor, you will be required to work with other construction professionals to develop and implement a plan for completing each project in a timely manner. You will need good communication skills to express your ideas and plans to other contractors. You will also need to manage and organize workers, express time limitations and keep the project on budget.
Learn Safety Skills
You will be responsible for maintaining a safe construction environment. This means that you must know the legal requirements for safety on a job site. You must also be sure that all workers have appropriate safety gear and knowledge of emergency procedures in case something goes wrong.
Trenches created on an excavation project can be more than 6 meters deep and can collapse on workers inside them. It is your responsibility as the excavation contractor to be sure that trenches are stable and that workers know how to properly escape from the trench if necessary through systems of ladders, ramps or steps.
Other safety issues in excavation include falls, heavy machinery or dirt falling into the trench, interference from underground utilities and contamination from toxic gases and fumes. The Ontario Ministry of Labor lists some of these potential hazards.
You must also assess the safety of the job site daily, particularly after rain or other changes in weather conditions.
Prepare for Unpredictable Work Schedules
When you are working in construction, you should always be prepared for changes in your schedule. When you are working on an excavation project, you may find yourself working days longer than 12 hours for many days in a row. Other times you may not be working due to bad weather, financial problems or other delays that construction projects can face. There may also be time when you are spending the day waiting to find out if you will be called to the job site or not. Some projects will be done during daylight hours, while others will be done at night under bright construction lights. Construction professionals must be able to handle these changing schedules and job conditions.
A career as an excavation contractor can be exciting and fulfilling, and you can earn a good salary doing it. However there are many skills you will need to develop in order to do the job appropriately.