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Driving A Dump Truck Is A Key Mining Function
A dump truck isn`t necessarily the first piece of equipment most people think about when they consider the job of a miner, but these big rigs are actually an essential part of many operations. Because all mining does not take place below ground, there are many different facets of the job and in surface or open pit mining, there are many kinds of heavy machinery that come into play.
Unlike traditional below ground mines, surface excavations involve stripping away large amounts of soil and rock at a time. Moving that kind of load requires the use of heavy machinery that can include excavators and earthmovers. Because these vehicles are larger and heavier than standard vehicles, they require special training and a special license to operate.
Often, the license needed to operate a dump truck will also cover the operation of other pieces of heavy equipment. And getting such a license will require specific training that not only encompasses the basics of driving but also the specifics of manoeuvering around an excavation site, which can be a very tricky proposition.
There are many potential hazards on a standard surface mining site. These can include holes, gradients and even pedestrians. As most sites are heavily populated with workers, it is necessary for drivers to move carefully in order to avoid accidents. Even the slightest misstep can cause a vehicle to pitch or tip over and the results can be devastating.
The safe operation of a dump truck, excavator or other piece of heavy equipment is essential to the overall mining operation. Without this equipment to haul away excess waste, it is impossible for the mine to make progress. And this same equipment is also needed to carry the product of the mining operation to the smelting facility so that it can be properly processed.
Of course, driving is only one of the responsibilities that a heavy equipment operator will have. There will also be lifting and hauling, which usually requires the operator to be physically fit and capable of putting in long hours of manual labor. While the job doesn`t require any particular education, it does require stamina and strength as well as a clear head.
Particularly at mines, where safety is of the utmost importance, there are generally strict safety measures that must be followed by each dump truck operator. Employers will pay close attention to make sure you are adhering to all workplace rules and do not present a health or safety issue. You`ll also need to maintain a clean driving record, free of traffic violations.
If you are up to the challenge and want to be a part of the mining industry but don`t feel that working underground is something for you, consider the many opportunities available at surface mining sites. Operating heavy machinery such as a dump truck or excavator may be your key to gainful employment and the perfect way for you to become an active member of one of Australia`s most profitable and productive industries.
Click Here to download our Expert Guide Becoming a Dump Truck Driver