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Thread: A Big Hello & How to get into the plant industry?

  1. #1
    New Start SweetDukes's Avatar
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    A Big Hello & How to get into the plant industry?

    Hi Guys,

    I'm Duke & have always been a big fan of heavy plant machinery. Fell in love with them when I was a kid & knew that one day I might just do it as a profession. Fast forward 30+ years....ready to take the plunge

    Been up and down the internet trying to find out what is the best way to get into the industry but keep coming across CITB & CPCS courses with little mention of how to actually get a job afterwards (without experience). I C
    ame across this forum as I am looking to become a 360 excavator driver in the near future.

    I wish to do a 9 day course (360 operator) to get my red card. But open to any suggestions from members on this forum as to what direction or action is best suited to reach my goal.


    • With some of your knowledge of the industry (construction), what is the likelihood of a freshly granted red card holder (360 operator) finding work?
    • Which plant machinery job would be the easiest to get into so as I would be able to get my foot into the door? It doesn't have to be a 360 excavator role but that is what I am aiming for.
    • Which plant machinery jobs pay the most and the least?
    • Any other advice?



    I would be greatly appreciative of any other light you might be able to shine on this issue I am having.

    Kind Regards,

    Duke

  2. #2
    Admin Muz's Avatar
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    Hi Duke & welcome

    It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Whilst gaining a card gives you the ability to pull levers ok, it doesent really tell you how to tackle a job. I can command good prices when out on hire because I can grade surfaces to a good degree of accuracy, find services under ground without damaging them, read a clients drawings, and measurements, and impliment them whilst leaving a tidy workplace and job finish. I can also take a customers rough ideas when landscaping and mould them into a picture he/she had in their mind. With experience you will learn to create, using the tools you have to the best advantage you can. All of this takes time though, and some people under estimate just how much time. A lot depends on your ability to learn the craft ofcourse .. some people can do this faster than others.

    I have come across quite a few new starts who are too impetuous, at the expense of safety, so a lot of potential employers will have this at the forefront of their minds. That said there are many openings within the construction industry, and there is a shortage of good operators out there. You will just have to knock on some doors and it wont be too long before you will find something, but you will need to accept, that you may get placed on simple works like loading dumpers or moving stone, before progressing to more technical stuff.

    It has to be a natural progession of skill and experience, and 'that' will be when the question of earnings is more in your control, when you can demonstrate the level of your ability, you will be able to command a better wage as your knowledge develops. Most companies will offer similar packages for operators at given levels of compentancy. I have heard stories of dozer operators for example who command a premium, because they can grade stone to a few cm as opposed to a couple of inches .. thereby saving the contractor on stone costs ,.. that sort of thing. You come across as articulate, so I'm sure you will pick something up before too long good luck and keep us posted.

    As an aside .. I have often wondered about starting a school for folks in exactly your position, it would be a great advantage to learn how to handle a machine with all the tips and tricks that someone with 30 years in the saddle could give you .. just not sure if theres a big enough market for it ?
    Please don't PM me for plant advice.. thanks .. Post in the forum where I will gladly help, as will many of our contributors.. as the info and responses will help everyone else, which is why we exist

  3. #3
    Fabrication Guru +1 v8druid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muz View Post
    Hi Duke & welcome

    It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Whilst gaining a card gives you the ability to pull levers ok, it doesent really tell you how to tackle a job. I can command good prices when out on hire because I can grade surfaces to a good degree of accuracy, find services under ground without damaging them, read a clients drawings, and measurements, and impliment them whilst leaving a tidy workplace and job finish. I can also take a customers rough ideas when landscaping and mould them into a picture he/she had in their mind. With experience you will learn to create, using the tools you have to the best advantage you can. All of this takes time though, and some people under estimate just how much time. A lot depends on your ability to learn the craft ofcourse .. some people can do this faster than others.

    I have come across quite a few new starts who are too impetuous, at the expense of safety, so a lot of potential employers will have this at the forefront of their minds. That said there are many openings within the construction industry, and there is a shortage of good operators out there. You will just have to knock on some doors and it wont be too long before you will find something, but you will need to accept, that you may get placed on simple works like loading dumpers or moving stone, before progressing to more technical stuff.

    It has to be a natural progession of skill and experience, and 'that' will be when the question of earnings is more in your control, when you can demonstrate the level of your ability, you will be able to command a better wage as your knowledge develops. Most companies will offer similar packages for operators at given levels of compentancy. I have heard stories of dozer operators for example who command a premium, because they can grade stone to a few cm as opposed to a couple of inches .. thereby saving the contractor on stone costs ,.. that sort of thing. You come across as articulate, so I'm sure you will pick something up before too long good luck and keep us posted.

    As an aside .. I have often wondered about starting a school for folks in exactly your position, it would be a great advantage to learn how to handle a machine with all the tips and tricks that someone with 30 years in the saddle could give you .. just not sure if theres a big enough market for it ?
    IMHDO Muz there is a market ... dunno as it extends far enough North for you though, sadly ... sadly again, most of the courses are executed by 'know little-charge a lots' and only cover the bare minimum to get those red cards out the door
    if Duke has read extensively, on the subject, he should also have learnt that, all this bollocks is back door 'legislation' of sorts and far from a legal requirement ... just arse covering in a grandiose manner ... and one which also can let the arse coverers down in a big way, if shit goes pear shaped

    being able to operate the machine competently is a far cry from 'knowing how' to operate it competently and safely to achieve the desired results ........ only experience or 'the experienced' can ever teach that


    Oh and just noticed my new title Boyo Danke schön Mein herr
    If it's got tracks, wheels, t*ts, or an engine, at some point it's gonna give you trouble!!

  4. #4
    Admin Muz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v8druid View Post
    Oh and just noticed my new title Boyo Danke schön Mein herr
    Hehe .. its only been there for 2 months .................
    Please don't PM me for plant advice.. thanks .. Post in the forum where I will gladly help, as will many of our contributors.. as the info and responses will help everyone else, which is why we exist

  5. #5
    Quantity Surveyor on the up ianoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muz View Post
    Hehe .. its only been there for 2 months .................
    Lol ,Them welsh fellas are a bit slooooow i hear Muz .

  6. #6
    New Start SweetDukes's Avatar
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    Thanx for some of your insight Muz.

    I will not bother going for any course & just see if I can get myself onto a site as a labour hand.

    I am just aiming for some exposure & a bit of luck with someone that might allow me a bit of seat time.

    With all the plant jobs being advertised it is so strange that there does not seem to be a clear path as to attaining the necessary experience in order to get hired. Construction is rife in London...there are sites everywhere. I think I will pop over to my local cement factory that I pass every morning to work & see if I can talk my way into just being able to clean up the yard when there is down time. They have 4-5 360 excavators there.

    But once again thank you to those that have responded. Greatly appreciated.

  7. #7
    Admin Muz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetDukes View Post
    Thanx for some of your insight Muz.

    I will not bother going for any course & just see if I can get myself onto a site as a labour hand.

    I am just aiming for some exposure & a bit of luck with someone that might allow me a bit of seat time.

    With all the plant jobs being advertised it is so strange that there does not seem to be a clear path as to attaining the necessary experience in order to get hired. Construction is rife in London...there are sites everywhere. I think I will pop over to my local cement factory that I pass every morning to work & see if I can talk my way into just being able to clean up the yard when there is down time. They have 4-5 360 excavators there.

    But once again thank you to those that have responded. Greatly appreciated.
    You might struggle with that due to health and safety, because the industry is heavily regulated, its worth asking though, depending on the sites facilities, and may have a training area .. you never know ? .. as my late grandfather often said .. 1 volunteer is better than 10 pressed men
    Please don't PM me for plant advice.. thanks .. Post in the forum where I will gladly help, as will many of our contributors.. as the info and responses will help everyone else, which is why we exist

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