When operating construction equipment like a grader, you might need an expert for safe workability on the field.
Indeed, it is one of the essential equipment used for many things at the construction site.
But few people know how to use it efficiently and the main question that stands here is if you need a grader licence to operate one?
You cannot just enter a worksite and start driving a grader without any experience. It is not a car that you can move and roam around. It is one of the most earthmoving equipment that needs careful operation.
A competent grader operator can use it in many ways and ensure safety as well. Moreover, a grader operator is given a specific job in the field by their managers, so it is crucial to have experienced too.
If you are already working as a grader operator without a licence, it is now time to obtain this credential. For beginners, having this licence is a good start to become a grader operator in Australia.
If you totally have no idea how to get a grader operator ticket or licence, here are the steps you need to take:
- Prior to enrolling in a grader operator course, one must know the student entry requirements. At the minimum, you must be able to understand English language, pass a numeracy evaluation, be at least 16 years old (you can only take a job once you reached 18), must have identification. These are what will be asked before getting accepted into a course.
- Find a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in your area. Basically, an RTO means an approved training school that offers training course on grader. To help you out find an RTO, in this part of the website, we have made a directory of RTOs in every territory, choose your location in the menu below or in the side of this webpage.
- Attend the classroom lectures. This is just a short part of the course. In the lectures you will learn theory, concepts, safety in the operation of the grader equipment, other site-specific topics will also be discussed in the lectures.
- Complete the hands-on exercises. In this part of the course, you will operate the grader in a site-simulated scenario, you will spend most of your training time in a hands-on exercise to gain the much-needed practical skills. The instructor will supervise you on this and will give you a set of tasks to finish. You will also need to log your practical hours to serve as your proof of skill competency.
- Get assessed to earn a ticket. To earn a grader ticket, also called a licence, you must be assessed. It is the RTO that do the student assessment. Well, what happens here is you will perform grader operation, finish the job that will be given, and if the assessor is satisfied with your performance, he will issue you a ticket.
Competency Units You Can Earn
In Australia, grader training has two categories to choose from:
- RIIMPO310F - Conduct grader operations
- RIIMPO324F - Conduct civil construction grader operations
The training programs follow the same pattern of training but the main difference is that RIIMPO324F - Conduct civil construction grader operations training is restricted to construction site work only. While the RIIMPO310F - Conduct grader operations focus on other uses of grader for example Trenching, ditching, mixing materials, Snow removal, Scarifying and spreading materials. It is up to you which to pursue according to personal preference.
The Training Outlines
Now the only problem stands in which training program to choose from. First, the course or training program must fulfill the competency standard provided by the national training schemes. The RTO or training centre must cover these important topics in their program.
- Identifying the hazards and risks on the construction sites.
- Interpretation of the work plans and important documented details about the construction.
- Planning efficient workflow.
- Environmental planning.
- Understanding the plant and equipment
- The basic knowledge about all earthmoving equipment
- Demonstration of hazards and risks on the construction sites
- Selecting the right Personal protective equipment
- Use of correct attachments and ensure safe use
- Maintenance of equipment
- Inspection of equipment
- Field Exercises
- Finalize the assigned task according to the plan
- Bearing all the environmental conditions
The language, literacy and numeral knowledge is also assessed by the training center. Here the training centers provide classes to the students with weak communication both verbal and written. The assessment will be carried out to complete the requirement for providing licence.
The duration of the training may vary, but usually, the grader training course only lasts a week or two. Assessment is based on the topics along with the basic command of English and numeracy skills too.
Verification of Competency (VOC) For Experienced Candidate
Operators who are already working on the construction site must have Verification of Competency (VOC). It is an independent test to verify the competence and current compliance to meet WHS requirements. This shows that as a staff member you are competent enough to operate grader or any related equipment.
If you already have a ticket, some training center offers you to test on your own site and award you with the VOC. Moreover, if you have already a ticket holder, you can ask the training center to provide you with evidence for RPL. All you have to provide them with enough evidence.
Getting a grader operator ticket or licence is easy. All it takes is enrolling yourself into a training program and learning with your full attention. Indeed, it is one of the most crucial jobs that requires an open mind, active presence and devotion.
Eligibility Requirement to Work as a Grader Operator
Again, it all depends on the competency of the candidates to fulfill the eligibility criteria. Following are the criteria:
- Must be 18 of age or above
- Must have a grader operator ticket or licence
- In some circumstances, the employer may require you to have Perform High Risk Work Licence
- Must have a CIC card (construction induction training) – a requirement by law when working on construction site
- Physically fit for construction work
- Evidence of working on construction site (ONLY for those whole are already working as grader operator)
What Does Grader Operator
Before applying for a grader operator ticket or licence, it is crucial to understand the responsibilities of the job as well. If you have experience as a grader operator, you might already know how essential safety is in the work site.
The first thing that you need to prove is competency. You must ensure the safety of the people at the construction site. The second comes in the understanding of the work and how to handle such heavy equipment accordingly.
In short, the grader operator must be trustworthy, forthcoming, and visionary to make the work easy and efficient. Here the project manager also falls under the same responsibility to determine the capabilities of the grader operator. Both will stand accountable for any type of mishap and inaccuracies in the work field.
Moreover, the grader can be used for many things like surface leveling, making inclines, scrapper, and as a mixer. Of course, the use of the grader may vary according to the project requirements. But the main point for service to understand is that grader operator must open his mind to all the possibilities of working while ensuring a safe workplace.
Who Can Be a Grader Operator
Anyone who is at least 18 and with prior experience or skills in the operation of grader equipment can be an operator. One must know that being a grader operator must be physically fit considering the nature of the job.
We personally think that it is never too late for gaining a skill and grader operator training is one of such skills. Indeed, each construction project may be different and require few dangerous tasks to be done. Here mainly, the project manager aims to make grader operator competent prior to operating the machine.
There are several courses or training that you can join, both online and at the construction training centers. Each Grader licence training or course focuses on the basic safety precautions and fundamental theory of safe operation at the construction site. Furthermore, to enroll yourself into the training program, you do not need any pre-requisite qualification or any experience.
To Make a Conclusion
Grader operator can attain their ticket or licence by proving their competency as an operator. There is only one way to get a grader operator ticket, and that is enrolling yourself into a grader operator training program.
Honestly, it does not matter if you have years of experience at this point. Mostly the project managers look for the grader operator with certification to ensure safety and workability for their project. However, even if you have experience, going through formal training opens up the door to work with modern equipment, and foremost, it opens the door of opportunities.