What does a 360 Excavator Operator do?

excavator training

Operating a 360 degree excavator digger efficiently and safely requires specific skills.

The 360 degree excavator digger is a powerful piece of machinery used to excavate and move large objects in a construction environment.

The 360 degree range of movement makes excavators ideally suited for different types and stages of work in the industry and it is rare to see a building site without one.

Excavators dig foundations and shift materials. They prepare areas for new buildings, and help with the demolition of old ones.

You will see 360 degree excavators used in dredging rivers and ditches, for general landscaping and for laying large-scale pipework. They are also used in mining and in forestry work.

There are various types of 360-degree excavators:

  • Below 10 tonnes, with tracks or wheels
  • Above 10 tonnes, with tracks or wheels

The 360 degree excavator digger rotates a full 360 degrees on its platform, giving it an advanced degree of versatility and manoeuvrability.

Therefore, a high degree of proficiency is essential if you are going to operate this heavy construction equipment.

A plant operator must have undergone 360 excavator digger training to control this equipment in a work setting.

Although there is no official legal requirement for a novice 360 degree excavator to hold a certificate or license to drive one, they require proof of their ability to do so.

What are the Job Opportunities for Excavator Operators?

Because the use of 360 degree excavator diggers is so widespread, there are plenty of job opportunities.

Most vacancies for operators are in the construction, engineering and trade sectors.

The average annual salary for a 360 excavator operator in the UK is around £34,500.

However, to compete in this job market, you must have the required qualifications, which is why 360 degree excavator training is so essential.

Without them, which act as proof of your ability, you will be unable to work as a 360 excavator operator.

Proper training qualifications can help to boost your job prospects and open up new opportunities for you as a skilled worker.

What Qualifications Must an Excavator Operator Have?

There are two major, recognised forms of qualification for 360 excavator operators:

  • Red Trained Operator card, or
  • A certificate of competency

To obtain either, you must gain accredited certification by completing a suitable 360 degree excavator training course.

What Courses Are There for 360 Degree Excavator Training?

Construction site owners must provide a safe working environment, and this means that all operators of equipment should have the required training to carry out their tasks.

Properly accredited courses in different aspects of construction provide this training, as well as the proof of the skills that construction employees have gained.

360 plant operator training covers different skill and equipment levels, including 360 excavator below 10 tonne and 360 excavator above 10 tonne training.

Training in above 10 tonne categories will automatically qualify operators to operate equipment that is below 10 tonnes.

Specially tailored training courses provide both novice 360 excavator training and refresher courses and tests for more experienced operators.

Courses cover the fundamentals of operating a 360 degree excavator digger, and give attendees a solid foundation in understanding all aspects of the equipment, including:

  • The excavator’s capabilities, limitations and overall purpose
  • Its construction, components and controls
  • Safety and siting of the equipment and checking it before and after use
  • Carrying out routine inspections and maintenance and making minor adjustments to the excavator
  • Configuring it for different tasks and attaching and removing buckets
  • Transporting materials over different terrains, in various settings
  • Preparing the excavator for transportation on public highways

Courses also cover essential health and safety regulations and legislation for safe working practices, highlighting the plant operator’s individual responsibilities.

What Do You Get From a 360 Excavator Training Course?

On completing a 360 degree excavator training course, the operator will:

  • Understand how a 360 excavator digger works and be able to identify its controls
  • Know how to drive and operate the digger, manoeuvring it safely, including getting it to and from the site
  • Have the skills to perform excavating tasks and to load materials onto other vehicles or containers
  • Know how to fit and remove attachments to the equipment
  • Understand how to carry out safe shutdown procedures on the equipment at the end of shift

The training courses vary in length, depending on the skill level of the attendee, and what they are looking to achieve.

A novice operator course can take up to 10 days, including comprehensive training combining classroom learning and practical experience.

On the other hand, a knowledgeable operator may wish to sit a test only to confirm their ability and gain the necessary credentials to demonstrate this.

All courses include a test.

The lasting professional value of an accredited training course is that it gives the operator proof of their skill and expertise.

There are several awarding bodies offering this form of recognised accreditation, some of them are:

  • CPCS
  • NPORS
  • ITSSAR

Certification for 360 Degree Excavator Training

There are two recognised forms of certification:

  • The Red Trained Operator card, or
  • A certificate of competency

The type of certification you get from your course will depend on the body that offers accreditation for it:

  • CPCS, the Construction Plant Competence Scheme, runs a competence card system, issuing the Red Trained Operator card
  • NPORS, National Plant Operators Registration Scheme, is another body that issues the Red Trained Operator Card for approved training courses
  • ITSSAR, the Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register, runs its own accreditation scheme, issuing a certificate of competency for its accredited courses.

The Red Trained Operator card has a validity two years.

Operators can upgrade a CPCS Red card to a Blue Competent Operator card, by gaining an NVQ. The blue card lasts five years.

Likewise, operators with a red NPORS card can register and complete an NVQ to gain an extended, five-year blue card.

The ITSSAR certificate of competency lasts between three and five years, depending on use.

The most popular accredited certification is the CPCS, which is widely recognised across industries, and for many employers it comes top in the skill requirements they desire.

However, most construction sites now also recognise the NPORS logo card.

SB Skills Accredited 360 Degree Excavator Training

We provide a range of courses for 360 excavator training in the north west.

These cover accreditation from all three main bodies: CPCS, NPORS and ITSSAR.

Our courses include CPCS A59A and A59B excavator above 10 tonnes training, which will qualify operators to drive diggers that are both above and below 10 tonnes.

We also offer the NPORS Excavator 360 (N202) as a formal qualification for operating a 360 degree excavator.

We can also offer in-house training as an alternative, where companies are using excavator machinery on their own sites or private land.

Our accredited courses usually take place on our own site, or on a client’s site, if this meets the criteria of the specified awarding body.

360 excavator training prices for our courses range from extensive novice courses at £1850 plus VAT, to tests only from £525 plus VAT.

Generally, the price will depend on the duration of the course.

There are grants available for some courses, including £590 towards a CPCS full novice course and £470 for testing only.

The CITB Levy also provides £120 towards full novice courses, including tests.

Why Become a 360 Degree Excavator Operator?

With the right certification and skills behind you, becoming a 360-degree excavator operator can open up a world of opportunity.

You could be playing a pivotal role in the construction industry or a related sector, and be earning the sort of money that reflects your skill, competence and professional status.

For more information about 360 excavator training, call us 01695 558420 or complete our online contact form, and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

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