This program is made up of 3 courses that run consecutively (one after another) – Road Building Foundation, Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) and Specialized Equipment.
Students may elect to complete the 3-week Foundation course only. They will be permitted to return for further training at a later date.
Heavy Equipment Operator technicians operate heavy machinery such as heavy articulating rock trucks, loaders, excavators, backhoes, dozers and graders. These machines are used universally for all manner of heavy construction, including earth moving, road building, mining and forestry. Technicians may also be responsible for the basic maintenance of equipment, safety around equipment and the compliance of markers, grades and stakes.
Why would you want to enroll in this program?
Over the next 5 years, BC will experience a shortage of approximately 2,670 heavy equipment operators, which means there will be about 534 openings per year. With the possible introduction of additional major projects, these numbers may increase.
ITA Road Building and Heavy Construction Foundation Course (3 weeks)
This three-week course is the entry route into the road building and heavy construction industry. It provides a valuable overview of career opportunities, safety practices, an orientation to job site operations, equipment, tools, operations and maintenance as well as a fundamental introduction to civil engineering. Students earn credentials including Level 1 First Aid, Traffic Control Person and WHMIS.
For new apprentices, this program is a prerequisite for entry into the Heavy Equipment Operator Technician (HEO) program. Some students who are experienced operators may be allowed to proceed directly to the HEO program.
- Industry Orientation (focuses on safety)
- Civil Engineering Principles
- Tools, Equipment, Operations and Maintenance
- Worksite Preparation
Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) Technician Course (4 weeks)
This module provides further apprenticeship training as designated by the Industry Training Authority. It combines two weeks of in-class theory instruction covering the following six pieces of heavy equipment: articulating rock truck (ART), backhoe, dozer, excavator, grader and loader. This is followed by two weeks of practical equipment lab training on four pieces of heavy equipment: ART, dozer, excavator and loader.
The course reviews important information regarding: heavy equipment safety, types and operation, equipment inspections, systems, equipment maintenance cycles, work planning, transportation of the equipment, interpretations of grades and stakes, environmental protection, aggregates and drainage, and erosion control.
- Articulating Loader
- Articulating Haul Truck
IUOE-TA Heavy Construction Training Course (5 weeks)
The final five weeks focus on practical skills, rotating through the following pieces of heavy equipment – ART, Backhoe, Dozer, Excavator or Loader. Apprentices will have the opportunity to specialize their practical experience on one or more machines.
This module allows students to develop those skills that employers in the road building industry are looking for, including:
- Grades and Stakes
- Heavy Equipment Operating Techniques
Week 1 – 3:
- Health and Safety
- Environmental Requirements
- Hand and power tools
- Ladders and scaffold
- Rigging and material handling
- Basic heavy equipment operation and maintenance
- Soil Mechanics and geology
- Aggregates, asphalt pavement, concrete
Weeks 4 – 7
- Heavy Equipment Types and Operations
- Heavy Equipment Inspection and Maintenance
- Diesel Engines and Hydraulic Systems
- Work Procedures and Planning
- Interpretation of Grades and Stakes
- Transportation of Equipment
- Environmental Protection
- Aggregates and Compaction
- Drainage and Erosion Control
- Equipment Maintenance Cycles
- Basic Operation of Each Type of Heavy Equipment
Weeks 8 – 12
- Communications / Human Relations
- Practical (Field) Training
- Operating Techniques
- Grades and Stakes
- Site Inspection
- Environmental Concerns
- Machines and Attachments
- Service and Preventative Maintenance
Program admission requirements are as follows:
- Minimum 70% on the IUOETA Trades Assessment
- Valid Drivers license
- Minimum Grade 10 recommended
Level of Competency
Upon program completion, participants will receive:
- An ITA Certificate of Qualification, with additional endorsements for each of the following:
- Air Brake
- Pipeline Construction Safety Training
- Confined Spaces
- Traffic Control
- First Aid Level 1
- Transportation of Dangerous Goods
- Ground Disturbance
- H2S Alive
Text books: $750
Application & Examination Process
Students will write theory examinations and will also be assessed on job performance standards. Punctuality, attendance and attitude will also be considered in determining the final course grade.
Successful completion (70%) of the OETA Trade Assessment is required for this course. Assessments are scheduled by the IUOE-TA at any IUOE Local 115 office in British Columbia.
Subject areas in the Assessment include:
- Math Foundations
- Industry Related Problems
- Problem Sets
If you are interested in this program, contact the Training Association office and obtain an Application for Training package. Complete the package and submit it to the nearest Operating Engineers Office to be forwarded to the Operating Engineers Training Association. Applications will be submitted to the IUOE 115 Training Coordinator for review.
Include with your application a resume, appropriate reference materials, a copy of your Driver’s abstract and/or license, and any other supporting or reference material.
Qualified applicant files will go before a selection committee. Successful applicants will be assigned to the class upon confirmation of their ability to attend.
*Students for this course may be eligible to apply for program funding through BC Student Aid.