Backhoe Loaders (BHLs) are undoubtedly very expensive and highly technical equipment. Since they are highly technical, it is obvious that they would need trained operators who have expertise in safely handling the equipment to drive them as it goes without saying that any wrong move can cause heavy damage to the operator, equipment and even the people on the jobsite. Hence, it is always advised to have a qualified BHL operator.

The main task of a BHL operator includes driving and controlling the backhoe operations safely and as per schedule. He also need to operate various attachments as applicable and should know their respective functions. A BHL operator is also held responsible for the maintenance of the equipment. Apart from this, BHL operators should also be able to identify defects and malfunctioning of the equipment and in such a case, they are re required to take immediate action in terms of lodging complaints and getting the defects fixed.

In order to carry out all these tasks effectively and become a successful BHL operator, candidates need to possess certifications on earthmoving equipment operator/BHL from reputed institute or have proven work experience along license to drive heavy commercial vehicles like trucks etc.

Qualification, certification, and skills required by a BHL operator

Here are some general compulsory qualifications and personal attributes required to be a good BHL operator…

The general compulsory qualifications and attributes should include:

1. One of the most basic things that the BHL operator should have is the ability to independently operate the backhoe safely and responsibly.

2. Further, since, the operators are required to move the equipment from one site to another site on a commercial trailer or hauler, they must have a valid Heavy Commercial Vehicle Driving License (HCV).

3. Operators should also have experience of working in industrial environment involving moving earth or mining.

4. Operators should have on-the -job training or apprenticeship in backhoe operations with the construction company.

5. Operators should also know about carrying out pre-checks for various backhoe operations.

6. It is also required of the operators to have knowledge of various functions and use of the equipment and its various attachments like grappler fork, buckets, side shift forks, sweepers, crane hooks etc.

7. Not only knowing how to operate the BHL is important for the BHL operators but they should also know about how to maintain, troubleshoot, and store the equipment.

8. It is equally important for the BHL operators to know about the workplace safety requirements and procedures.

The personal attributes should include:

1. Operators need to have good communication skills so that they can clearly communicate and direct the co-workers to perform the relevant tasks.

2. Operating Backhoe Loaders can be physically strenuous and demanding, hence, physical strength and stamina is also very important for the operators so as to enable them to skilfully handle the equipment for long hours. They should be able to work in all weathers and must be prepared for both extreme heat and cold.

3. Operators should need to be polite and courteous and be able to respond to complaints.

4. Operators also need to have good hand eye coordination so as to comply with industry regulations.

5. Willingness to work and strong work ethics are equally desirable.

6. Last but not the least, operators should also have good eye sight and not suffer from colour-blindness.

Above mentioned general as well as personal skillset is extremely important for the BHL operators. Most of the operators acquire these skills during their training periods. Overall, given the technicalities involved in the BHL, it is always advisable to choose an operator who is qualified professionally or has proven experience in handling backhoe operations.