The Lucky Country has long been home to many mines, and by proxy, many excavators.
Also known as diggers, these pieces of heavy machinery are used for earth moving to dig soil out if the way so that it is easier to extract the materials.
Different excavators are used in mining from backhoes to bucket wheel excavators to power shovels and dragline excavators.
These can often excavate hundreds of cubic metres of material per hour, making quick work of mining operations.
How does an excavator work?
These machines use a bucket to dig pulling the material back towards the machine. They also include a self-contained cab for the driver located on the body housing the engine and other components.
This is connected by a large swivel joint to the track assembly, so it can be moved 360 degrees.
What do you need to do to to drive an excavator?
In order to drive an excavator you will need to undertake both theory and practical training, through a certified course provider.
If you plan on using the excavator at a mine, you may need to have a specific mine-based qualification, as this will allow you to test drive a simulator so you benefit from real life experience.
The course will teach you how to plan work based on the conditions, locate the load, calculate its characteristics and safely move the load.
You will also be able to use the controls, operating system and be taught how to stop, shut down and secure the equipment after the work has been completed.
Most courses will teach you how to operate a range of different sized diggers so that you will be prepared for whatever you need to hire to get the job done.
What safety requirements do you need to be aware of?
In order to remain safe behind the wheel of an excavator, it is strongly recommended you wear a hard hat, safety glasses. safety gloves and a belt clip.
Long sleeve hi-visibility shirt, long pants,steel-cap boots and ear plugs are essential.