Loading Machine Operators, Underground Mining
Also called: Load Haul Dump Operator (LHD Operator), Loader Operator, Loading Machine Operator, Shuttle Car Operator
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Moving mountains may sound impossible, but material moving machine operators do it all the time, one load of earth at a time. They use machinery to move heavy materials around building sites, warehouses, ships and mines. Material moving machine operators use a variety of equipment in different settings. Most of these operators drive forklifts moving materials around warehouses, storage yards, or worksites. They may operate conveyor belts to pick up merchandise, and move it to and from large warehouses, building sites and vehicles. Many operators work for underground and surface mining companies digging mines to extract coal, ore and other materials. They load material onto shuttles or conveyors running from a mine to the surface. Some operate platforms and cages that raise workers and materials up to elevated construction sites or lower them down into mines and quarries. In construction, these machine operators clear space for buildings with excavators, and operate cranes to load and unload building materials. Cranes are also used at ports to move cargo, and at iron and steel mills. Dredge operators shift large quantities of sand and gravel from the bottom of rivers, lakes and other waterways so that ships and boats can move freely. Safe equipment operation is a top priority in this field; injury and illness rates are higher than most occupations. Workers wear gloves, hardhats, or respirators as needed. Most material moving machine operators work full time— sometimes with overnight shifts— and overtime is common. Although there are typically no formal education requirements, a high school education may be preferred for some positions, and is often required for crane operators, excavating machine operators, and dredge operators. Some states and cities require licensure for crane operators.
What they do:Operate underground loading machine to load coal, ore, or rock into shuttle or mine car or onto conveyors. Loading equipment may include power shovels, hoisting engines equipped with cable-drawn scraper or scoop, or machines equipped with gathering arms and conveyor.
On the job, you would:
- Pry off loose material from roofs and move it into the paths of machines, using crowbars.
- Move trailing electrical cables clear of obstructions, using rubber safety gloves.
- Drive machines into piles of material blasted from working faces.
Engineering and Technology
Education and Training
- teaching and course design
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
- use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
Hand and Finger Use
- hold or move items with your hands
- keep your arm or hand steady
- pay attention to something without being distracted
- do two or more things at the same time
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Concern for Others
- Self Control
You might use software like this on the job:
Facilities management software
- Maintenance management software
Operating system software