Trenching Machine Operator Career

Job Description: Operate or tend machinery equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets, to excavate and load loose materials.

*A job as a Trenching Machine Operator falls under the broader career category of Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Trenching Machine Operator Career

What Trenching Machine Operators do:

  • Move levers, depress foot pedals, and turn dials to operate power machinery, such as power shovels, stripping shovels, scraper loaders, or backhoes.
  • Set up or inspect equipment prior to operation.
  • Receive written or oral instructions regarding material movement or excavation.
  • Observe hand signals, grade stakes, or other markings when operating machines so that work can be performed to specifications.
  • Become familiar with digging plans, machine capabilities and limitations, and with efficient and safe digging procedures in a given application.
  • Create or maintain inclines or ramps.
  • Move materials over short distances, such as around a construction site, factory, or warehouse.
  • Operate machinery to perform activities such as backfilling excavations, vibrating or breaking rock or concrete, or making winter roads.
  • Lubricate, adjust, or repair machinery and replace parts, such as gears, bearings, or bucket teeth.
  • Handle slides, mud, or pit cleanings or maintenance.
  • Perform manual labor to prepare or finish sites, such as shoveling materials by hand.
  • Measure and verify levels of rock or gravel, bases, or other excavated material.
  • Adjust dig face angles for varying overburden depths and set lengths.
  • Drive machines to work sites.
  • Direct ground workers engaged in activities such as moving stakes or markers, or changing positions of towers.
  • Direct workers engaged in placing blocks or outriggers to prevent capsizing of machines when lifting heavy loads.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Holland Code Chart for a Trenching Machine Operator