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How the heck does one get into the industry??

Discussion in 'Personnel' started by Kxnate, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. Kxnate

    Kxnate Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Billings MT
    So I'll give you a little background to my title question. I am 41 years old, have spent the majority of my working career years in sales, both inside and outside sales roles. I am finding that I am getting really burned out on the sales world and think I would like a career change, one that is less people oriented haha. I enjoy running equipment, I spent my summers growing up on a farm/ranch operating various types of farm equipment, I have lots of seat time in skidsteers over the years, including owning my own for the last couple years for my own projects.

    I think I would really enjoy operating heavy equipment such as excavators, dozers, etc., and would like to learn how to operate them and the associated grade measuring tools that go with these operations.

    I would really like to find a contractor that digs like housing foundation holes and such that would be willing to bring a guy on with minimal experience and teach him the ropes. But how the heck does a guy find something like this??? I rarely see ads for equipment operators on the typical job hunting sites, and when I do they are typically for the major companies in my area that are looking for someone with 10 years of experience that can jump in any piece of equipment they have and hit the ground running.

    How the heck does a guy with the desire but without the experience get into the Operator world???
     
  2. Paul Council

    Paul Council Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    Somewhere
    The way it works here in Texas is, it's not what you know it's who you know. Also most of the operators I seen probably lied their way into the job. I was installing a new cable on a crane. The superintendent came by with a new crane operator that he had hired. Asked me to let him help with the repair and to see what kind of operator he is. long story short. That guy was not a crane operator. He didn't know any of the hand signals that I was giving him. Was doing everything but what I was signaling. Later the superintendent came by and asked how he was. I told him that he wasn't a crane operator and that he had no business operating a crane. He hired him on as a crane operator anyway and later down the road. That guy tipped the crane. Pad your resume and get in contact with people you know in the industry. Good luck and I hope that you find a career that is rewarding.
     
    DMiller, mg2361 and Kxnate like this.
  3. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Az
    Small companies is what your looking for.

    As for people oriented work your out of luck this industry has fallen on such a experience and skill gap that even the good people suck anymore due to burnout

    A small outfit can be a good way to go if the owner is of the right temperament and you truly have a desire to learn what your taught and followed detailed instructions at the same time most of this industry is caught not taught especially operating the right way to learn in opinion is to push a shovel at least 6 months to learn the ropes that's were you learn what a machine is capable of
     
  4. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    10,416
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    Kxnate, if you were in Central AL I would put you on the job tomorrow. We are having a tough time finding anyone that's willing to show up on time and actually work - much less learn the trade.
     
    aighead, Kxnate and DMiller like this.
  5. bigrich954rr

    bigrich954rr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2014
    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    oregon
    Are you still near billing MT. a good stepping stone would be Mdot

    plowing road using loaders to move snow . Grader to scrape ice off freeways . Normally you don’t need much experience and they will train but there’s a lot of politics involved as it’s government state work

    Digging foundations is a little more technical and if you mess up it can cost a fortune to deep Costalot
     
    Kxnate likes this.
  6. Kxnate

    Kxnate Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Billings MT
    Yes still in Billings. I have thought about state and county road departments, tough jobs to get though.
     
  7. bigrich954rr

    bigrich954rr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2014
    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    oregon
    I know in Oregon they run seasonal winter spots that at easy to get . Not sure about MT
     
  8. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2019
    Messages:
    983
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    I like this question as I too would be interested but I'm too old and out of shape to start from the beginning pushing shovels or brooms around. Where do you start when it's not at the beginning? (Yes, I saw the answers above. I'm not really questioning, I just think it's an interesting question)
     
  9. Kxnate

    Kxnate Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Billings MT
    Well I still never found the answer lol. I talked to a couple companies last year, none that I talked with were really willing to train someone from scratch to be an operator, would have to start at the bottom as a laborer and maybe be able to work your way up. I am not willing at my age to go all the way back to the bottom again.

    I did manage to get somewhat out of sales though, at least the more traditional sales roles I have been in most my career. A couple months back, I took a Parts Manager position with our local Bobcat dealer.
     
  10. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    983
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    That's a bummer. It sounds like you've followed a very similar path as my dad. He was a sales guy for an electrical supply company for many years, though he wasn't a salesman, if you know what I mean, and he eventually also ended up being a parts manager, then store manager. I think it treated him well enough.

    I'm very loosely considering taking the backhoe on the road (or starting off in the neighborhood) but the cost of a truck and trailer is prohibitive for me right now. I, currently, have a "real" job that I'm comfy in, so that keeps me from prioritizing working for myself or running equipment too highly.
     
    Kxnate likes this.
  11. Kxnate

    Kxnate Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Billings MT
    It's working out good so far, I like that people come to me needing something I provide rather than me trying to sell someone something that they can get the exact same thing from 5 other places as well which has been how my sales career has been up to this point. Gets really frustrating selling the exact same stuff numerous other distributors are selling, I like being with a brand.
     
    Jonas302 and aighead like this.
  12. Ben House

    Ben House Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2021
    Messages:
    15
    Occupation:
    Carpenter
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I am a Carpenter by trade, but for years I have operated backhoes, excavators and trenchers when I needed to. So recently I bought an old backhoe, I will do what I did in the building industry and begin to do small jobs with it until I am using it as an alternative income source. I see small time guys advertising all the time that they do "Bobcat" or "Backhoe" work. Just gradually work yourself off in the area you want to be.

    The other way to do it, is walk up on a job and ask to talk to the boss. Hit a jobsite whenever you see one.

    Oh yeah, first post and all... Long time reader.
     
  13. Jonas302

    Jonas302 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Messages:
    861
    Location:
    mn
    Glad your new job is working out and you never know what kind of contacts you might meet to help you pursue and operating career
     
    Kxnate likes this.
  14. Walker1

    Walker1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Cave Creek AZ
    You could also go to work for your local county or state on a maintenance crew. Gas and electric companies are great too. Another option is to go get yourself a license and a bond, a CDL, then go buy yourself a dump truck and a backhoe.
     
    aighead likes this.
  15. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    983
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Ben House likes this.
  16. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    10,416
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    Welcome to the Forums Ben! Go over and introduce yourself in New Member Introductions.

    BTW - I come from a long line of carpenters on both sides of my family.
     
    Ben House likes this.