Thirteen Qualities Of a Good Operator

Staff | September 28, 2010

A recent post at discussed attributes members would like to see in equipment operators. This list is from that thread.

  1. Natural aptitude for operating machinery. He can "feel" as well as see and hear what is [happening] under and around him.
  2. Good communicator. He remembers his instructions and does not lose sight of the big picture.
  3. Can interpret grade stakes and is able to calculate basic cuts and fills.
  4. Treats the machine as if he were making the payments on it.
  5. Has the ability to train a less-experienced operator.
  6. Understands the basic principles of soil compaction and has the skills to achieve it.
  7. Understands the importance of proper drainage of a jobsite.
  8. Able to properly choose the most efficient machine to do the job. Understands the limits and capabilities of the machines he is expected to operate. Knows how to set up a work area, for example, loading trucks from a stockpile with an excavator. He can coordinate several machines working together.
  9. Makes sure he and everybody he works around comes home upright and healthy each day.
  10. Will notify [his supervisor] or take corrective action if something is not working right or feels wrong.
  11. Recognizes his employment is provided by a profit margin. He may not have bid the job, but it's his responsibility to give the maximum results for the resources he is given.
  12. Tries to have a good working relationship with everyone he works with.
  13. Can perform minor repairs in the field. is a user forum where professionals in the equipment industry can exchange ideas and post questions or comments. Users include owner/operators, operators, company owners, repair technicians, safety officers and others. Posts have been edited for clarity and content.