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Dump Truck Jobs and Training Courses in WA

Dump truck jobs and operator training courses are a very hot ticket at the moment and one of the most common jobs people look at when entering mining jobs in WA. Once trained to drive large mining trucks, commonly known as dump trucks, drivers can enjoy large financial rewards. Heavy Haul dump trucks are used to move large amounts of earth around a mine site and, once hired, a dump truck driver can expect a salary in excess of $100,000 a year.

Workers seeking to secure mining jobs with no experience see that training as a dump truck driver is often the ideal entry point, with the majority of available work in the north-west of Western Australia.

WA continues to extract minerals, especially iron ore, at a rapid rate to feed the urbanisation and industrialisation of developing countries such as China and India, with their meteoric growth in infrastructure and other construction and engineering projects.

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What is the Work Schedule for Dump Truck Drivers?

Usually, jobs for dump truck drivers in WA work on a Fly In/Fly Out (FIFO) basis. Employees fly in for an extended work period before flying out for their time off. This cycle is repeated throughout the period of employment. Typically employees hired for this type work are on a roster of 8 days on and 6 days off.  Some mining companies might hire employees to work 2 weeks on and 1 week off.  Shifts are typically 12 hours continuous, as work goes on in most mine sites 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Work rosters, shifts and hours all depend on the mining company and the nature of the mining operation.

What Do I Need Before I Can Start My Training Course?

Although a training course will give you everything you need to apply for dump truck jobs in WA, most employers will also want an Heavy Rigid (HR
) license as well. An HR license requires passing a special exam that can be taken at a most mining training facilities or at a number of dedicated driver training schools scattered throughout WA and Australia. These training companies can assist individuals with advice, test preparation and ultimately help secure you one of many mining jobs in WA.

What to Expect Once You Have Completed Your Dump Truck Training

Once your training has finished and you have secured your qualifications, finding a job will require job sites like WESTjobs. Some dump truck training companies can even help to place newly-qualified operators. Workers with more experience will always have a better chance of securing a job, so even though you might have qualifications, getting that first job will always is the hardest. A qualified worker with some heavy vehicle experience will obviously have a better chance of securing a job driving dump trucks on a mine site.

Driving these vehicles can be a lonely job, as you will be spending many hours alone in the cab. However the camaraderie of working as part of a large team can compensate for that isolation. So although driving a truck in itself can be a lonely job, overall you will usually be working as part of a large and diverse team, so you should have the ability to be a team player and work closely with other mining employees. The high level of mining activity in WA only works when it’s carried out in a co-ordinated fashion.

Newly qualified drivers may find the work not as hard physically as some other mining jobs, as modern dump trucks have extremely comfortable cabs with air conditioning and power-assisted functions. However the work can be constant and repetitive, and some workers can find that after a while this type of work does not suit them, meaning that the time and money invested in training could ultimately be wasted.

What is it Like to Drive a Dump Truck For a Living?

There are many manufacturers that make dump trucks for mining applications , such as Caterpillar, Komatsu, Volvo, Hitachi and Bell to name a few. Each maker builds various models to suite the different types of mining processes and mining operations, and this can add some variety to the work.

Typical dumpers utilised in mining environments are Caterpillar (CAT) 793s. These trucks are huge pieces of highly-engineered machinery designed specifically for one purpose – to move as much earth and minerals as quickly, efficiently and reliably as possible. The Caterpillar 793 has been designated “the world’s largest truck”, with a 240 tonne carrying capacity!
Dump truck driver jobs require drivers to climb a ladder to enter the cab, which is usually around 5 metres above ground level. The loading compartment or tray is around 6 metres above the ground, requiring specially-designed loading equipment to work in conjunction with the truck. The cab has many similarities to the cabs that can be found in most of the trucks that ply our roads every day.

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