A bulldozer operator runs a tractor which is fitted with a bulldozer blade. Bulldozers are used to move soil, rock, and other materials, in a wide variety of settings ranging from the battlefield to construction sites. Pay rates for bulldozer operators vary, depending on the fields they work in and the level of training they have received. People can learn how to operate a bulldozer with on the job training, or through apprenticeship programs offered to heavy equipment operators.
In many cases, a bulldozer operator is responsible for maintaining the equipment he or she uses, in addition to running it. Bulldozer operators show up at the job site early to make sure that their equipment is in good working condition, and to lubricate and clean their tractors. Minor problems may be fixable on the job site, while the bulldozer may need to be sent out for major repair work. Bulldozer operators are also responsible for confirming that their safety systems are in place and working properly.
On the job, a bulldozer operator can work in mines, quarries, road construction, agricultural operations, and building sites. The bulldozer operator uses the tractor and blade to level the soil, move rock and debris to other locations on the site, and to scoop out soil. Bulldozers are capable of pushing dirt, rock, clay, sand, and vegetation. They can also be utilized in the demolition of structures like sheds and single story houses, along with walls and other barriers.
This work can be hazardous. Although the bulldozer operator is generally reasonably safe while working in the bulldozer, he or she needs to be aware of hazards on the job site which could cause the bulldozer to tip over, and it is also important to watch out for fellow workers or bystanders who could be injured by the bulldozer. Bulldozer operators are also at risk of health problems caused by inhaling dust, exhaust fumes, and other forms of pollution which may be present on the job site.
A bulldozer operator may need to be prepared to travel. Many companies provide heavy equipment services which cover a large area, and may necessitate days or weeks away from home for their employees. Being able to travel also provides more job opportunities to bulldozer operators, such as the chance to work in temperate climates during the winter when the climate at home may be too inhospitable for most kinds of bulldozing work.