What Do I Need to Operate a Digger Truck?

One of the most extraordinary three-in-one machines of this century is a digger derrick truck. This is a very versatile piece of equipment since the truck has three different applications that include: excavating holes, hoisting heavy objects, and lifting workers to various heights. So it performs the functions of an auger drill, mobile crane, and bucket truck combined into one powerful vehicle. Because of this, no one is allowed to operate this monstrous machine without possessing a special license in order to ensure the safety of both the driver and the people close to the equipment. Besides possessing the correct license, all of the rules formulated by the state and federal government as well as the company itself must be followed.

Driving Qualifications

Since the digger derrick is more complex to maneuver than the normal hydraulic boom truck, drivers need to have adequate training and attend the proper educational programs before being allowed to operate this vehicle, as it is far too dangerous to be driven by anyone lacking formal training. For this reason, OSHA and ANSI have created a compliant training program regarding safe operating procedures. This discipline encourages each driver to read, comprehend, and abide by the written guidelines found in the manual for procedures and tasks associated with any foreseen and unforeseen hazards. Having been prepared for the use of this vehicle, the skilled behavior of a driver will help prevent the occurrence of any severe work-related accidents.

The following things may be included on the practical evaluation once the training program has been completed: safety guidelines, OSHA regulations, unit inspection, correct driving on the highways, handling materials, and load capacity. Students will also have to apply the knowledge they have gained in the classroom and during “hands-on” training and take a physical road evaluation as well. Those who pass both examinations will receive their certification.

Drivers License

Driving a digger derrick requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL) if the Gross Vehicular Weight Rating (GVWR) is 26,001 pounds or more’ however, it is legal to operate the vehicle without a CDL if the truck’s GVWR is less than 26,000 pounds. As stated above, in order to obtain a license, the driver must undergo a written and practical exam. A licensing program starts by theoretical instruction in a classroom setting which is directed towards passing the practical evaluation to obtain a CDL permit. This permit allows a student to operate the equipment during their training class.

Once the student has acquired enough training to handle the machine safely and comfortably, a Class ‘A’ CDL will be issued.

Rules and Regulations

Since there are many cases where accidents have occurred while operating digger trucks, OSHA has published new guidelines for handling derricks. The new rules contain the requirement that all operators must obtain certification to drive these vehicles. In short, drivers must not only be trained but must also be certified. Employers are required to send employees to a third party training facility for certification. Conforming to OSHA’s safety standards will enable both the employer and employee to remain safe during the job performance.

Driving mobile machines with auger drills requires certain qualifications. This is not a simple machine that can be run with no experience at all; operating these vehicles requires months of training. It requires a Class ‘A’ commercial driver’s license and conformance with all state and federal rules and regulations. All of these things must be complied with to ensure that safety is given the highest priority. It all becomes a part of what is needed to operate a digger truck!

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