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What License do I Need to Operate a Site Dumper?

One of the best-kept secrets out there is just how beneficial it is to have a site dumper license. It’s a skill that is significantly in demand, because industries from mining through to construction and agriculture are all in constant need of properly qualified drivers. And because it’s in such high demand, dump truck operators tend to earn good money. Especially in mining, salaries can be as high as $120,000 per year.

But you can’t just show up to work with a standard driver’s license and expect to be able to take on the role of a dump truck operator. There are specific qualifications and courses that you need to take.

Thankfully, those courses are over in just a couple of days, and aren’t expensive to complete.

What does a site dumper truck course involve?

The first thing to note is that the courses will differ slightly from state to state, but if you complete a properly accredited course then the qualifications will generally be recognised nationally. This is important particularly if you’re looking to use your qualifications in the mining industry, where it is standard to send staff to remote sites for shifts. Often staff will live in a different state entirely, so it’s important that the site dumper truck licenses across Australia are recognised across state lines.

Structurally all site dumper truck licenses are similar. They take place over five days of intense training, and involve a mix of written and practical work. Some of the more advanced training facilities also include technology simulators, and you’ll get some time on those as part of your course fee.

Generally speaking, you’ll be able to undertake alternative courses if you’ve already got experience in heavy machinery and trucking. A shorter course might take place over four days, rather than five, or there might be a “refresher course” for experienced site dumper truck drivers that want to catch up on modern trends.

When looking for a course, you ideally want to find one that’s organised in such a way that it offers the following benefits:

  • You should get plenty of time behind the wheel in a safe environment. At the same time, the environment should be designed in such a way as to properly simulate the conditions that a site dumper is operated in.
  • Classes should be kept small, allowing you to ask questions and get answers as you need to. When a course is only five days long, you haven’t got time to waste waiting for a teacher to address many student enquiries.
  • Driving practice should include driving at dusk or night, where conditions are that much more challenging.
  • The course should teach emergency techniques – braking and steering – in order to be able to handle anything that may go wrong in a safe way.
  • The course will also ideally provide post-training resources, such as information to help you build a better resume and find jobs more easily.

It’s worth noting that a lot of site dumper truck courses will be focused on training students for the mining industry. This is because it’s the most challenging conditions that a dumper truck is likely to operate in. Assuming you’re able to handle a site dumper in those conditions, you’ll be able to adapt your skill sets for construction, agriculture, or any other purpose you might looking to use a dump truck for.

What are the course requirements?

Course requirements to undertake dump truck license training will vary slightly from one course to the next, but as a rule of thumb, expect the following requirements:

  • Minimum of 17 years of age (a standard workplace health & safety requirement, and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to drive a site dumper on work sites until you’re 18 either).
  • Have basic English reading and writing skills – this is another health & safety requirement on work sites. This means being able to pass a minimum language, literacy & numeracy assessment. Courses do include written work and assessments, and students need to be able to pass these in order to gain their licenses. The language, literacy & numeracy assessment, or LLN, helps ensure this.
  • You’ll need identification, as is standard for any license application. In Australia it’s standard to require two pieces of identification, such as a passport and other photo identification.
  • While in training (and on job sites), it’s a requirement to wear steel capped boots (or safety boots), as well as standard sun protection gear – a hat, long sleeved shirt and pants. Sunblock is also a good idea.

After the five day course you’ll be a fully accredited site dumper driver, and then able to operate these machines anywhere in Australia, for any purpose. Your employment prospects and income earning potential will increase dramatically, and you’ll find yourself in a sector where employment prospects will remain strong long into the future.

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