3 answers

What's a proper attitude or mindset for a career in heavy equipment or construction

Asked Omaha, Nebraska

3 answers

francisco’s Answer

Updated Salinas, California


Your question suggests a maturity and self-awareness that I wouldn't expect from someone who may want to start a career in heavy equipment or construction. And that is probably my stereotype of a cigar-chomping tough guy who likes to throw his weight and his heavy equipment around: I am equating tough work with tough guy with little self-awareness.

But it doesn't have to be that way. I recall early as a draftsman/designer with the assignment of taking measurements for new stainless steel panels that would be installed around columns and storefronts at the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles. And I approached the Job Foreman to show me where the stainless steel panels would go and he quietly, patiently showed me how to properly take these measurements. I suspect he got to where he is today because he learned early how to cooperate with other subcontractors, and he also figured out a way to get these subs to work together as a team.

Construction work can get intense with competing subcontractors and deadlines, so you will want to understand how to work quietly with the tough guys, but you will also know when you need to step up, help your fellow man and get the job done much like the Job Foremen above.

Remember that you are part of a team and the attitude that wins will not be the guy who loses his temper and gets his way initially; it will be the guy who learned to tough it out with self-control, who had the discipline not to complain but strategized how to solve the problem and who in the end becomes the leader that others will want to follow.

Basil’s Answer

Updated Palatine, Illinois

Depending where you are located you have to be able to deal with the seasonal nature of the work. While this has changed somewhat with improved equipment and technology there is still times of year or weather conditions that just will not allow you to work. So like the squirrels you have to sock your money away for when you will not be working. Also good hand foot and eye condition helps while operating the various attributes of the equipment. If you like ti travel then you will likely always have work you just pick up and move to the next development or road project.

Mr. Ernst’s Answer

Updated Newark, New Jersey

Brandon C,

Follow my instructions and you will find yourself being successful.

Mr. Ernst recommends the following next steps:

  • Humble yourself daily.
  • Practice physical fitness 4 days out the week.
  • Be diplomatic with your overseers and fellow employees.
  • Research the history of foundations, metals and tools.
  • Go into the job site knowing you are man, a spear head of knowledge and vessel of strength and logic.