The Machine Head
The fast and the fearless
Almost all construction projects use machinery and every machine, large or small, needs highly skilled people to make sure it’s ready for safe use. Machine heads are just the people for the job.
Whether it’s a crane sitting 1,000 feet in the air or a 1,000 tonne machine tunnelling an underground railway, a machine heads fearlessness and focused attitude keeps the whole operation running smoothly.
Machine heads often:
- Work at heights
- Use big machinery
- Are an expert at one specific type of machinery
- Carry out safety checks and overlooking general maintenance
- Are outside based
- Give clear directions
- Possess excellent hand-eye coordination
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People are more difficult to work with than machines. And when you break a person, he can't be fixed."
– Rick Riordan, The Battle of the Labyrinth
Crane operatorSalaries are in the region of £35,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
Crane operators are responsible for lifting and moving materials around a construction site as safely and efficiently as possible. As a crane driver you’d need to be practically-minded, with an understanding of how to drive and maintain heavy machinery.
Diamond drilling operativeSalaries are in the region of £3,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
Diamond drilling operatives use specialist equipment to cut through the toughest materials on a building site, such as reinforced concrete. They could be called in to remove sections of roads or pavements, assist with demolitions or dismantle towers and bridges, whilst following strict health and safety guidelines.
HGV driverSalaries are in the region of £40,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers transport goods between locations. They move items for suppliers and customers, locally, nationally and internationally. As a lorry driver, you will spend a lot of time on the road and could be away from home frequently. You’ll plan delivery schedules and ensure that loads are delivered on time to the correct locations.
Lifting equipment inspectorSalaries are in the region of £30,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
A lifting equipment inspector carries out vital checks to ensure that equipment and machinery used for lifting is in working order, so construction projects can be carried out in line with strict health and safety guidelines. If equipment is found to need repairs, they will carry out this work, or recommend a more qualified engineer for the job.
Lifting equipment operatorSalaries are in the region of £40,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
Lifting equipment operators use machinery such as cherry pickers, forklift trucks, scissor lifts, suspension equipment, telehandlers, and suspension equipment to lift and hoist heavy loads.
Plant mechanicSalaries are in the region of £30,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
Plant mechanics repair and maintain heavy construction machinery so that projects can be completed efficiently and safely. As a plant mechanic, you’d conduct regular inspections on dumpers, excavators, cranes and more. You’d need a good understanding of how each machine works, and be able to repair them on-site or access replacement parts quickly.
Plant operatorSalaries are in the region of £35,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
Plant operators use heavy machinery to dig, lift and move materials on building sites. They can dramatically change landscapes or install impressive structures in a short time. Plant operators usually specialise in one type of equipment, such as an excavator or giant crane, and need good spatial awareness to move large scale machinery.
Rail engineering managerSalaries are in the region of £70,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
A rail engineering manager is responsible for leading and implementing engineering design work for rail projects. They assess the skills and specifications required, and then oversee business operations to ensure that project briefs are followed and implemented accurately.
Shunter driverSalaries are in the region of £35,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
A shunter driver is responsible for the safe movement of vehicles on construction sites. This could include large goods vehicles (LGVs) or trailer units, and can involve manoeuvring goods around site, into storage or loading bays, or to be picked up by other workers.
Traffic safety and control officerSalaries are in the region of £40,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
A traffic safety and control officer (TSCO) is involved with making important decisions on how best to control traffic management. This could include situations such as traffic incidents, planned roadworks, big events or new developments.
Traffic technical officerSalaries are in the region of £30,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
Traffic technical officers guide traffic management processes and road safety improvements. As a traffic technical officer you would work as part of the team responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient management of traffic signal networks across the country.
Transport managerSalaries are in the region of £60,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
Transport managers are responsible for directing, coordinating, planning and overseeing tasks and operations within an organisation involving transportation activities. They are required to ensure the legal requirements for road haulage are met.
Transport modellerSalaries are in the region of £60,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location/employer
Transport modellers use specialist computer software to design and develop transport routes. As a transport modeller, you could design how new road installations link to existing transport systems. You could be designing one-way systems or diversions, while other roads are being repaired, or planning transport systems ahead of large events, such as festivals or protests.