Agricultural Equipment Operators

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About the Job

Drive and control farm equipment to till soil and to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops. May perform tasks, such as crop baling or hay bucking. May operate stationary equipment to perform post-harvest tasks, such as husking, shelling, threshing, and ginning.

It is also Called

  • Windrower Operator
  • Wheat Combine Driver
  • Vegetable Loader Machine Operator
  • Vegetable Harvest Machine Operator
  • Vegetable Farmworker
  • Truck Driver
  • Tractor Operator Helper
  • Tractor Operator
  • Tractor Driver
  • Tobacco Primer Machine Operator
show all

What They Do

  • Position boxes or attach bags at discharge ends of machinery to catch products, removing and closing full containers.
  • Guide products on conveyors to regulate flow through machines, and to discard diseased or rotten products.
  • Load and unload crops or containers of materials, manually or using conveyors, handtrucks, forklifts, or transfer augers.
  • Weigh crop-filled containers, and record weights and other identifying information.
  • Walk beside or ride on planting machines while inserting plants in planter mechanisms at specified intervals.
  • Drive trucks to haul crops, supplies, tools, or farm workers.
  • Operate towed machines such as seed drills or manure spreaders to plant, fertilize, dust, and spray crops.
  • Attach farm implements such as plows, discs, sprayers, or harvesters to tractors, using bolts and hand tools.
  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungus and weed growth, and diseases, using hand sprayers.
  • Load hoppers, containers, or conveyors to feed machines with products, using forklifts, transfer augers, suction gates, shovels, or pitchforks.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: I.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Independence and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.