HRETDs excavator training course details
Operate excavators
SAQA unit standard: 262744
Field: Physical Planning and Construction
NQF level:  02 (15 credits)
Maximum learners per group: Five learners
Novice training duration: Five days
Re-certification training duration: One day
HRETDs excavator training course details
Training programme information summary
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Operating excavators
course outline
Summary of course content .
Accreditation .
Entry requirments .
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Quality in-service training solutions for mining and industry in the SACD region
HRETD offers training in the SADC regions and beyond
PO Box 4252, The Reeds, Centurion 0158
Tel: +27(0)12 661 6721 Cell: +27(0)78 389 5248
Into the future with human resources development and motivation
Training requirments
Advanced driving
Crane operations
Lift trucks
Lifting operations
Earthmoving plant
Articulated dump trucks
Concrete dumpers
Face shovels
Front end loaders
Rigid dump trucks
Skid steer loaders
Track type dozers
Wheeled dozers
Construction plant
Construction site safety
Health and safety
ISO standards
Dangerous goods
Tools & powertools
Landscaping tools

HRETD Resource Center
HRETDs pre-operational excavator checklist
Download HRETD's pre-operational excavator checklist.
Included in this mutimedia training programme The hydraulic excavator is one of the tools increasingly encountered in various sectors and industries, such as forestry, road construction, agriculture and mining. Training of operators is necessary to ensure the desired operating standards, operator safety and maintenance of the machine. This excavator short skills training course has been developed for the benefit of novices and experienced operators who may be expected to operate to legally-required operating standards.

The unit standard forms part of the National Certificate: Construction Plant Operations (SAQA ID 65789). Learners who achieve the course objectives will, upon completion of the course, be able to understand and identify the functions, main components and operating controls of the excavator, carry out daily checks, safety precautions and safe operating procedures according to legislation and company policy, and maintain the necessary documentation required by the employer.

Entry requirements

Grade 9 certificate or ABET level 4 is required to attend this course and a code B national driver’s license is mandatory, if operating on South African roads in accordance with The National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996.

Earthmoving and construction operations

Each learner will receive

Excavator operator training

Earthmoving plant operations training

Course content

Introduction to Excavators

We discuss using excavators and functions of excavators.

Getting to know the Excavator

Basic mechanical appreciation

We explain why operators must know the different components of the machine, identify them and explain what the function of each one is and how to check that it is serviceable.

Excavator safety precautions

We take learners through general safety precautions regarding the operation of the excavator, maintenance, protection of the machine, handling of its various dangerous components, and working in hazardous environments, such as on looser ground or on inclines.

Daily checks and servicing

We discuss walk-around checks and daily service, weekly or 50 hour service, start-up checks, shutdown procedures and daily checklists for excavators.

Controls, levers, pedals and instruments on excavators

We look at the controls, gauges, warning lights and warning pictorials present on the excavator.

Operating and transporting the excavator

We look at operating techniques and precautions, starting the engine, shifting between forward and reverse, working on inclines, at edges of dumps or on top of large stockpiles, falling over the edge of a dump, moving forward and backward, steering, stopping machine, swing/slew, applications, parking, checks after shutdown, cleaning and transporting the machine.

Legislation and regulations

We look at the legal responsibilities in a nutshell, Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and Mine Health and Safety Act of 1996.

Assessment methods

We conduct a formative theoretical assessment at the beginning of the course to gauge the learner’s initial understanding (novices only). At the end of the training, a summative theoretical and practical application assessment is conducted, to find if the learner is competent; if not, additional developmental areas are identified and suggested.

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CETA accredited

Training programme accreditation

This training programme is registered and accredited by the Construction Education Training Authority (CETA) in accordance with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) unit standard 262744: Operate an Excavator.

HRETD certification policy

Provided that the entry requirements have been met, and the learner found competent to operate an excavator, the candidate will receive a certificate of competence that is valid life-long, excepting where it is the policy of the company to have the operator refreshed every two years.

SAQA credits allocation

In addition to being competent to operate an excavator, candidate operators who have undertaken the necessary notional hours, and provided enrolment procedures have been adhered to, will receive 15 credits towards the national certificate in construction plant operations, as well as a statement of results.

HRETD offers training programmes, from short skills courses to train the trainer courses. We specialise in legal compliance training that is accredited with the TETA and CETA when it comes to technical training, operator training, in service training and onsite training. Our assessors and facilitator trainers responsible for assessment, recertification and certification offer effective training that is Cost effective, competitively priced and affordable in the SADC region including Namibia. We also offer course development. For the transport and logistics industry we offer driver training, advanced driver training and Dangerous goods by road training, as well as diesel locomotive shunting and Fuel bowser training. Rigid heavy vehicle, tip truck, vehicle combination and Water cart training are also offered. When it comes to crane operations training, the lifting machines we specialise in are Heavy cranes and Mobile cranes, as well as Mobilifts, Cabin Overhead cranes, Pendant Overhead cranes and Single girder hoists. We also do Telescopic materials handler, sometimes called Telehandlers and Truck mounted cranes, sometimes called HIAB and Tower cranes. We train on a variety of lift trucks and forklift including counterbalanced lift truck, Advanced defined purpose lift trucks, defined purpose lift trucks and Side loader lift trucks. We also do rough terrain lift trucks, Reach trucks and Pedestrian stackers. Besides these, we also train on order pickers, Side loaders, Very narrow aisle lift trucks and Rail mounted stackers. We give a variety of lifting equipment and lifting operations training including Basic rigging, Banksman and Lifting equipment inspection. We also offer Safe lifting practise training. When it comes to earthmoving plant, we do articulated dump trucks, Concrete dumpers, Excavators and Face shovels. Also offered is Front end loaders, Graders and Rigid dump trucks. We specialise in training for Scrapers, Skid steer loaders and TLBs. Other earthmoving training includes Track type dozers, Tractors and Wheeled dozers (bulldozers). Tractor loader backhoe and dumpers are also offered. Our construction plant training courses includes Asphalt pavers, MEWP (also called cherry picker or mobile elevating works platform), rock breaker and jackhammer, rollers (road rollers) and Tyre handler attachments. When it comes to scaffolding training, we give scaffolding erecting and scaffold inspection – basically scaffolding safety which complies with SANS 10085 – 2004. Our health and safety training includes Construction Regulations 2014 overview or in depth, Construction site flagman and Excavation safety inspection. We also do Ladder inspection, Site safety awareness and Working at heights (also referred to as heights safety or fall arrest as well as Accident/incident investigation and Confined space entry. We offer accredited Fire fighting level 1 and Fire fighting level 2, as well as accredited First aid level 1 and First aid level 2 training. Other safety training we offer is General housekeeping, Handling HAZMAT and Health and safety rep (also called SHE rep and SHEQ), permissions training such as Hot work permissions, Lockout and isolation (also called Lockout Tagout training) We cover the OHS in depth and we have an overview course. We provide Stacking and storing and Stacking and storing HAZMAT (Hazardous materials) training. We train in powertools safety (correctly written power tools) such as Angle grinders, Boilermaking techniques (and welding and arc cutting), Cut-off saws and general Workshop safety including hand tools. When it comes to landscaping (both horticulture and agricultural), we offer Brush cutters, Chainsaws and Lawnmower training.
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