Do you Need a Licence to Operate a Grader?

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*Last updated: November 2020

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Do you need a licence to operate a grader?

When it comes to operating licences for earthmoving machinery like graders there have been changes in recent times that make a yes/no answer complicated, so it might be confusing knowing whether you need a grader licence or not. You may have heard the term 'operator grader ticket' being thrown around when investigating grader operation. Officially, if you are in Australia you no longer need a licence, such as an earthmoving or particular crane certification (EPC), to operate most earthmoving machines.

However, it doesn’t mean you can just rock up to a worksite and hop on a grader with no experience. It does mean that you have to take the necessary steps to become a competent grader operator. As graders are a vital finishing machine on any worksite the project manager or the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) are very particular with a grader operator’s experience and skills.

The need for an EPC licence was revoked in 2011 by the Australian Federal Government to make it easier for workers to responsibly use a range of plant equipment. Although this then meant that a range of other management and operator responsibilities took its place to ensure the safety and productivity of the worksite.

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What responsibilities does a grader operator have?

A grader operator has a range of responsibilities they need to fulfill in order to successfully have their grader on site and be able to operate it. The main thing they need to do is prove their competency. This is extremely important as it ensures the safety of every person who steps on site. The main responsibility a grader operator has is to be truthful, forthcoming and provide written evidence of any requirements that need to be met.

While yes, the responsibility now sits with the grader operator and project manager or PCBU to determine ability to operate a grader, it cannot be stressed enough that there are still workplace health and safety requirements that need to be met. These requirements ensure that both the grader operator and the project manager or PCBU are held accountable for any inaccuracies or lies.

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What responsibilities does a project manager or PCBU have?

The main responsibility for approving a grader operator to operate onsite lays with the project manager or PCBU. There are strict Workplace Health and Safety guidelines that must be adhered to to ensure the safety of everyone on site. Also, if there is ever an accident the adherence to these guidelines will be scrutinised to ensure all the guidelines were followed as closely as possible.

The guidelines project managers and PCBU must follow to allow a grader operator onsite are:

  • Operators receive adequate information, training, instruction and supervision.
  • Operators are competent.
  • Equipment is used appropriately to minimise risks to health and safety.

Also, before a grader is used onsite, the PCBU needs to know that an operator knows:

  • How to operate the equipment, including the correct use of control measures.
  • Who else is authorised to use the equipment.
  • Maintenance requirements including safe shutdown, inspection, clean and repair.

What grader operator training solutions are available?

Even though it is not required anymore to undergo formal grader operator training there are a number of courses available for anyone looking to become a grader operator. This training is a great replacement for training by an experienced grader operator if you are unable to receive training that way.

Having a grader operator certificate is also highly regarded on larger projects where project managers and PCBU don’t have time to risk non-certified grader operators. There are a number of grader operator training providers that are also able to certify experienced grader operators. While it may seem unnecessary as an experienced operator, formal training is often a great time to ask questions or learn new skills, as well as providing formal proof of competency.

Wanting to hire a grader?

The step after working out if you need a licence to operate a grader involves grader hire. At iSeekplant we have a range of grader sizes available to hire across the country from thousands of grader hire suppliers. If you're stuck on which brands to choose, be sure to read the best grader brands in Australia here. Our grader hire suppliers offer graders for both wet and dry hire, depending on if you need an operator or not. If you're stuck on prices, check out our grader hire rates guide.

Have a look through our grader hire in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin. Otherwise, give us a call on 1300 691 912 or use our get a quote tool, and we can help you find the best grader hire supplier.

Check out some more Grader reviews here:

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