Do you Need a Licence to Operate a Water Cart?

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*Last updated: November 2020

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In Australia, it is compulsory for anyone looking to operate a water cart to be holding a Water Truck Operator certification. In short terms, YES you need a licence to use a water cart. While it seems like a simple machine, driving and operating a water cart is more complex than driving a medium rigid truck. There are different types of water carts available to appropriately complete your project, so be sure to do your research before hiring one.

If you are looking to operate the best water truck brands and want to get a licence, there are two nationally recognised units of study that you can undertake. If you’re a licensed driver, or you hold your water cart ticket but need verification of competency you also have options. The training providers who run the main training units also run assessment only courses and verification of competency assessments to ensure that whatever you need, they cover.water-cart-hire

The standard conduct bulk water truck operations course

The ‘RIIMPO206D conduct bulk water truck operations’ national unit of competency dictates the standard of training you need to complete in order to receive a water truck operator ticket. Ensure that when you’re choosing your training they mention being approved to deliver this unit. There are five areas of learning in the training for conducting bulk water truck operations, the different areas being:

  • Plan and prepare for bulk water truck operations
  • Operate truck
  • Load, haul and distribute water
  • Carry out machine operator maintenance
  • Conduct housekeeping activities

Each of these learning areas are broken down into assessed criteria, ensuring the trainee can assess, obtain, identify and interpret the range of functions and capabilities of the truck. For example, the ‘operate truck’ learning has ‘Carry out pre-start, start-up, park-up, shutdown, and secure equipment procedures’. Or the ‘Load, haul and distribute water’ has ‘Discharge/distribute water efficiently in accordance with the requirements and procedures’.


Undergoing a conducting bulk water truck operations course gives a new water cart operator all the training needed to understand and apply their new skills on small to medium job sites. However, If you are looking to work on civil construction projects there is another competency course for that level of work.

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The conduct civil construction water cart operations course

The ‘RIIMPO326D conduct civil construction water cart operations’ is a step up from the bulk water truck operations unit of competency. The course ensures that upon completion a water truck operator is competent in managing their water truck on civil construction sites. Conduct civil construction water cart operations has the same five learning areas as the bulk water truck operations unit, however there are a number of additional assessed criteria.

The conduct civil construction water cart operations course aims to teach basic operational skills as well as the additional skills needed to operate on larger civil construction sites. It is a vital course to undertake as it includes a range of teaching on how to operate safely in a busy environment and how to conduct yourself in a shared area.

How long do the RIIMPO206D and RIIMPO326D water cart courses run for?

Formal training for the conduct bulk water tank operations and conduct civil construction water cart operations units of competency usually lasts anywhere from a day to five days. Depending on how you learn and how quickly you need the licence, along with the reputation of the training provider should be the major deciding factors for where you complete the course.

Looking to hire a Water Cart?

If you need to hire a water truck with an operator, iSeekplant have a range of water cart suppliers across Australia. Whether you’re located in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin or rural Australia, we have the best water cart hire company for your project. Use iSeekplant's get a quote tool for a competitive quote, or contact us today on 1300 691 912 or projects@iseekplant.com.au.

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