CPCS A59 Excavator 360 Above 10 Tonnes Course

1. Introduction

A candidate who trains with us on an A59 course may well consider supplementing their skills with other items of plant machinery. This is certainly not unusual, as nowadays an operator is often expected to be able to operate a range of machines. In the years gone by, it was not uncommon for a person to operate an excavator as well as a dumper, or machine and ejector/drag line. From the wide range of plant machinery/vehicles today, it is even more common. All tasks are certain to be covered by a specialist, and the plant operator will be asked to navigate round unfamiliar machines at some stage. Steps may also be taken to prove the operator’s skills and gain a more versatile operator for cost effectiveness. A candidate who already holds skills to operate more than one category of plant will surely have an advantage over others when searching for employment.

This is a course which caters for the experienced operator, to formally qualify his knowledge, whereas a novice would require a longer more in-depth course. The A59 course is delivered in the duration of 4-10 days, dependent on the levels of experience or noviceness and numbers of candidates. The course will also vary in cost, taking into consideration the above factors. A CPCS practical and theory test will take place on the last day of the theory and practical sessions. The course will help candidates to gain an internationally recognised operator card, so therefore opening new doors within the construction industry.

An introduction to the CPCS A59A course for those who would like to become competent operators of 360 degree excavators. The course will instruct you on the main principles of the subject to NVQ level. It will also cover a wide range of excavators 360 degrees above 10 tonnes that are used in the construction industry.

1.1. Overview of the CPCS A59 Excavator 360 Above 10 Tonnes Course

CPCS A59 Excavator 360 above 10 tonnes course is structured to assist both already experienced and novice operators. The above course takes 5 days to complete for an experienced operator and up to 20 days for a novice. The duration of the course is determined by the number of candidates and their experience. This course is designed to provide candidates with a solid foundation on which to build and develop their operating skills and is based around the CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) testing criteria. Candidates will be guided and advised on a variety of excavators ranging from Micro 360 machines through to 20 tonnes, ensuring that each candidate is given the maximum amount of operating time and guidance. This course is recommended to those wishing to enter the construction industry as a plant operator as successful candidates will be able to upgrade to the Red CPCS Trained Operator card.

1.2. Importance of the course for operating large excavators

The CPCS A59 Excavators 360 Above 10 tonnes course is designed to provide the learner with the basic knowledge and practical skills involved in operating an Excavator 360 above 10 tonnes. This very intensive course follows a set syllabus where the successful delegate will have to prove his theoretical knowledge in the completion of a touch screen theory test to enable him to progress to the practical training and test. The duration of the course will depend on the experience of the learner. The novice course is a minimum of 6 days and increases dependent on the number of learners and experience to a maximum ratio of 3:1 learners to 1 instructor for a 3-day course. This course is for red card holders, experienced operators, or anyone who uses an Excavator 360 above 10 tonnes.

From 2nd December 2019, the old CPCS Red trained operator card will no longer be issued, and the only route to obtaining a CPCS card will be by achieving an NVQ Diploma and on-site assessment, which is a recognized qualification and the industry standard. This will apply to those wanting to achieve the CPCS qualification for the first time from this date and those wishing to renew or upgrade their CPCS card. This four-year transition means that those with the Red trained operator card may renew this card once and only once for a two-year period but must achieve the CPCS NVQ and upgrade to the blue card within this time period. This will ultimately increase the standards and professionalism of plant operators and drive a much higher quality of teaching and assessment within the training providers.

Those in possession of the Red card (Trained Operator), who achieved this card by 31st March 2013, may have the Provisional 2-year FLD qualification applied to their red card. They have until 31st March 2016 to achieve the NVQ Diploma and upgrade to the Blue Competent Operator card. Several employers and some main contractors will often now stipulate that the only proof of competence they will accept is the Blue Competent Operator card for the type of plant being operated.

At present, many training providers and contractors are adopting CPCS as their chosen method of meeting the requirements of the CDM regulations, recognizing the need to prove the competence of plant operators. Many main contractors will only allow subcontractors to operate on site if they have achieved the CPCS card.

1.3. Prerequisites for attending the course

Individuals applying for the CPCS A59 Excavator 360 above 10 tonnes course must have a good understanding of the English language. This understanding must be shown by completion of a HS&E test. The HS&E test is available in other languages including Welsh, Polish, Russian, and Punjabi. Translators are also available and can be taken in a verbal test. Simulation can also be used for verbal tests. Individual circumstances will be discussed at the time of booking the A59 course. The A59 course is designed for individuals who have minimal experience of operation of the 360 excavator. This can vary from individuals who have never operated a 360 excavator but hold the red card (Trained Operator Card) or individuals who have practical experience through their employer but no recognized training or certification.

2. Course Content

Each element of the training will end with a theory test relevant to that training element e.g. After completing 2.2 the candidate will complete a theory test on controls and safety features. At the end of the course there will be a 1 day testing period which will consist of a theory test and practical test for each machine type.

Throughout the course the candidate will be reminded about the various safety implications and safety features worked at the start of the course with a machine assessment. The operator will be taught good and bad practices and given various scenarios to highlight safe and unsafe practices.

2.4. Safety protocols and best practices

The candidate will learn and understand the various techniques for operating the excavator using attachments and functions. They will study the movements required for excavating above, below and level with the tracks and also slope onto a stockpile and back away. This also includes pick and carry operations, with the candidate learning to use the full radius of the machine using correct travel position and slewing the upper structure. The pick and carry exercise teaches the candidate to travel with a raised load and finally lowering the load into a designated area.

2.3. Proper techniques for operating the excavator

The candidate will walk around a machine to conduct pre-use checks and find out information regarding the safety features and what they do. They will then learn how to start the machine then operate the controls for the slew movement, front attachment, tracks, dozer blade (if fitted) and controls to ensure safe dismount from the upper structure. This will be taught by a mix of theory and practical lessons.

2.2. Familiarization with the controls and safety features

The theory being that if they are to work with this type of plant in the future they may be required to operate any one of these machine types. This gives the candidate to understand clearly before they are operating the machine for the first time.

Candidates will be briefed on the various types of excavators and the uses for each type. They will learn the differences in design, tracks, movement, weight and attachments for each machine type. The machines they may be trained on are: – Mini Excavators – Tracked/Crawler Excavators – Wheeled Excavators – Long Reach Excavators

2.1. Understanding the different types of excavators

During the CPCS training sessions, candidates will receive a comprehensive amount of knowledge and practical experience on the category of plant they are being trained on. The training course is designed to provide candidates with the understanding of various excavators and the processes to work safely and competently before and during operation and also understand the safety implications the operator is working under. The learning outcomes are:

2.1. Understanding the different types of excavators

Mini excavators are smaller and lighter versions of the standard excavator. They have become popular in recent years for their ability to fit through doorways and to be transported to different sites using a small trailer. Due to the small size of the mini excavator, it is not suitable for heavy-duty work such as digging deep trenches and lifting large heavy objects. This type of excavator can be seen as a crossover between excavation and landscaping equipment and is often used for precision digging and demolition work. A standard excavator does not refer to a specific size or build of the machine; more that it is typical in its capabilities for general excavation work. In many cases, the term ‘digger’ is used to describe an excavator in general.

Wheeled excavators are very similar to the backhoes that are often used in general road construction and maintenance work. They have the same layout with the engine situated at the rear end of the chassis. The only difference is that the backhoe has a front loader bucket attachment.

For a construction project, the best type of excavator to use would be the crawler/tracked excavator. Tracked excavators have lower ground pressure and are therefore less likely to damage the ground they are traveling on. Higher ground pressure machines such as wheeled excavators and backhoes are more suited to road work or for moving around within one site. Larger tracked machines can also be used for heavy lifting using a winch attachment.

There are many different types of excavators used within the construction industry. It is important that an operator has the knowledge of the right machine to carry out the work and the additional attachments that can be used. Using the wrong machine can be unsafe and uneconomical.

Section: “Understanding the different types of excavators”

2.2. Familiarization with the controls and safety features

An excavator is a machine that combines a hydraulic tractive unit (a tracked vehicle) with a powerful arm and bucket that is used to move earth or rock. The Excavator 360 above 10 tonnes course is aimed at people who have had little or no experience of using excavators. The course is designed to provide candidates with thorough practical and theory training in operating an excavator. To enable the candidate to competently and safely carry out the role and pass the CPCS Theory and Practical Tests. This is a very intensive course delivered through a combination of classroom-based tutorials and practical training. Candidates will gain an understanding of the construction of the excavator and the purpose and use of principal components, controls, and terminology. By undergoing sufficient familiarization, the candidate will understand the basic construction and safety aspects, through to carrying out pre-use checks and simple fault diagnosis. This book is designed to be used as part of a CPCS accredited Excavator 360 above 10 tonnes, Vocational Qualification Level Two. The following is a list of the subjects and activities which you will be completing during this course.

2.3. Proper techniques for operating the excavator

With the right training and practice, everyone can use excavators efficiently and safely. Once the machine is running at a steady speed, make minimal movements. The more the machine and body are moved, the less control the operator will have. Do not swing or track the machine with a full bucket or attachment; this is asking for trouble. Do not use the stabilizers as a method of pushing the machine over a large obstacle – most mechanical excavators have a large bucket breakout force configuration and are designed to use this in getting over obstacles. Keep the front attachment as low as possible when tracking; this adds stability and keeps the center of gravity in the machine. When digging or lifting, do not use excessive speed or power; this will put unnecessary strain onto the machine, attachment, and is likely to cause a spillage of material from the bucket. At all times, consider the balance and stability of the machine and attachment – most safety incidents involving mechanical excavators are due to overturning. Be mindful that the more extreme the angle of the slope the machine is working on, the less stability it has. On steep slopes, working up and down the slope will add the most stability. A common misuse of mechanical excavators is using the wrong size machine or attachment for the job. Consider the specifications of both the machine and attachment, taking into account the weight and volume of material to be handled and the space in which it is to be handled. Any lifting operations should be conducted within the safe working load limits of the machine and attachment (BS5744 PART 2), and the appropriate lift plan and risk assessment documents should be followed. This is necessary for both site safety and to avoid any damage to the machine or attachment. Always consider the requirement of ground support tools or an alternative machine/attachment setup. This is important in avoiding any damage to the machine or attachment, in addition to keeping the safety of the operator and others around. One prime example is when breaking concrete or rock with a hydraulic breaker – the force and vibration induced into the machine and attachment are very high. In some instances, it would be best to use a larger machine and breaker in conjunction with a compaction plate on the broken material to re-consolidate it.

2.4. Safety protocols and best practices

When working with machines like excavators, the risk of accidents is always present. Environments where excavators are used are often fast-changing and dangerous. To minimize the risk of accidents, safety is absolutely paramount. No one should operate or service an excavator unless they have been properly trained to do so. All operators should be familiar with OSHA regulations and know how to operate the machine safely. One of the most common causes of accidents with excavators is a lack of familiarity with the machine by the operator, leading to machine misuse and mechanical failure. All operators should carefully read and understand the operator’s manual for the machine before using it and know the rules for the specific site where the machine will be used. All operators should carry out a risk assessment of the work site and the work to be done and use common sense and judgment to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Regular maintenance of the machine is very important, as most accidents involving mechanical failure could have been easily prevented. Always follow safe shutdown and service procedures.

3. Practical Training

Begin with an overview of the practical training sessions for an instructor. This will involve allowing the novice operator to operate the machine in various challenging conditions to develop their skills. Set clear targets for the novice operators to achieve, particularly in controlling the machine and understanding how to avoid the dangerous activities associated with excavator operations. Emphasize the need for the operators to be shown how to complete activities in a productive manner, ensuring site management and neighbors are not inconvenienced by poor practices. This will often involve repositioning the machine to carry out tasks. Give a definite allocated time for each practical session and schedule them to ensure that the novice operator is not overloaded with information and can absorb what they have been shown. A training record sheet can be used to monitor the progress of the operator. The following are examples of the types of operation that might be included in practical training sessions. Choose from them the ones most relevant to your equipment and the tasks your operators will eventually be carrying out.

3.1. Hands-on experience with operating the excavator

It is important to note that although these exercises are simulated, candidates should dress accordingly and be prepared to get dirty. This course is physically demanding and candidates must take an active role in their own learning.

Simulated exercises will include: – Travelling, track changing and understanding the machine’s capabilities when track and undercarriage adjustments are required – Machine manoeuvring exercises designed to show its capabilities and limitations, including correct positioning of the machine for specific tasks – Slewing and tracked machine pivot steer operations

All candidates will have the opportunity to operate the machine with a number of simulated exercises that will enable them to use the controls in a safe and efficient manner. They will be shown how to carry out pre-start and running checks and maintenance testing their knowledge of the machines and understanding of the manufacturers instructions. An introduction will be given on the construction of the undercarriage and the correct terminology used when identifying the undercarriage components.

3.2. Navigating various terrains and conditions

Bank work involves excavating an already established slope to make it steeper or to cut back into the slope to reduce steepness. This can vary from a gentle slope to one which is very steep and also has the added complication of working above or below the level of the existing ground, which can completely disorientate the operator. The trick to this type of work is to have complete control over the position and orientation of the machine whilst using a combination of the bucket and the blade to prevent collapse of the worked area. Always know the capabilities of the machine and never attempt to remove too much material in one go, especially if it’s hard or compacted, as this will exceed the tractive force limits and could lead to track slippage.

Ditching can be found on almost any site and will involve following a set line and digging to a set depth and width. Whilst this sounds simple, doing this accurately whilst controlling the slew of the upper structure and managing the pitch of the boom to control the bucket depth is not a job for the inexperienced operator. Be sure to simulate the target trench using two canes and a string to allow accurate comparison. Note that digging a ditch on one side of a slope will cause a weight transfer effect due to the mass of soil being removed and could potentially cause the machine to become unstable if the opposite track is not utilized to climb the slope as work progresses.

Depending on where you work, a few jobs are actually found more often than not. These are ditching, bank works, benching, and backfill. Each one of these jobs will usually involve transitioning from what most would consider standard digging conditions, i.e. a flat surface with the occasional awkward angle due to the position of the excavator relative to the job, to working on steep slopes.

3.3. Performing basic excavating tasks

The trainer should provide a demonstration and then ask the trainee to carry out the task. The trainers should stop the trainee at a relevant point during the task and ask the trainee questions about what they are doing, why they are doing it, and how they could do it more efficiently or safely. For example, if the task is to excavate a trench, the trainer could ask the trainee why they are digging the trench to that particular shape or depth. If it is good practice, the trainee will be able to explain why.

The instructor should explain the following to the trainee: – Task. – The reason for doing the task. – Good practice. – Bad practice and why it is bad.

Objective: Trainee will be taught how to perform tasks that are similar to those that they will encounter at work related to excavation. They will be taught how to cut below ground level, spread and level earth and other materials, and how to excavate and load loose materials into a lorry. This will involve practice in picking up and laying materials at various distances from the machine.

3.4. Troubleshooting common issues

Troubleshooting common issues is conducted in the following manner: Trainee is directed to blockages in the excavator and asked to clear them. Both the cause of the blockage and method of clearing it will be discussed. An example of this would be clogged fuel filters, trainee will be instructed on suitable location to park the machine, detach the filter housing and clean any debris from the filter, finally close the drain valve and bleed the system. This may also involve removing the offending parts, stripping them and cleaning them in suitable solvent. Electrical systems, although becoming more reliable with the advent of electronic controls, more sensors and tier 3 legislation, can be an issue for machine operators. Trainee will learn to identify the problem through fault identification, for example warning lights or machine behavior, how to safely test the suspected components, and suitable replacement of those parts. All situations should make use of manufacturers documentation in order to correctly identify the fault and most suitable method of repair. When machine recovery is necessary, trainee will ensure the most suitable method of recovery is used, preparation of the machine for transportation, and overall cost of recovery is kept to a minimum. Possible. During diagnostic and repair situations, parts of each system will be purposely damaged for the trainee to identify and repair. All situations are performed in a controlled environment ensuring no further damage can occur and the component can be returned to working order with minimal expense. This is a crucial event for modern day technicians due to the high cost implications of making an error on a repair.

4. Certification and Assessment

There are two routes to obtaining the Red Trained Operator Card. These are: CPCS Technical Test – Candidates must have successfully completed the CPCS Theory Test (within the last 2 years) and the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Touch Screen Test (within the last 2 years). They will then need to contact a CPCS Test Centre to register and find out about the most suitable preparation/training. The Technical Test will last a minimum of 4 hours and the Tester will require the plant item to be available at the Test Centre. The Tester will select questions to ensure that the candidate has the core knowledge and understanding to operate the machine and to prove their operational experience. The questions are derived from a CPCS Test Specification and additional standardisation material. Following successful completion, a Red Trained Operator Card will be awarded. This route is for those with at least 2 years’ experience of operating the specific plant, those with no formal qualification or those who have not applied for/nor been successful in achieving a Vocational Qualification. NVQ – Candidates will need to be registered with a CPCS ATO and undertake an NVQ in Plant Operations. They must have successfully completed the CPCS Theory Test (within the last 2 years) and the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Touch Screen Test (within the last 2 years). They will then need to contact a CPCS Test Centre to find out about the most suitable NVQ preparation/training. Once the NVQ is successfully completed, a Red Trained Operator Card will be awarded. This route is for those with at least 2 years’ experience of operating the specific plant wanting to gain a recognised qualification. This is the only route to a Red Trained Operator Card for those who do not have formal qualifications, those coming into the industry via a non-traditional route or those who are new to operating plant.

4.1. Overview of the certification process

To be registered on the CPCS Scheme, candidates must pass the CPCS Technical Test and the relevant category Theory Test. The CPCS Technical Test consists of two elements: the CPCS Theory Test, and the CPCS Practical Test. The candidate must achieve success in both of these elements to be registered. The CPCS Theory Test is the theory equivalent of the Practical Test. There is a CPCS Theory Test for every category. Candidates can only sit the Theory Test having achieved or been deemed equivalent to a specified level of qualification. For most categories this will be achievement of a Vocationally Related Qualification (VRQ) listed on the Construction Qualification Register (CQR). The theory test consists of an online test, broken into two modules. Module one is taken without reference to any supporting documents or texts; however, candidates can use up to date regulation books and other relevant supporting materials when undertaking module two. Both modules are taken under examination conditions at an approved CITB-ConstructionSkills centre or at approved test conditions at the candidate’s local place of work. On January 31st 2012, the CITB-ConstructionSkills Health, Safety and Environment Test became a mandatory requirement for the CPCS Theory Test. This requires candidates to have gained their first of three provisional Theory Test Pass certificates in the last two years, or to have sat the Health, Safety and Environment test since January 2012 (this requirement does not expire). A Theory Test Pass certificate is valid for two years from the date of issue.

4.2. Written and practical assessments

Candidates wishing to achieve certification in the Excavator 360 below 10 tonnes, below 5 tonnes, and above 10 tonnes are required to complete the CPCS Technical Tests. The A59 Theory Test must also be completed. These assessments have been introduced by CSkills to comply with the CITB Accreditation Scheme Rules and Requirements for all Apprenticeship Schemes. This is to ensure that certification of all plant operators awarded a Vocational Qualification (VQ) and NVQ, achieved in the workplace or by the experienced worker practical assessment route, is carried out in line with the requirements for the NVQ at the appropriate level. Written and practical assessments are normally carried out at the same time following the practical training course. This provides the opportunity to test the candidates’ ability and underpinning knowledge at the point of learning. If a candidate fails to achieve the minimum standard, he will be provided with theory or practical retraining and be reassessed on the specific area of failure. Assessments may be conducted at CTS’s training and test centre or at the employer’s workplace providing suitable facilities and where assessment deemed valid, fair, and reliable to the awarding of NVQs. The awarding of NVQs are those marked by the CPCS logo on the current Construction Plant Competency, achieved from the workplace or experienced worker practical assessment route, involves a single VQ assessment process covering the knowledge and performance units of the QCF based NVQ. This will see the end of separate VOC and NVQ certifications for plant operators and is already in operation for various sectors.

4.3. Maintaining certification and ongoing training requirements

For those with an NVQ achievement, it will be necessary to renew the card within 10 years of the NVQ date. Failure to do so will result in the requirement to take the CPCS Theory and Practical tests again. Upon passing the NVQ, a Vocational Qualification (VQ) achievement will enable the card to be renewed for a further 5 years. Further levels of achievement can be gained by the use of Optional and Additional units. This can be affected by plant type, i.e. lifting ops, as well as undertaken activities. Do note that changes in legislation can also affect the need to retake the CPCS Theory and Practical tests.

CPCS will send you a renewal form 6 months prior to the expiry date. You will be required to fill out the form and send it back to CPCS with the relevant payment. A new card will be sent electronically to the test centre closest to you. You will be required to present a form of ID to collect. This new process has been implemented by CPCS in order to prevent fraud. The renewal process will apply to all cards expiring in 2008 and beyond.

You will need to renew your blue Competent Operator Card issued by CPCS every 5 years. In the event that you fail to do so, you will be required to take the Theory and Practical tests over again in order to validate. This is so that you can keep up to date with current legislation, machine technology, and best practice guidelines. To avoid having to retake tests, it is advisable to keep a record of all plant training attended. This will provide evidence of ongoing training and continuous professional development.