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What do Agricultural Equipment Operators do?

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.

What are the Main Tasks of Agricultural Equipment Operators?

  • Adjust, repair, and service farm machinery and notify supervisors when machinery malfunctions.
  • Observe and listen to machinery operation to detect equipment malfunctions.
  • Irrigate soil, using portable pipes or ditch systems, and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps.
  • Mix specified materials or chemicals, and dump solutions, powders, or seeds into planter or sprayer machinery.
  • Operate or tend equipment used in agricultural production, such as tractors, combines, and irrigation equipment.
  • Manipulate controls to set, activate, and adjust mechanisms on machinery.
  • Direct and monitor the activities of work crews engaged in planting, weeding, or harvesting activities.
  • Load hoppers, containers, or conveyors to feed machines with products, using forklifts, transfer augers, suction gates, shovels, or pitchforks.
  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungus and weed growth, and diseases, using hand sprayers.
  • Attach farm implements such as plows, discs, sprayers, or harvesters to tractors, using bolts and hand tools.
  • Operate towed machines such as seed drills or manure spreaders to plant, fertilize, dust, and spray crops.
  • Drive trucks to haul crops, supplies, tools, or farm workers.
  • Walk beside or ride on planting machines while inserting plants in planter mechanisms at specified intervals.
  • Weigh crop-filled containers, and record weights and other identifying information.
  • Load and unload crops or containers of materials, manually or using conveyors, handtrucks, forklifts, or transfer augers.
  • Guide products on conveyors to regulate flow through machines, and to discard diseased or rotten products.
  • Position boxes or attach bags at discharge ends of machinery to catch products, removing and closing full containers.
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