Skills Maintenance Equipment Operator - Public Works near Toronto (ON)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a maintenance equipment operator - public works in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Public works maintenance equipment operators and related workers (NOC 7522).

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation. This section will be updated soon.

  • Read work orders describing assignments. (1)
  • Read memos and notices from management about pay and benefits. (2)
  • May read manufacturers' manuals regarding the operation and maintenance of new equipment. (2)
  • Read a variety of safety materials, relating to topics such as the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), first aid and Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG). (3)
Document use
  • May read signs, such as street signs and traffic signs. (1)
  • May read route sheets, such as garbage pickup lists which indicate both regular and extra pick-ups. (1)
  • May read identification letters and numbers, such as those on manhole covers. (1)
  • May read labels on machine parts and on chemical products. The labels may contain symbols or icons. (1)
  • May fill in check-off sheets to denote damaged garbage bins and to indicate streets where the collection has been completed. (1)
  • May read lists of codes, such as codes which describe types of damage to sewer lines. (2)
  • May complete work schedules and time sheets. (2)
  • May complete daily, weekly and monthly maintenance sheets for their vehicles, which detail the amount of fuel used, kilometers travelled and the amount of salt or sand spread. (2)
  • May complete a number of forms such as labour reports, inventory records, work order forms and load weight sheets. (2)
  • May use streets maps and land survey maps describing locations in terms of township, range and meridians. (3)
  • May read city sewer plan maps that detail the location of sewer lines and manholes in relation to roads and lots. (3)
  • May read the blueprints of sections of sewer pipes that show the percentage of grade for drainage. (3)
  • Complete daily report forms to indicate any problems that they had with their vehicles or with customers on the route. (1)
  • Make daily log entries to show the number of hours the vehicle was used and the servicing it received. (1)
  • Write notes on work orders to explain why tasks were not completed or to outline any unusual conditions that were encountered. (2)
  • May complete accident reports of a paragraph or more. (3)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • Purchase gasoline or diesel for their vehicles. (1)
  • Add fuel receipts and enter them into a fuel log book. (1)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Schedule garbage routes and pickups on a weekly basis, taking into account the times of high traffic volume, seasonal variations in loads and landfill closing times. (2)
  • Fit long range projects, such as a two-year sewer line maintenance project, into the weekly and daily planning of job tasks. (2)
  • May use several measurements and a map to locate hidden manhole covers when they have been covered with debris and vegetation. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure the size of bolts or other items when ordering replacements. (1)
  • Measure the height of their trucks and any extensions to be sure that they will fit under bridges. (1)
  • Read gauges in the truck for temperature, amperage, oil and hydraulic pressure to ensure they are within acceptable limits. (1)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate how long it will take to perform a task such as snowplowing a stretch of road. (1)
  • Estimate the ratio of sand to salt in the load of a road maintenance vehicle to determine if the ratio should be increased or decreased. (1)
Oral communication
  • Listen for co-workers yelling instructions at a distance, such as a swamper yelling instructions to the driver from the back of a garbage truck. (1)
  • Talk to staff at the landfill and the recycling depot concerning the placement of loads. (1)
  • Interact with supervisors to receive work assignments and discuss problems. (1)
  • Talk with the public to answer their questions concerning what the department is doing. (1)
  • Communicate with co-workers via the two-way radio in the cab of the truck to exchange information and co-ordinate tasks. (1)
  • Talk with other drivers and office staff to discuss problems or complaints. (2)
  • Negotiate with irate customers regarding garbage pickup. (2)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • May encounter poor driving conditions caused by rain, snow or ice. They drive slowly and cautiously, coping with reduced visibility. (1)
  • May find that a garbage can is too heavy to lift. They report the address and the reason for not emptying the can. (1)
  • May have equipment breakdowns. They report the problem and have the equipment taken in for repair. They may have to use alternate equipment during repairs. (1)
  • May find hazardous chemicals, explosives or weapons mixed-in with regular garbage. They must deal appropriately with the discovery and reschedule the day or week, to make up lost time. (2)
Decision Making
  • Decide what garbage to leave at the curb, based on guidelines about recyclable articles. (1)
  • Decide which mixture of sand and salt or calcium to spread on the road based on the weather and road conditions. (1)
  • Decide whether to continue to use a defective truck for the rest of the day or whether to call maintenance for an on-road repair. (2)
  • Decide which roads in an area should get priority attention for sanding and salting, based on traffic patterns and the presence of public buildings such as hospitals or schools. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Public works maintenance equipment operators perform routine tasks, prioritizing their own tasks within general directions set out by supervisors. Their planning takes into account the need to have well maintained equipment ready at all times. Planning tends to be short term since many aspects of the work are dependent on the state of the weather. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember what items fall within the various classes of recyclable and hazardous materials.
  • Remember their equipment's operating capacity under certain conditions, such as varying temperatures or icy roads.
  • Remember regular routes and pick-up areas.
  • Remember which nozzles and hoses on sewer flushing equipment are best for various types of problems.
Finding Information
  • Consult with mechanics or manufacturers to obtain information about equipment operation and maintenance. (1)
  • Check maps when looking for new streets or clients. (1)
  • Obtain information about road conditions from meteorological reports, supervisors, co-workers and the public works office. (2)
  • Refer to municipal files, surveyor maps and profile maps for information on sewer lines. (3)
Digital technology
  • Use other computer applications. For example, they use computer-controlled equipment such as electronically monitored hydraulic systems or electronically controlled sanders which allot the proportions of sand and salt through computer commands. (1)
  • They may input information in a computer to integrate data on roads, storm drains and water systems. (2)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Public works maintenance equipment operators mainly work independently. They may work jointly with a partner or helper or as a member of a team to operate equipment and co-ordinate job tasks.

Continuous Learning

Public works maintenance equipment operators receive training from their employer to update their equipment operating skills as new equipment is introduced. They take courses in safety and the handling of dangerous goods and materials.

Labour Market Information Survey
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