Agricultural Equipment Operators

Also called: Agricultural Equipment Operator, Agricultural Farm Equipment Operator, Agricultural Plow Operator, Agriculture Equipment Operator, Baler

Varies

estimated salary

Agricultural equipment operators drive and control equipment to support agricultural activities such as tilling the soil; planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops; feeding and herding livestock, or removing animal waste. 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.

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

Work Context information for this career will be available soon.

Work Activities
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Maintain forestry, hunting, or agricultural equipment.
  • Confer with managers to make operational decisions.
  • Inspect equipment or facilities to determine condition or maintenance needs.
  • Operate irrigation systems.
  • Maintain forestry, hunting, or agricultural equipment.
  • Prepare materials or solutions for animal or plant use.
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Knowledge

English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills

Operation and Control
  • Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring
  • Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Troubleshooting
  • Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
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Abilities

Multilimb Coordination
  • The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Control Precision
  • The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Depth Perception
  • The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Enterprise resource planning ERP software
  • Farm Management Software Hay and Crop Manager Hot Technology
Data base user interface and query software
  • Microsoft Access Hot Technology
  • Martens Farms Farm Trac
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
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