The main task of a Dump truck job in Australia is operating the dump truck which transports the sand, dirt, rock (waste products), and the ore (iron ore, gold, nickel, copper) out of the mines to processing plants or too off loading points for further transport by road train or normal train transport. The dump trucks have a carrying capacity of a few hundred tonnes and looks huge & mighty. In spite of the imposing build of the dump trucks, the intuitive controls make the operation of the truck is relatively simple.
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A dump truck job in the mines is one of the very few jobs which do not require an impressive resume or college degree or an age barrier. Surprisingly the dump truck job in the mines has no gender bias and both men & women have equal opportunity. The lack of any physical labour, a fixed routine, flexible shifts and a hefty pay package make the dump truck jobs in the mines very coveted.
Truth is that it’s one of the HARDEST jobs in the industry to obtain. Every man and women when they think about landing a mining job in Australia, they think about driving the mighty dump truck. This popularity has made them very hard to get. I personally would not build your hopes up to high and focus first on looking for other mining jobs first and dump truck jobs second. As you have probably noticed many dump truck jobs ask for experience. A good 2-3 years and in a mining environment. Some industries like quarry or heavy civil can be classed as relevant experience which can help you get into this job. Which if you have the time or your side isn’t a bad idea to do, get some experience driving dumpies in a heavy civil or quarry environment.
Otherwise, the main way people are getting in is by knowing someone driving them already. There are traineeships around but they are more rare than the gold being found in Australia.
One chap I know had a labouring job for 6 months of a mine site in Australia and then applied for a trainee dump truck operator role and had luck this way.
When checking mining companies current vacancies page, sometimes dump truck jobs are advertised as “production operators” which is something to look out for as its not as popular and not common knowledge, so you might have a better chance applying for jobs with this job title mention above.
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There are training providers out there offering dump truck training and tickets, but I would first recommend you do your research and see how many job adverts are on job sites like seek.com.au that you can find asking for such a course/ ticket as requirement, to see what chances there is of employment in this area.
A much better investment is a simple old HR licence. There are many jobs advertised in the mines asking for a HR licence. There are also providers out there who can help you get an HR licence within the week.
In a normal work day, the dump truck driver’s responsibility is to carry production ore rock, or waste rock to certain locations depending on the stage of the mine. Standard dump trucks operating in the mining industry in Western Australia carry between 150 tonnes to 340 tonnes, and can travel an impressive 50 Km/h. Komatsu 830E and CAT 777 are the most popular dump trucks in Western Australia.
The dump truck driving jobs in the mines have a rotational 12 hour work shift which might fall either during day or night. The mining industry in Australia employs a roster for the dump truck driving jobs. The rosters vary from company to company and the common ones are 9 days work & 5 days off or 3 weeks work and 1 week off. Generally, the dump truck drivers are provided accommodation in lodging camps close to the mines during their work tenure. They can fly off to their place of residence or the nearest city to spend the off period. There is a period of probation ranging from three to six months before the dump driver position is confirmed and made permanent.
Kalgoorlie, Olympic dam, Karratha, Port Hedland and Mt Isa are some of the places in Western Australia where there is a huge demand for dump truck drivers. The dump truck jobs in the mines are usually advertised widely in local newspapers and online job portals. Recruitment is also done by the mining industry in Australia through Human Resource firms. The Hays salary survey for 2007 found a dump-truck driver working in a Western Australian mine can get paid between $70,000 to $100,000. Going back by around five years, the average wage in the mining sector was about $75,000 per year – it’s now around $95,000.