Discover your career path

Loading Machine Operator

Move rubble, ore, and more out of underground mines.

What does a Loading Machine Operator do?

Mining is a tough business. Compacted layers of earth are blown up, scraped away, drilled, dug, and excavated until the buried resources of ore, metal, gems, stones, rocks, and coal are exposed. To get the job done, a careful plan is created and a staff of hardworking Miners are employed.

As a Loading Machine Operator, you are one of those workers. And you play a pivotal role in the process-a process that begins with the loosening of rock. After the Drilling Machine Operator has drilled the holes and the Shot Firer has loaded them with explosives, the compressed materials are blown into loose debris by the Loading Machine Operator.

Not all mines require explosives though. Some use cutting or other self-propelled machines to strip, scrape, or cut into the sides of the mine.

Either way, once the debris is loose, it’s your job as the Loading Machine Operator, to gather it up and deliver it to the mine carts or conveyor belt that propels it out of the mine and into the next phase of the process. To do this, you operate a machine that scoops or grabs the coal, ore, rocks, or other materials. This requires timing and focus so that the entire mining process flows smoothly. If you fall behind, you’ll hold up the operation, and if you move too quickly, you might make mistakes, stress the equipment, or overload the conveyor belt.

You are also responsible for maintaining the equipment you operate. So you follow maintenance schedules and keep records of work completed.