National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Services, NAHETS Blog

Archive for January, 2008

NAHETS Member School in Oklahoma Becomes NUCA’s First Oklahoma Training Center

Posted by nahets on January 23, 2008

The Oklahoma College of Construction (OKCC) is now Oklahoma’s first, and currently only, National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) authorized training center for competent person training in trenching and shoring. We are proud to promote trench safety here in Oklahoma and around the nation. With an estimated 10 to 15 deaths per year in each state in trenching accidents, and with OSHA now requiring a competent person to be on-site whenever excavating, there is now a nationally recognized training center in the heart of Oklahoma and the nation.

Troy Rouse, director of corporate training and an instructor, got the ball rolling on this a few months ago. Previous to Troy’s work here at the OKCC, he started his own training company in Michigan and managed it for 10 years. During this time Troy served on the Michigan OSHA Advisory board and became a member of NUCA. He is also certified as an OSHA Construction Outreach Trainer and as a Trench and Shoring Competent Persons Instructor for NUCA.

Oklahoma College of Construction Logo
National UtilityContractors Association LogoTroy Rouse

When Troy started working here 5 months ago, he realized that there was no NUCA training center for trenching and shoring in Oklahoma. Having extensive knowledge and experience with NUCA training programs, he brought up the idea and possibility for the OKCC to become the first training center for NUCA in Oklahoma. Campus President Jerry McGinnis agreed that his was a valuable opportunity for the college. After months of working out the details things finally went through, and now everything is set in place. A big thanks to Troy for taking the initiative and getting things worked out with NUCA.

In addition to his previous work in Michigan, Troy also served as a heavy combat engineer for the U.S. Army and was employed in Iraq as a Heavy Equipment Trainer. He is also a certified NCCER instructor in heavy equipment operation.

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NAHETS Introduces iPod, “An Instructor in a Pocket,” for Heavy Equipment Training

Posted by nahets on January 15, 2008

The National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools (NAHETS) is introducing a new training tool for heavy equipment operators called, “An instructor in a pocket.” This method of training allows NAHETS heavy equipment students to receive instruction in video format via Apple iPods.

Purpose. The purpose behind this training tool is to provide students with a visual learning resource to help them better remember their tasks and ultimately increase performance on heavy equipment operation. The iPod training tool (a.k.a. “an instructor in a pocket”) will ensure NAHETS students are beyond the curve in technology and learning resources for heavy equipment operation instruction.

Content. The iPod videos will have a series for each type of heavy equipment at the school. Currently, the skid steer series is available, with more to come. On each video series, an instructor takes the student through basic and advanced drills to show students what training objectives they need to complete and how to complete them.

Origin. The “instructor in a pocket” idea originally came from Matt Klabacka, executive director of NAHETS, and Rhett Nielson, media and creative director. They discovered the idea as they were working together with Chris Cannon, director of training and curriculum development, in implementing the Yellow Metal Boot Camp Program, unique to the construction and heavy equipment industry. They envisioned heavy equipment training beyond the traditional textbook, class room, and on-site instruction . . .

Yellow Metal Boot Camp Program. Yellow Metal Boot Camp is the “technology meets heavy equipment operating” curriculum created and implemented by NAHETS:

  • Manuals
  • DVDs
  • Drill cards
  • Simulators
  • Online “hot tips” videos
  • iPod podcast videos

The iPod training tool focuses on the “read, see, and do” NAHETS Yellow Metal Boot Camp philosophy of construction equipment training:

  • “Read” it and forget it (textbooks, etc.)
  • “See” it and remember it (iPod videos)
  • “Do” it and understand it (on-site heavy equipment)
iPod Nano Video–”Instructor in a Pocket”

iPod Details. Each student who enrolls with any of the NAHETS schools will receive a 4 GB Video iPod Nano. Students are told how to access the private URL links that give them the location of the podcasts to download onto their iPods. Students will use campus computers to download everything into iTunes and then sync onto their iPods. The students can frequently use these videos while attending NAHETS schools and also watch them in the future as they begin new jobs or need to brush up on certain skills. In other words, the “instructor in a pocket” provides a lifetime of instruction.

Posted in *Press/Media, Education & Training, heavy equipment operator, heavy equipment schools, heavy equipment training, industry news, NAHETS, Standards & Safety, Training Videos, Videos | Leave a Comment »

NAHETS Discusses Partnership with Piade, Estonia Vocational Secondary School

Posted by nahets on January 4, 2008

Below is a summary from Mike Martens, Director of Operations for NAHETS:

Paide Vocational Secondary School (Paide Kutsekeskkool)

The Paide Vocational Secondary School (PKK) is located in the town of Paide, situated in the very heart of Estonia. The school was originally founded as Paide Wood and Ironwork School, which opened on December 5, 1924. The first Headmaster was August Rode who graduated from Danzig Technical University. At this time 72 students were admitted. Today the Paide Vocational Secondary School is the largest vocational education and training institution in Järva County. Since 1944 Paide Vocational Secondary School has graduated 14,264 students. As of academic year 2006/2007 there were 811 registered students.


Paide Vocational Secondary School Campus

Road Construction is one of the 12 courses offered.

The training program for road construction workers is the basis of a 3-year study period.
Students learn:

  • Technology of road construction, road materials, road machines, cars and different vehicles, management of road maintenance works, and traffic
  • Construction measuring, technical drawing, site clearing and management
  • Creating open spaces and maintaining them
  • IT, economics and enterprise

Graduates will start working in road construction, supervisors, operators of road construction and maintenance machines, or road workers and this specialty is in high demanded all over Estonia.


Rein Oselin (left), Director of the Paide Vocational
Secondary School has initiated plans for a completely new
school over the next few years. In addition to a new
physical plant (including classroom, administrative and
dormitory/cafeteria facilities) Rein will be implementing
new curriculum with the goal of bringing Estonian
vocational training up to international instructional training



NAHETS Invited to Discuss Partnership with PKK

On December 18th, 2007 Mike Martens, NAHETS Director of Operations, arrived in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia and was met by Rein Oselin and Elizabeth Parsons-Lenz.

Ms. Lenz is assisting Mr. Oselin with implementing his long-term school development project.

Over the next few days Mike traveled extensively, with meetings including the Mayor of Piade, Mrs. Kersti Sarapuu, Ullaer Vathramae, Governor of Jarva County and Teet Tiko, Head of the School Management Dept., Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.

Kersti Sarapuu–Mayor of Paide, Estonia

Mike Martens and Teet Tiko–Estonian Ministry of Education and ResearchThe introductory meeting with Rein at the Paide school included an overview of both his institution and a NAHETS keynote presentation. Mr. Oselin was impressed with the range of the NAHETS programs and the various instructional methods especially the use of simulators, multimedia delivery techniques, and the focus on performance driven objectives.

All indicators from the Estonian officials point towards a partnership between NAHETS and the Paide Kutsekeskkool (PKK) in 2008, with the goal of having Rein and representatives of his school, and from the Estonian government, visit a NAHETS school this year. A long range goal is for NAHETS to assist the PKK with heavy equipment and crane operator training curriculum and instructional techniques.




Estonian Travels

In addition to the official duties Rein and Beth filled the role as representatives of Estonia, hosting Mike in travels through Central and Eastern Estonia. Stops included a performance of the Nutcracker ballet, and in Narva, Estonia a castle hosting a Christmas choral performance (sung in Russian) organized by a group of Narva girls choirs.

Narva River – Russian castle on the left bank – Estonian Castle on the right bank

A definite highlight was the opportunity to take part in Mr. Oselin’s school Christmas program, a highlight of which was the vocal performances, by students, some of which were sung in English. As an item of note, English is a common language of use in Estonia and the country is very tourist friendly.

Mike’s final day in Estonia in the national capital, Tallinn, portions of which date to the 14th century.

Mike’s final day in Estonia in the national capital, Tallinn, portions of which date to the 14th century.

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