The IUOE National Pipeline Training Program offers experienced heavy equipment operators the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to work in the highly specialized pipeline industry. The intensive, three-week program prepares the member to perform the procedures unique to the industry while operating the three basic pieces of heavy equipment utilized in pipeline work, namely the sideboom, the angle dozer and the backhoe. A separate, one-week course on pipe bending also is offered.
The IUOE pipeline training is taught by instructors who, on average, have 20 years experience working the pipeline trade. In fact, with the bulk of training occurring in the industry’s off-season, most of these instructors will be back working as pipeliners once the season cranks up again.
The pipeline training course consists of hands-on, in-the-seat practical instruction, supplemented by classroom instruction and study. Three training manuals on operating dozers, backhoes and sidebooms in pipeline applications are the centerpieces of the classroom work. These manuals are comprehensive, up-to-date and, best of all, user-friendly.
Using the latest computer technology, including 3-D animation, instructors will expose students to the full range of tasks performed in pipeline work, such as river crossings and side cuts. Thanks to technology, students figuratively are taken inside many of the more common procedures. As with all IUOE training programs, the safety of our members on the job – and all workers – is a priority issue. To that end, our pipeline classroom training, again using 3-D animation, simulates accidents that have occurred or could occur on pipeline jobs and offers preventive procedures to follow.
The hands-on, practical aspects of the pipeline training offer instruction on some 14 procedures necessary to construct a major cross-country pipeline, beginning with the clearing of the right-of-way to the final restoration of the landscape. Also included in the practical training is a primer on the U. S. Department of Transportation’s Operator Qualification standards, which is a required certification to work in the pipeline industry.
In the normal, three-week pipeline class, the basics of bending are covered. However, there is also an extensive one week bending/engineering course offered. In this class, students learn how to shoot bends, and understand the mathematics used to calculate bends. In addition, students have hands on experience using the bending machine to bend the pipe.