3 Ways An Investment in Training Pays You Back
3 Ways An Investment in Training Pays You Back

3 Ways An Investment in Training Pays You Back


Is training really worth the cost? It’s a question we hear often, and it’s a good one. Why spend money to take operators off the job and lose productive time in the process? The answer is simple: Because it works. Waste operations that invest in training have the results to prove it. Here are three ways they say it pays them back, plus some tips on getting the most from your training investment.


It’s no secret the waste business is a competitive one. Most of the time, the lowest bid wins the contract. Modern equipment is designed to help you achieve the lowest cost per ton or cubic yard, but only if the people behind the controls know how to use it effectively.

That's true for new operators and seasoned pros alike. Today’s machines feature more advanced systems and technologies than ever, and operators at every experience level need to understand how their equipment works and how to run it efficiently and productively in specific applications. An effective training program teaches those best practices.

Here’s an example: One national waste company gathered operational data for a month prior to bringing in Caterpillar for a two-and-a-half-day training session with its operators—some of whom had more than 20 years on the job. The result? The next month’s data showed density jumping almost 12% from 1,418 pounds per cubic yard before the training to 1,586 pounds per cubic yard after.


Few work environments are harsher than waste. Landfills, transfer stations and material recovery facilities are tough on equipment, and improper operation and maintenance can drive up your costs. You don’t want to spend money—or time—replacing tires, wheels and tips, or tracks before it’s absolutely necessary.

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Instructing operators on how to run equipment correctly goes a long way toward preventing excessive wear and downtime. So does teaching them how to conduct proper walkaround inspections at the beginning and end of each shift, as well as how to interpret equipment warning symbols and alert levels. A good training program that covers both of these areas is critical if you want to keep your maintenance costs down and your uptime high.


Zero accidents and injuries is the goal in every landfill, transfer station and material recovery facility. As a leader in your operation, you set the tone for safety on site by what you say—and more importantly—what you do. Investing in a training program that emphasizes safe operation sends a clear message that you put your employees’ well-being first.

Operators trained to run equipment properly are less likely to cause accidents and injuries on the job. That means your team goes home safely every day—and you spend less on downtime, equipment damage and insurance premiums.


Here’s some advice from waste operations on how to get the most out of your training investment:

  • Look for programs that combine classroom and in-the-iron learning at your site, with trainers who specialize in the industry. Waste applications demand more than general equipment training. Cat® Equipment Training Solutions offers classes specific to landfills, transfer stations and material recovery facilities—with basic sessions for new operators and more advanced training to help seasoned operators continuously improve.
  • Plan ahead so you’re prepared to take operators and equipment off the job during the training period. At Caterpillar, our trainers do their best to work around your schedule so you can keep production up.
  • Follow up by keeping training topics top of mind with your operators. You’ll find good resources—including walkaround videos, safety and maintenance checklists, start-up and shutdown procedures, toolbox talks and more—at www.cat.com/safety.

Whether your goal is to make more money, better control costs or run a safer operation, training can help. Talk to your Cat dealer or get in touch with the Cat Equipment Training Solutions team for more details.