Coffs Harbour Christian Community High School (CHCCHS) bought the four-tonne JCB excavator from local dealer North Coast Construction Equipment (NCCE).
CHCCHS deputy principal Andrew Lynn said: “We have found that the students have benefited immensely from our excavator training programme, as it is develops practical skills and a real sense of confidence and achievement. students are so proud of the fact that they can competently operate a significant piece of earthmoving machinery.”
The high school follows the occupational health and safety legislation by teaching the students prestart and operational safety checks.
“We teach our students all of the standard safety procedures including being aware of your surroundings in order to avoid an accident,” said Lynn. “Our students learn the components and functions of a diesel engine and the hydraulic systems which control the machine”.
He added: “NCCE was able to help us to retrofit a radio-controlled e-stop for our excavator. The e-stopper is fail-safe, meaning that the receiver constantly talks to the transmitter and will shut down if the teacher presses the button on the radio control or walks away from the excavator.”
The students are always supervised and can start logging hours on the excavator.
“Some of our students have logged up to 20 hours,” said Lynn. “It’s great for those students with aspirations of getting into landscaping or becoming machine operators.”
NCCE retrofitted flow restrictors so that the excavator can be put into training mode. “We are able to increase the hydraulic pressure as the student improves,” said Lynn.