What Is A Good Machine Operator Worth?

How much should I be paying an operator?
This is one of the questions I hear often. I’m also told “I can’t find anyone to run this equipment.” For me there are several things that work for you and against you in the equipment world. The physical condition of your equipment, the elements you use it in and who is operating it.

I have spoken in past articles about maintenance. We need to talk about who is doing the maintenance and how the operator affects the physical condition of the machine.

When I speak to owners and managers and they say they can’t find a good operator that doesn’t want a ton of money to work for them, I tell them to consider this: A good operator knows machinery and they need very little training. If they truly are an operator, they respect the machine they are running and will take better care of it than a guy who you taught how to use the loader the morning they were hired. This can and will reduce repair costs and downtime. A real operator has pride in what they do and will transfer that pride into their equipment.

Good operators usually won’t damage machines and if they do they will tell you. They don’t want to operate junk. Be willing to fix the machinery. This will help keep them happy and your yard running smoothly.

Training an operator is fine. Be willing to struggle with them as they learn. Expect and accept the fact that they will damage the machine and things around them. With that said, if they turn out to be great, make sure they are compensated well!

A machine is only as good as the person sitting in it. With a good operator, your equipment will last longer and cost you less. That person will lower operating costs, use less fuel and have less downtime.

So the question still remains, how much do I pay an operator?
As much as you can! They are worth every penny. You want them in that machine processing cars and producing revenue. Budget for a great operator and be willing to pay them. It is a huge savings in the long run.

Adam Lindley, Sales and Marketing Manager, SAS Forks, 12yrs.

Adam grew up working in his family business of Semi-tractor/trailer repair, specializing in tank trailers. He attended and graduated NWTC weld/fabrication as a Certified Welder. He started his career as an automotive repair technician and became ASE Certified Master Tech, then moved on to heavy equipment. Adam travels to customer’s yards assisting with equipment installation, training and repairs as well as forklift training for groups and tradeshows. Working at SAS we strive to design and develop new products for the Auto Salvage industry. Adam is in the forefront of this industry and currently has 4 patents.

SAS Forks, 877-727-3675, www.sasforks.com.