How to become a Rural Heavy Vehicle Operator

Rural heavy vehicle operators operate horticultural and agricultural machinery to clear and cultivate land and sow and harvest crops.

Personal requirements of a Rural Heavy Vehicle Operator

  • Interested in practical and manual work
  • mechanical aptitude
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • no skin allergies
  • able to work with oils, greases and petrol.

Duties & Tasks of a Rural Heavy Vehicle Operator

Rural heavy vehicle operators may perform the following tasks:

  • operate tractor-drawn or self-propelled machinery to plough land and fertilise, plant, cultivate and harvest crops
  • adjust speed, height or depth of implements
  • check safety conditions and avoid damage to plants
  • service and maintain machinery.

Working conditions for a Rural Heavy Vehicle Operator

Rural heavy vehicle operators often spend all day outdoors, climbing up and down from air-conditioned vehicles into the hot sun or cold. During summer or harvest time, long days (12 hours or more) are usual.


Forestry Plant Operator

A forestry plant operator operates vehicles and heavy equipment to fell trees, transport logs and load logs onto trucks.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

NSW 20.8%

NT 0.6%

QLD 17.3%

SA 14%

TAS 14.2%

VIC 20.9%

WA 11.9%

ACT 0.3%

Hours worked:



Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 98%

Female 2%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 27.9%

Not completed Year 12: 42.4%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 12%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 32.5%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 1.4%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 1.2%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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