New job option for out of work pilots: combine driver!

ozone

Well-Known Member
I’d love to get people’s take on this avweb article:


Makes me think that pilots could try other (similar) options as well. Crane operator? Mine truck driver?
 

Cessnaflyer

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
The combine driver would be the easiest to get into. I believe the crane operator and mine truck driver are heavily protected union jobs that would be difficult to burst on the scene.
 

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
The combine driver would be the easiest to get into. I believe the crane operator and mine truck driver are heavily protected union jobs that would be difficult to burst on the scene.
My buddy is a crane operator in NJ. He didn’t have any trouble getting a job. You have to go to school for it but he got a job after no problem. Now, if you’re trying to get one of those big crane jobs at the ports where the real big bucks are, that’s a different story.
 
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poser765

Well-Known Member
I knew a guy at Republic that flew part of the year then when harvest season would begin he'd take off about four months and do contract harvester driving. Seemed like a cool gig.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
I used to work on a crane, I was the knucklehead 181' in the air sitting in an old ejection seat making sure those huge illuminated signs that you see on your commute were as bright as possible. We had several cranes, sometimes I worked from a bucket and it was easier as long as there wasn't any earthquakes, yeah that happened. Best memory is the tall crane in the seat swinging off of an 8 story building after placing a huge A/C unit on the roof. It wasn't long after that I decided aviation might be a more steady career, I'm beginning to wonder if I chose poorly.
 

deadstick

Well-Known Member
I worked the summer harvest in school. Great pay for a college kid. It was not easy, and if you have a delicate ego and ears, you probably want to look elsewhere. The fall harvest went until Thanksgiving, so not much time left.
 

GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
My buddy is a crane operator in NJ. He didn’t have any trouble getting a job. You have to go to school for it but he got a job after no problem. Now, if you’re trying to get one of those big crane jobs at the ports where the real big bucks are, that’s a different story.
How much do those guys make?
 

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
How much do those guys make?
he started at $16/hr and then after 5 years was able to get into a union and is making 63.34/hr now. Before the union he was up to $32/hr. Keep in mind though he’s in NJ and does a lot of work in NYC so pay is higher.

he paid for his own schooling and licensing before he had a job. He recommends looking into NCCCO certification which is a national license and also see if your state has its own licensing. And if you’re making a career change from another union job it will probably be easier to get into the Operating Engineers Union.
 
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GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
he started at $16/hr and then after 5 years was able to get into a union and is making 63.34/hr now. Before the union he was up to $32/hr. Keep in mind though he’s in NJ and does a lot of work in NYC so pay is higher.

he paid for his own schooling and licensing before he had a job. He recommends looking into NCCCO certification which is a national license and also see if your state has its own licensing. And if you’re making a career change from another union job it will probably be easier to get into the Operating Engineers Union.
I’m not interested in the job, I was just curious. But then again, maybe someone else here is. It sounds like a good one. Thanks!
 

arkflyr

Well-Known Member
My father in law was in the operating engineers union. They do more than just cranes, he started doing road construction on dozers and scrapers in Montana and then later in Alaska in the 1970s. He came back to Montana in the 80s and wound up on a dragline in a coal mine until he retired.

The nice thing about that union is the control their central pension fund so when Westmoreland Coal went bankrupt they couldn’t touch his pension. He also said the crane guys made way more than he did running the dragline, but that’s a whole different subject.

@Richman is spot on about farming as well.
 

Space Monkey

Well-Known Member
The combine driver would be the easiest to get into. I believe the crane operator and mine truck driver are heavily protected union jobs that would be difficult to burst on the scene.
Probably right about the protected jobs. The main thing that "protects" these jobs -at least for farmers- is the competence and skill of the operator. If you grew up on a farm working the equipment, sure, good option. If you didn't grow up on a farm, or if you've never operated before, and think that operating a combine is easier and simpler than operating a jet?? Yeah, no. It's not. An incompetent agricultural operator engaged in planting, application, or harvesting can severely -perhaps even existentially- harm a farmer.

Sometimes I really despise pilots. Confidence is a good thing, but only when based on actual competence. A lot of pilot seem to have very severe gaps of understanding combined with very severely overinflated senses of themselves.

I mean, if lots of non-pilot combine operators suddenly got laid off and sought jobs as pilots, uh... ??
 

TWP

Well-Known Member
Probably right about the protected jobs. The main thing that "protects" these jobs -at least for farmers- is the competence and skill of the operator. If you grew up on a farm working the equipment, sure, good option. If you didn't grow up on a farm, or if you've never operated before, and think that operating a combine is easier and simpler than operating a jet?? Yeah, no. It's not. An incompetent agricultural operator engaged in planting, application, or harvesting can severely -perhaps even existentially- harm a farmer.

Sometimes I really despise pilots. Confidence is a good thing, but only when based on actual competence. A lot of pilot seem to have very severe gaps of understanding combined with very severely overinflated senses of themselves.

I mean, if lots of non-pilot combine operators suddenly got laid off and sought jobs as pilots, uh... ??
Then they would go to school and learn how to fly......just like we could go learn how to drive a combine.

And yeah, my money is on flying being the harder profession. That doesn’t mean I show up thinking I know everything, but it does mean I could probably learn how to operate a combine with the discipline and dedication I’ve acquired over the years. I’ll be complaining about my schedule with the best of them in no time. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN SUNRISE TO SUNSET?!”
 

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
River/Harbor pilots are the same. You practically have to be born into it in some places.

Farming isn’t nearly as glamorous as Mike Rowe makes it out to be.
A) A friend's neighbor is a harbor pilot for their local port. The upside is the guy nets north of $500k a year. The downside is the local knowledge required to safely navigate the port, shoals, current, rocks isn't something you pick up on overnight. Oh, that and the liability if the ship runs aground or damaged on a rock and starts leaking fuel.

B) There's a reason so many enlisted kids in the military are from a farm town. Or Texas. Every Marine I met was from some rural town in Texas.
 

nibake

Powder hound
Probably right about the protected jobs. The main thing that "protects" these jobs -at least for farmers- is the competence and skill of the operator. If you grew up on a farm working the equipment, sure, good option. If you didn't grow up on a farm, or if you've never operated before, and think that operating a combine is easier and simpler than operating a jet?? Yeah, no. It's not. An incompetent agricultural operator engaged in planting, application, or harvesting can severely -perhaps even existentially- harm a farmer.

Sometimes I really despise pilots. Confidence is a good thing, but only when based on actual competence. A lot of pilot seem to have very severe gaps of understanding combined with very severely overinflated senses of themselves.

I mean, if lots of non-pilot combine operators suddenly got laid off and sought jobs as pilots, uh... ??
Nah. The part about pilots is all reasonable, but farmers are protected because of their skill? Not sure whether to laugh or facepalm at that. Farmers are protected because they are a cabal and 99% of us don't have the wealth to even touch farming, if we wanted to. Then, if you have that kind of wealth, we can start talking about skill, then after that, we can start talking about breaking into a clique.
 

Space Monkey

Well-Known Member
Oh, for eff's sake. Where are you, out in Cali or Arizona where the farmers grow subdivisions and drive Ferraris and make the public pay to irrigate their otherwise desiccated fields?

I mean, a good life is still the best revenge, so I guess now that every formerly arrogant cubical dweller wants to be a "real, rural" person, farmers are finally getting something like respect. But I really do pity the farm kids who got teased their entire childhoods for being hicks and country bumpkins, only to grow up and by dint of real estate inflation driven by city folk, now get called a "clique". THAT's rich.

If you want to talk about Cabals, know what the hell you are talking about. The Ag Cabal is comprised not of farmers but of ag processors and input producers like GF, ADM, Cargill, Bayer/née:Monsanto, DuPont, Nestlé, and Yara. Most farmers are virtual slaves to that corporate cabal. Oh, and by the way, while the giant kabuki dance of protectionism proceeds for the entertainment of the mob, the Chinese continue quietly to buy up vast tracks of American farmland... So, I guess they'll be wanting to be added into the cabal soon.

99% of us don't have the wealth to touch anything. And the 80% of that 90% who touch stuff anyway like, say, a brand new $100,000 vehicle, are doing their touching by the terms of lease they don't really understand.
 
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