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Heavy Fire Equipment Operator (6387)

Heavy Fire Equipment Operator

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: PJ10
  • Class Code: 6387
  • Established: 04/26/1946
  • Revised: 07/11/1989
  • Title Changed: 12/03/1969


Under direction, to operate heavy motorized equipment in wildland fire control work and in forest protection and conservation project work; to perform maintenance and repair on vehicles and heavy equipment; and to do other related work.

Job Characteristics

Incumbents will receive in a timely manner during the probationary period "Heavy Fire Equipment Operator" and "Basic Fire Control" training courses. Successful completion of both training courses is a requirement for permanent status in this class.

Typical Tasks

Operates heavy bulldozers, motor-graders, heavy-duty transports, trucks, and other types of heavy equipment used in fire suppression work, road maintenance and in other wildland protection and conservation project work; reads maps to understand type of terrain to be worked on and location of projects; operates equipment on steep, narrow, mountain roads and under hazardous conditions; as assigned, works with or supervises both inmate and free personnel crews on fire line assignments, road construction assignments, forestry conservation projects, or in-camp work projects; services and, under supervision, assists mechanics in making major mechanical repairs to heavy bulldozers, motor-graders, heavy-duty transports, trucks, and other types of repair which may include preventive maintenance service, tune-up, brake relining and adjustment, disassembly and assembly for overhaul, welding, limited body repair, and lubrication; maintains other equipment used in fire suppression activity such as chain saws and portable generators; estimates cost of repairs and purchases parts; maintains simple records and written reports of work performed; trains others in safe practices in the use and repair of heavy equipment and vehicles.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum Age: 18 years at the time of appointment.


Possession of the type of driver license required by law applicable to the types of heavy motorized vehicles operated on the job. (Applicants who do not possess the required license will be admitted to the examination, but must secure the license prior to the performance test. and One year of over the highway experience operating Class 8 transport vehicles with multi-speed manual shift transmissions, with a gross vehicle weight of at least 60,000 pounds or greater; and One year of experience operating D6 or D7 bulldozers or equivalent size bulldozers produced by other manufacturers. Qualifying bulldozer experience must include at least 500 hours of operation of the specified bulldozers in rugged terrain; and Education equivalent to completion of the twelfth grade.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Operation and use of heavy motorized construction and maintenance equipment with special reference to bulldozers and heavy- duty transport trucks; methods, materials, tools, and equipment used in maintenance and repair of light automotive equipment; methods, materials, and tools and equipment used in preventive maintenance and servicing of heavy equipment and trucks; provisions of the California Vehicle Code as they apply to the operation of trucks, heavy motorized equipment, and emergency vehicles; road construction and maintenance practices; fire behavior and characteristics and fire control methods; safety practices in the use and repair of heavy equipment.


Ability to: Read and use maps; operate and make emergency repairs to heavy motorized equipment in mountainous areas under hazardous fire conditions; maintain cooperative relations with other organizations and agencies; make simple reports, keep simple records, and follow directions.

Special Personal Characteristics

Willingness to work in remote areas; willingness to work on weekends and holidays and to remain on duty 24 hours a day, as required; color vision adequate to successfully perform the job as measured by the Ishihara Pseudo-Chromatic Plate Test or for persons failing the Ishihara, the Farnsworth D-15 arrangement test; and visual acuity (Snellen) of not less than 20/100 without correction in each eye corrected to not less than 20/30 in one eye; hearing adequacy within speech frequencies (uncorrected); normal use of both hands and feet; physical strength and agility; no more than mildly susceptible to poison oak.

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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