Material Moving Job Description

by Writing Team on May 14, 2010

Material Movers must use equipment in order to move different materials together so that a product can be produced and then put on the market.

Explanation of how Material Moving works

In order to explain the process and the different workers involved we have selected a washing machine as an example. Many workers will need to transport a variety of materials to get the object made and into your local store. First, raw metals must be produced, either from a mine where an excavator operator digs into the earth to gather rocks with the proper minerals and places them on a conveyor operate by a conveyor tender; or by a recyclable material collector that picks up unwanted metal household goods. The next step is that the material is refined in a foundry, at which point a crane operator or hoist and winch operator may place it on a trailer for shipping. When the material arrives at the factory, an industrial truck operator unloads the metal and a machine feeder loads it into a machine for production. After the wash machine is assembled, then it is placed into a box by a hand packager and then moved into a tractor trailer by a truck loader. Then it is eventually delivered to the store where you can buy your wash machine.

Many products like the washing machine are handled by a variety of workers because, even with the use of machinery, moving goods and materials around worksites still requires significant human effort. Material moving workers are generally categorized into two groups:

  1. The first group is operators who control the machines that move the materials.

  2. The second are the laborers who move materials by hand.

Laborers and hand material movers

Laborers and hand material movers move freight move freight, stock, or other materials by hand; clean vehicles, machinery, and other equipment; feed materials into or remove materials from machines or equipment; and pack or package products and materials.


Operators use machinery to move construction materials, earth, petroleum products, and other heavy materials. Generally, they move materials over short distances around construction sites, factories, or warehouses. Some move materials onto or off of trucks and ships. Operators control equipment by moving levers, wheels, or foot pedals; operating switches; or turning dials. They also may set up and inspect equipment, make adjustments, and perform minor maintenance or repairs.

Industrial truck and tractor operators

Industrial truck and tractor operators drive and control industrial trucks or tractors that move materials around warehouses, storage yards, factories, construction sites, or other worksites. A typical industrial truck, often called a forklift or lift truck, has a hydraulic lifting mechanism and forks for moving heavy and large objects. Industrial truck and tractor operators also may operate tractors that pull trailers loaded with materials, goods, or equipment, within factories and warehouses or around outdoors storage areas.

Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators

Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators tend or operate machinery equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets to dig and load sand, gravel, earth, or similar materials into trucks or onto conveyors. These machines are primarily used in the construction and mining industries. Dredge operators excavate waterways, removing sand, gravel, rock, or other materials from harbors, lakes, rivers, and streams. Dredges are used primarily to maintain navigable channels but also are used to restore wetlands and other aquatic, habitats; reclaim land; and create and maintain beaches. Underground mining loading machine operators load coal, ore, or rock into shuttles and mine cars or onto conveyors. Loading equipment may include power shovels, hoisting engines equipped with cable-drawn scrapers or scoops, and machines equipped with gathering arms and conveyors.

Crane and tower operators

Crane and tower operators use mechanical boom and cable or tower and cable equipment to lift and move materials, machinery, and other heavy objects. Operators extend and retract horizontally mounted booms lower and raise hooks attached to load lines. Most operators are guided by other workers using hand signals or a radio. Operator’s position loads from an onboard console or from a remote console at the site. There are many different types of operators that need to work in order to get materials to the proper places making sure that a product can be made for the consumer.

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