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Operate a front end loader


Unit Standard (SAQA Reg. No 262747)

Front-end loaders are versatile and can be a valuable tool for farm work. However, they change the center of gravity and the stability in the tractor-loader combination, so they can be dangerous if not operated properly. Changing the center of gravity presents a potential tipping hazard for the operator.

Operators who are not adequately trained in front end loader operations are at great risk of injury because of their lack of understanding in the principles of operations. This course will assist the learner operator in becoming a fully qualified Front End Loader operator who has the knowledge, skills and experience to operate a Front End Loader in a safe and professional manner. This will allow certified operator by adding value to any organization.

Successful candidates credited with this unit standard are able to:

  • Demonstrating knowledge of the functions of a front end loader.
  • Planning for work activities and prepare work area.
  • Starting and shutting down front end loader.
  • Operating front end loader.
  • Transporting front end loader to and from site


  • 5 Days Novice
  • 1 Day Re-certification



Quality Assured partner: Construction Education And Training Authority

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The qualifying learner will be able to operate a front end loader by understanding the functions of starting, shutting down and operating procedures for the machine. Learners who master the applied competence described in this unit standard will contribute to the development of a professional community of Construction Plant operators.  The area of focus of this course will be;

Introduction To Front End Loaders

Why You Need To Be A Professional Operator

Who Is Considered To Be Professional Drivers

Explain What A Personal Protective Equipment A Front End Loader Operator May Be Required To Use

Explain Who Is Responsible For Which Aspects Of Personal Protective Equipment And The Care Thereof

Front End Loader Function

Types Of Front End Loaders

  • Wheeled FEL’s
  • Tracked FEL’s


Front End Loader Components

Discuss The Different Components.

  • The Engine

What Is An Internal Combustion Engine

The Main Components Of An Engine

The Difference Between Petrol And Diesel Engines

Engine Maintenance

  • The Fuel System
  • The Hydraulic System
  • Hydraulic System Safety

The Electrical System

Battery Safety, Care And Maintenance

The Master Switch


The Braking System

  • Service Brakes
  • Park Brakes
  • Supplementary Brakes
  • Inching Pedal

The Power Train    

Typical Front End Loader Type Power Train

Powershift Transmissions

The Cooling System

  • Liquid Cooling
  • Air Cooling

Checking The Cooling System

  • Overheating


  • Bucket Teeth


  • Tyre Care
  • Causes Of Tyre Wear
  • Tyre Inflation
  • Daily Tyre Care
  • Tyre Checking


  • Track Care Considerations

Different Types Of Gauges

  • Gauges And Warning Devices
  • Temperature Gauges
  • Pressure Gauges
  • Fuel Tank Level Gauge
  • Electrical System Charging Gauges
  • Hour Meter Gauge

Warning Systems

  • Electronic/Computer Monitoring System
  • Warning Lights
  • Hooters
  • Buzzers
  • Back – Up Alarms


Operator Compartments

  • Front End Loader Cab
  • Steering Controls
  • Accelerator
  • Speed Control Lever
  • Direction Selector Lever

Implement Or Attachment Controls

Attachment Controls

  • Attachment Lock Lever
  • Bucket Control Lever
  • Lift Arm Control Lever

Brake Pedal And Parking Brake

  • Inching Pedal

Front End Loader Checks

  • The Walk Around Inspection
  • The Pre – Starting Checks
  • The Pre –Operating Checks
  • The Operating Checks
  • The Parking Procedure
  • The Shutdown Procedure

Shutting Down And Parking The Front End Loader

  • Stopping The Front End Loader
  • Parking
  • Stopping The Engine

General Front End Loader Safety

Safety Rules

Site Rules

Working The Front End Loader

Mounting And Dismounting

Machine Operation

Driving A Front End Loader

Basic Operation

  • Levelling
  • Digging
  • Excavating
  • Loading
  • Truck Loading
  • Dumping Load

Loading Methods

  • V Shape Loading Method
  • L – Shape Loading Method (Cross Drive Loading
  • T – Shape Loading Method

Load And Carry

Operation In Rocky Area

Dumping Into Hopper

Intermittent Revving

Excessive Idling

Engine Exhaust Smoke Colour

Starting A Cold Engine

Transporting The Front End Loader

Explain How The Correctly Load And Position The Front End Loader On The Transporter

Entry level requirements into this programme?

All new entrants intended under this code (Novice or Re-licensing) shall provide training institution with the required documents.

  • An employer declaration or medical certificate confirming the medical fitness of the learner to undergo the intended training
  • An eye test results issued by a person trained to carry out such tests
  • All new entrants intended under this code will be required to hold at least a Grade 9 (Std 7) school certificate and are at least 18 years of age.
  • Learners shall provide training institution with a valid certified copy of his/her Identity Document
  • Certified copy of learners drivers license if will be using Front End Loader on public roads
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