Ask David Aiello why he chose a career in construction and he’ll give you a straight answer – heavy equipment.
Growing up, he was surrounded by dump trucks and other big machinery; his relatives owned a landscaping business in Ottawa. After high school, David got a chance to work with the company and operate some of the equipment he’d admired for so long.
His next stop was in Kitchener, where he bolstered his on-the-job experience with formal training at Conestoga College. Today, he’s back in the Ottawa area, living his passion for heavy equipment with Tomlinson, part of the company’s aggregate division at its Stittsville quarry.
As a Heavy Equipment Operator, David plays a key role in ensuring the success of the heavy construction industry. From concrete to asphalt, David helps organize and load crushed-gravel and aggregate products that will become the foundation of new projects in the area – everything “from the roads we drive on to houses being built.”
Every day, David works with thousands of tonnes of natural materials, using impressive, technology-enhanced equipment to get the job done better.
“We have stackers for the various materials so we can stockpile them as high as possible. A computer system guides the stackers left and right and lifts them up and down. They extend and retract. They use sensors, so they can do it all [build the piles] autonomously.”
But it’s not just the equipment keeping David in the industry. It’s the people he works with, too.
“My immediate team – we’re around the youngest,” David says. “There are so many friendly faces and nice people. There are still a lot of baby boomers, too, and that’s where we need people, say, like myself and my younger co-workers, to fill in for those baby boomers [as they retire].”
On the topic of coworkers, David’s worked with a variety of people during his career – women included – and he hopes to see this diversity continue to grow.
The world is changing. There’s no reason to create barriers for anyone in this day and age.”
For those wanting to start their journey in construction, for David, it’s all about being open to learn.
“It’s a very big industry, and there are various college courses [that you can take]. Soak up every little piece of information that you can. It’s an industry that you can make a great living in, for sure.”