Heavy Equipment Operator

Location: Gerlach, NV

Department: DPW

Type: Temporary

Min. Experience: Experienced


The Heavy Equipment Operator will provide skilled operation of heavy equipment for the DPW Heavy Equipment and Transportation (HEaT) Team. Work will involve the erection of structures, earth moving, handling of materials, and other complex load manipulations as required throughout the event production cycle. The DPW HEaT Department facilitates the support of all infrastructure, art, and some participant equipment needs at the Burning Man event.


The deadline to apply for this role is 5:00pm PT on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.



  • Complete Certifications for heavy machinery operations as required by the HEaT Department Manager
  • Ensure the safe operation of all machinery as assigned, in accordance with ANSI and OSHA guidelines, HEaT department standards and Black Rock City, LLC policies
  • Maintain and use properly all personal protection equipment for assigned area of responsibility
  • Perform daily safety checks of heavy equipment and report ongoing status and serviceability of said equipment to the HEaT Operations and Training Manager and the HEaT Equipment Technician
  • Provide the Dispatch Team with clarification of assignment details as needed for both equipment tracking and logistics
  • Assist the HEaT Transportation Team to help facilitate all transport-related heavy machinery operations on site, as directed by the HEaT Dispatch Team and HEaT Operations and Training Manager
  • Perform equipment operations as requested by all departments as directed by HEaT Dispatch Team and HEaT Operations Manager



  • Help acculturate and educate junior staff and volunteers in equipment operations and DPW HEaT processes
  • Act as an DPW ambassador, respond positively to all requests for assistance from participants
  • Attend daily HEaT briefings, DPW Morning Meetings, and any required BRC Staff Meetings
  • Familiarize and act in accordance with Burning Man’s staff policies
  • Submit post-event feedback, including an EMBER Report, according to the Burning Man EMBER guidelines
  • Perform various other duties as assigned by HEaT management, the DPW Council, and Black Rock City LLC.



  • Knowledge sharing – Takes a role in the acculturation and training of staff and volunteers. Teaches safe operating practices, as requested. Promotes a culture of teaching and learning throughout the community.
  • Learning – Pursues ongoing learning in their area of expertise, working to stay current on emergent knowledge, skills, and processes.
  • Mentoring – Mentors subordinates in acquiring the knowledge, skills, and experience that will allow them to advance in the organization. Aids, encourages, and inspires their team.
  • Documentation – Assists in the creation, publishing, and maintenance of process documentation related to their assigned duties.
  • Training development – Collaborates with the education team to develop training materials in their area of expertise, as requested.



  • Heavy Machinery certifications as required by job designation and a minimum of one reference for comparable work
  • Knowledge of Black Rock City, its operational departments and timelines
  • Knowledge of rigging & specialty load manipulation preferred
  • Proficient with remote forms of communication (i.e. – two way radios)
  • Lead by example, motivate, and have excellent interpersonal skills
  • Experience working in remote wilderness and/or desert environments preferred
  • Independent self-starter and problem-solver
  • Team player, able to take direction
  • Ability to adjust schedule seasonally to work at the Burning Man event held in Nevada
  • It is helpful if the candidate has previously been to Burning Man and/or is familiar with its culture


  • OSHA compliant certification for equipment to be operated (On the job training available for those with prior equipment operations experience)
  • Must have a valid state issued Driver’s License and a clean driving record



This position requires periods of heavy lifting, bending, kneeling, squatting, and climbing. This position will be physically demanding, and requires individuals with good physical health, and endurance. Some of the work will be in outside weather conditions and will be exposed to fumes or airborne particles as well as possible extremes in temperature.

Specific requirements for the HEaT Heavy Equipment Operator include the ability to perform the following tasks:

  • Enter and exit the machine numerous times per hour during each shift
  • Work in extreme temperature, wind, and weather conditions
  • Work with exposure to fumes or airborne particles
  • Lift and pull a minimum of 50 lbs.



This is a temporary, full-time position ineligible for benefits, working out of Gerlach, Nevada. Burning Man is an equal-opportunity employer.

The expected timeframe of temporary full-time employment for this role, during the DPW work season, is August through September.

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