Great Community Support for VIU Heavy Equipment Operator Students

VIU Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) students (l-r) Marcus Ooms, Darcy Dowding and Kenny Lotoski work with the total station engineering instrument donated to the program by Koers Engineering in Parksville at VIU’s 40-acre machine training site near the Nanaimo Airport.

May 7, 2015 - 9:45am

Students in the Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program at Vancouver Island University (VIU) are gaining work experience and community support for their learning with help from community partners.

Students training to use a variety of heavy equipment got the chance to put their skills into action in a special project at Aspengrove School in Lantzville in the spring.

“It was great hands-on training for our students,” said HEO instructor Kevin Levins, who supervised students working on preparing land adjacent to the school for a new paved sports court.

While the first phase of the work was completed in February, there is a possibility the students may return for further work, Levins said.

Another community partnership benefiting the program came with a donation of concrete barriers by ABC Pre-Kast of Nanaimo. The barriers have been placed by students to secure the 40-acre HEO training site on Timberlands Road near the Nanaimo Airport.

Yet another donation came from Parkville’s Koers Engineering, who donated a total station engineering instrument to the HEO program. The instrument will be used by student to learn how to lay out projects by surveying elevations and distance.

The HEO program provides intensive, hands-on training in the operation of heavy equipment, routine maintenance of machinery, and the practical field operations of excavating, land clearing, grading and road building. It is the only one of its kind offered at a publicly-funded post-secondary school in BC.


Media Contact

Shari Bishop Bowes, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P:250.740.6443  C: 250.618.1535 E:

Tags: In the Community

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email