Welcome to Arkansas Heavy Equipment Operator Training Academy (AHEOTA)

Are you ready for an exciting new career as a heavy equipment operator?  If you love working outdoors, enjoy being in control of large, powerful machines to carve out roads and construction sites, or if you prefer to work in the forest using the latest high-tech logging equipment to harvest trees, then the Arkansas Heavy Equipment Operator Training Academy is for you.

Our program is administered and provided through UAM-COT-McGehee, but the program is located in Monticello, Arkansas on the Diesel Training Academy campus. If you have any questions, would like a tour of the school or to learn more about the program, please contact us.

We are pleased to be able to offer two courses of study -- Construction and Timber. Information listed below.

AHEOTA is very proud of our construction program, which has been in existence since 2005.  Students are taught from the latest NCCER textbooks and are required to score 70% on each test in order to pass.  The classroom instruction and field work both stress safety and correct operating procedures, and covers a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Bulldozer
  • Backhoe loader
  • Hydraulic excavator
  • Motor grader
  • Off-road dump truck operation
  • Grades
  • Soils
  • OSHA regulations

Students are also certified in CPR and First Aid, either through the American Red Cross or through the American Heart Association and also receive forklift & OSHA 10-hour certification.

Each semester the students spend approximately 1 ½ months "in the field"; that is, the program leases equipment and students get actual seat time on various machines, as conditions dictate.

Construction students successfully completing the program will receive national certification through the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research).

The program lasts for 2 semesters and 1 summer term, and follows the schedule of the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM). Construction students are required to take an additional 3 hours of English and 3 hours of Math to obtain a technical certificate from UAM. A Certificate of Proficiency can be earned after 1 semester is successfully completed. Additionally, a student may earn or apply college hours already earned (if they are transferable within the U of A system) totaling 60 hours, which will entitle the student to an Associate's degree.

The program is currently using the hybrid mode of instruction,with students taking classes on Blackboard and NCCER tests on the NCCER website. During field operations, these days are Monday-Friday. Financial aid is available for qualified students.

AHEOTA for Timber Producers is a brand new, first-of-its-kind training facility for logging equipment in the state.  Modeled on the successful construction program already in place, the Timber Program, as it is referred to on campus, seeks to find and train individuals who wish to enter the exciting, fast-paced world of a logging equipment operator. 

If you're thinking about a career in the log woods, then you should seriously consider enrolling in our program.  We train students to operate on:

  • Rubber-tired feller-buncher
  • Log skidder
  • Hydraulic log loader with pull-through delimber

We were fortunate to have the John Deere Company and Warrior of Arkansas donate a simulator for our use.  This simulator is designed to train operators on the new cut-to-length system offered by John Deere and other manufacturers.  Second semester students will receive instruction not only on how to operate the machines, but also on how to change the programming parameters to have the machine cut what is desired, as far as lengths and diameters.

At this point in time, we are not able to lease actual cut-to-length machines for student training, but we are working on this.  Students will take field trips to several jobs to observe different techniques and procedures for producing different products.

Classroom time covers modules on each piece of equipment, along with guest safety videos, guest speakers, and field trips.  Students also complete a module on map reading and land location.  Students are also certified in CPR and First Aid and can earn the OSHA 10-hour certification.

Second semester students will spend much time on the John Deere simulator, learning the controls and various functions, and also delving into the settings applications.  Several field trips are to be scheduled as well as guest speakers from different aspects of the industry.

The program meets 2 days per week, usually Monday/Tuesday or Wednesday/Thursday, from 8:00 to 4:30.  During field operations, these days will have to be adjusted.

Timber students have the same admissions requirements as do construction students, but with one major difference.  If a timber student is denied financial aid, the program has some funds available for scholarships for qualified students.  This option is only available for those students wishing to go through the timber producers' program.  Any students classified as on financial denial or on academic probation are not eligible.

Although the class is offered through UAM/COT-McGehee, the AHEOTA program is located in Warren on the high school property in the SEACBEC building. Contact us for driving directions. 

Highly trained instructors and top-of-the line equipment make our program the best for you. Come visit us and get started on your career today!

contact information

Phone: 870-460-2197

Main Office:  870-222-5360

Campus Life