This two-day course includes one day of classroom training and one day of hands-on training delivered on-site using the hosting agency's facilities and equipment.

Day one consists of classroom instruction that will cover tort liability that operators need to know, road hazards, daily equipment maintenance, safety PPE, principles of a good road, proper profile, proper blading techniques and maintenance of roads, safe operation, snow removal, and how to build a road to include slopes, super elevations, ditches, and drainage. The training is centered on the operator and techniques for operating a grader.

Day two includes field training conducted at the hosting agency's road site, where attendees will have the opportunity to operate the equipment and practice what they've learned.

Image of motor grader

Dates & Locations

The training will be hosted by the following agencies on the dates indicated below.

Hosting Agency: Lyon County Highway Department [FULL]

  • Classroom Day 1: May 15, 2017 (all operators attend)
  • Hands-on training: May 16, 17 and 19 (operators will split into groups and attend one of these days)

Hosting Agency: Stearns County Highway Department [FULL]

  • Classroom Day 1: June 5, 2017 (all operators attend)
  • Hands-on training: June 6-8 (operators will split into groups and attend one of these days)

Hosting Agency: Ottertail County Highway Department [FULL]

  • Classroom Day 1: July 17, 2017 (all operators attend)
  • Hands-on training: July 18-20 (operators will split into groups and attend one of these days)


To register, please send an e-mail to Mindy Carlson at or call 612-625-1813. The registration fee is $250 per person and includes lunch on the classroom day. Space is limited, so early registration is recommended. 

Who Should Attend

Motor-grader operators and supervisors who manage motor-grader operators should attend this program. New operators find the training helpful and experienced operators feel it is a good refresher course. Supervisors who attend will stay abreast of new developments and operating techniques.

Course Instructor

Brian Jackson has been a heavy equipment operator for 28 years. He began operating equipment at 8 years old on a farm with a tractor. He joined the U.S. Navy (Seabees) at 18 and began operating heavy equipment. Brian spent two years in Coronado, CA, with an Amphibious Construction Battalion and then spent three years at the Naval Air Station in Adak, AK, with the public works department. By the time Brian left the Navy, he was licensed on 49 different pieces of equipment including light automotive, tractor trailer, various snow removal equipment and construction equipment (dozers, graders, loaders, backhoes, scrapers, and cranes). Brian then spent over 20 years at Fillmore County, NE, where he ran a route of 78 miles and completed many grade projects across the county.  Brian has also worked for various private contractors operating equipment on a part-time basis. He started instructing grader operators for NE LTAP in 1999 as a volunteer before joining NE LTAP as a full-time equipment trainer in 2015. In his current role, he provides equipment training across the state for county, city and state employees on virtually all equipment. Brian is a licensed County Superintendent in the state of NE. Brian loves to operate equipment and really enjoys training others on the operation of equipment. When we asked Brian to tell us something unique about his life experience, he replied “when I was 19 and in the Navy I was selected to train David 'The Admiral' Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs to operate a dozer. I also dug a basement under our house by hand using picks, shovels, and five-gallon buckets."


Informational Contact

Contact Mindy Carlson,, 612-625-1813.


This workshop is presented by the Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) at the Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota. Minnesota LTAP is sponsored by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This course is subsidized through funding from LRRB and FHWA.