Home / Blog / Industrial Services : Key Qualities and Qualifications for Licensed Heavy Industrial Contractors

Because of the size and complexity of industrial construction projects, these projects may employ vast numbers of workers and take years to complete. They require expert planning and procurement, efficient management of material and labor flow and effective communication and conflict resolution throughout the process. Heavy industrial workers must be able to operate and maintain large equipment such as cranes, graders, backhoes and loaders. The work can be dangerous, and workers must be adept at coordinating their actions with those of other team members and complying with safety protocols to prevent accidents and injuries. These factors make it crucial to find a heavy industrial contractor who is completely qualified and possessing of outstanding skill and quality.

Choosing A Licensed Heavy Industrial Contractor

When planning a heavy industrial project it is imperative to choose a contractor who is licensed to perform that type of work. An unlicensed contractor may not be bonded or insured, which places the project in a precarious position financially and legally should any problems arise. An owner who has contracted with a licensed company will also have greater legal recourse available should they experience problems with the contractor or the work performed. In addition, a company must be competent in many operations and in various types of construction to be able to perform heavy industrial work. They must also be adept at project and business management and knowledgeable about the laws and safety codes applicable to the project. Unlicensed contractors may lack the kinds of knowledge and skills necessary to complete the project as promised and according to code.

How Does A Company Become Licensed?

Each state has its own licensing process for heavy industrial construction. For example, in the state of Louisiana contractors must pass a four-hour, closed book exam consisting of 80 multiple-choice questions. The topics covered include the following:

  • Site preparation
  • Pilings and foundations
  • Structural steel
  • Concrete
  • Rigging and hoisting
  • Transmission piping
  • Industrial piping
  • Electrical distribution
  • Earth-moving
  • Harbors
  • Dams
  • Industrial equipment

Contractors must also complete a closed book, 80-question business and law exam, which tests candidates on their knowledge of project management processes and local and national law. Questions test the applicant’s understanding of the following:

  • Risk management
  • Contractor safety practices
  • Lien laws
  • License law
  • Labor laws
  • Federal and state tax laws
  • Estimating and bidding
  • Project management
  • Contracts
  • Accounting
  • Business organizations

A contractor must pass both exams in order to become a licensed heavy industrial contractor, proving that they are adept in both construction processes and business management practices. The process is similar in many states. These lists illustrate the extensive knowledge and expertise that a contractor must possess to be competent in this type of construction. Unlicensed contractors may lack crucial knowledge, skills and experience necessary to perform the work safely, efficiently and effectively.

What Types of Work Can a Heavy Industrial Contractor Perform?

A contractor who has passed the heavy industrial licensing process can complete many types of work. They may be in charge of an entire project from start to finish or they may be contracted to complete a single phase. Their work may require them to build a new edifice, remodel an existing structure, prepare a construction site or use their equipment to clear land or waterways. Sub-classifications of heavy industrial construction include:

  • Clearing, grubbing and snagging
  • Dredging
  • Foundations and pile driving
  • Industrial plants
  • Oil field construction
  • Railroads
  • Tunnels
  • Reservoirs, dams and flood control work
  • Electrical transmission lines
  • Industrial piping
  • Industrial ventilation
  • Oil refineries
  • Transmission pipeline construction
  • Docks, harbors, wharves and terminals

Heavy industrial companies may also also perform work on city utilities and in disaster relief areas. Many of the kinds of construction completed by this type of contractor require expert knowledge and the ability to employ specialized equipment and safety precautions because of the potential hazards involved.

When choosing a heavy industrial contractor, it is important to find a company that is licensed and has extensive experience and a strong reputation. They should offer financial strength, competitive pricing and commitment to providing quality work with integrity. Workers should be skilled and experienced and supervisors should be vigilant and committed to safety, efficiency and excellence. Polaris is an industry-leading engineering firm that performs services such as engineering, power generation, construction, procurement, consulting, industrial fabrication, and industrial maintenance. Polaris is a fully licensed Heavy Industrial Contractor in the Gulf Coast region with extensive experience in the industry.

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