I disagree. Too many generalities. Not to mention, not very respectable. There are a lot of similarities to both lines of work. And, as in all things, in this regard, what exactly are you doing to get that high rate of pay? Or conversly, that low rate of pay.
-Take road building for example. Sure lots of guys say they can do it, but boy do lots of guys get fired quick. Laying grade 12 hours a day with rough rock fresh from the quarry, still smoking with AMEX, in the the dark, without anybody to rate your grade...well it's tough. Gotta grease your own machine before and after. Then drive home. By yourself. Mostly do your own maintenance, unless you can't lift it. And, well, no excuses...you have to be able to produce a given amount of road in a given amount of time. Or, you go home. A lot of road building contracts are actually bid with a specific operator in mind. Yes, the ditches are the easy part.
-You want to be a hoe operator on a drill rig? Or pipeline? You better be smooth every time. A lot like building diamond drills...people have fingers in there all the time. You make a mistake with a hoe, and people get squished quick. Guys in the bite, all. day. long.
-You want to stack logs on a truck? You better know your wood. And you better be quick. And you better be smooth. or the truck drivers will run you off. If you can't run a landing safely, you go home. Lot's of guys try it, thinking they can get off the saw, or stop running chokers, but the fact is not many make it. Or how about feller bunching on cliff sides. Quite a few jobs are based on one particular operator showing up actually doing the job. Or if you want to work a heli landing you better know your stuff. I've seen "low life" chasers run off a few operators. There is a reason for it.
-How about rock scaling? A guy needs a real pair for that job.
- Or how about "just" a ditch? The ones with stacked pipe, no map, and maybe an electrical line. And you have to pick away one rock at a time with the teeth of the bucket, and not hit the guy in the hole guiding you with his shovel.
Not every hoe operator makes 6 figures, but when the work is there, I've known a few that make pretty good money. And there is a reason for it. They work hard. The hours are long. There are a few jobs with "standby" pay but not many. For the most part they have to be moving something to get paid. And just like a helicopter, they are moving material for a given rate, at a given rate an hour. Not everybody can do it. Just like not every pilot can Heli Log. Not every pilot can move drills. But those that do, you usually don't hear from them, they show up, do a job, go home. A west coast owner operator will work every day for 3 months. And they are tired. Most hoe operators aren't paid a daily rate for 4 months and get paid whether it rains or the machine doesn't work. There is a few exceptions, sure but not very many. Most guys just become owner operators.
I've actually double dipped. I've flown my guys into a remote site, and then run a little hoe all day. Get in the helicopter and fly home. Running the hoe was harder work. And if you took my salary out of the equation , I was making more money running the hoe.
Now I'm sure you could poke holes in this little diatribe all day long. I personally have chosen to work in this industry. I've had good years and bad. I've been paid well, and I've been paid poorly. Much the same as when I operated an excavator or operated well sites, or God forgive me, heli-logged lol! But the one thing I am sure of is this. I'm pretty sure there isn't a gaggle of hoe operators, or truck drivers or heli-loggers sitting around arguing to strangers on a forum, for more pay in their own line of work, because another line of work gets paid equally or more.... They usually just call the pilot a bunch of colorful names (And I assure you "Moron" isn't one of them) , and just switch jobs.