An Outline of How to Hire The Right Crane Operator For Your Next Big Job

Cranes should not be operated by amateurs. Otherwise, someone could get killed.

Crane Operator

What should you know about a crane operator before hiring one?

Proper Certifications

First, are they certified? The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) administers Crane Operator Certification credentials for crane operators. An operator must hold the certification for the type of crane he or she operates. Some states and cities also require crane operators to hold a local license. Check to make sure your potential crane operator is licensed and certified and that nothing’s “expired.”

Where Did They Do Their Training?

Next, what was their training like? Don’t be afraid to ask them to tell you, in detail, where they attended school and what they learned in the classroom as well as on the job. Did they do an apprenticeship? Typically, employers offer training to new crane operators. Since there are different cranes and things change over time, it’s important that a crane operator keeps up-to-date on their knowledge of the industry. Have they operated the kind of crane you want them to operate for you? If not, that could be a problem.

How to Evaluate Crane Operators

Just like most jobs, crane operators get evaluated. Their boss keeps records of how well they performed the job in the past. You should feel free to ask to see their past evaluations. Read them and then ask questions.

Did you know that no higher education is required to be a crane operator? That surprises some people. Keep in mind that operating a crane is quite different than most jobs. It’s the kind of occupation that requires some classroom work, but, more importantly, actually “doing the job” is what helps an operator develop their skills. Thankfully, crane operators get to practice before they’re responsible for serious lifts, and they also have to pass several tests and mandatory training before they’re allowed to operate a machine on their own.

crane operator

If you want to test a potential crane operator, ask him or her some key questions pertaining to specific rules about crane operations. What do they know about weight limits? What are some key safety rules? Are they a sensible person who works within the rules or are they someone who thinks they know better than everyone else and can do whatever they please? Ideally, you want someone who works within the rules!

Planning First

Ask a potential crane operator to show you what they’d do with your crane before they actually turn it on. Have them walk around the crane with you and inspect it. Did they miss anything major? Did you see something that needs repairing that they missed? This safety inspection idea is a great way to test their attention to detail and see if they’re serious about their job.

Since a crane operator uses advanced machinery to move heavy equipment and materials from one spot to another, it’s important that they know about how cranes operate. Besides inspecting cranes, an operator should be able to explain how hydraulic systems work. Ask them how they’d move the crane’s arm into place, connect materials to the crane, and then move the crane and its arm to place materials. If they can explain that to your satisfaction, that indicates they have the needed knowledge to do their job.

Communication Is Key

Furthermore, they should be able to communicate well. If you understood what they said, that’s great! That means they probably communicate well with other people on the job, which is very important when moving heavy things. If they do a bad job at explaining the crane and its operation(s), they’re probably not the right candidate for your job. Just like with most jobs, being a good communicator truly matters.

Besides verbal communication skills, good crane operators have strong mechanical skills. They can work with precision, alertness and attention to detail. When hiring a crane operator, ideally you want someone who possesses these skills/traits. Obviously, you want someone whom you can trust to do the right thing at all times and not get sleepy or sloppy on the job. You do not want to hire a person who will compromise other people’s safety.

Crane Operators in the New England Area

Got a job in New England that needs a qualified, reliable crane operator? Astro Crane’s qualified crane operators can help you complete the job. They’ve got years of training and experience and work with different sizes of equipment to complete both simple and complex jobs.

Finding a good crane operator isn’t as simple as placing an ad on Craigslist or Facebook. Crane operators need to know all about the functions of cranes as well as necessary safety measures on the site. After all, they’re handling the kind of items that could literally kill someone if they’re not moved properly.

If you’re ready to connect with “the right crane operator for the job,” call Astro Crane at 978-429-8666 today. Astro Crane operates out of Boxborough, Massachusetts, and serves Greater New England.