As a kid, the idea of manning a crane may have filled your heart full of wonder. Cranes are a crowning staple of any construction site and they stick out for the world to see. But with great power comes great responsibility.
This article will go over the basics of how to operate a crane truck. We’re sure it will give you a whole new appreciation for the job!
Why Use a Crane Truck?
When taking on a big job in the construction industry, large heavy items will more than likely need to be picked up. Boom trucks and cranes are most often used as the delivery and moving vehicles of the construction industry. Cranes are used to mitigate the risk that comes up on construction sites, as using other methods to move very hazardous materials is not always safe for the staff involved.
Cranes are useful because of their high points of leverage. Along with having a height advantage, it also has a good handle and with its ability to move slow can help navigate more unruly loads. But the most important reason to use a boom truck or a crane is because of its ability to handle heavy equipment or large objects.
How to Operate a Crane Truck
Cranes are a complicated machine with many moving parts. In order to operate a crane, you have to know both the physical and mental parts. Assessing these parts will allow you to handle a crane with respect and safety. Knowing these basic tips will help you assess all aspects of crane operation.
Know your job
Go to your job site briefing. Know what you will be lifting and what the load chart is for your crane. Be sure to communicate with your crew and crew leaders so you can get to know them and be able to communicate with them before, during, and after the operation.
Know your limits
Every boom truck or crane on a construction site has a load chart. This load chart is your guide to what your crane can and can’t handle. Reading up on it before your job and keeping tabs on it during your maneuvers can save lives. Take your time to calculate every load to make sure you are loading, moving, and unloading your materials safely.
Test your crane
Every crane is different; some are manual some have hydraulics, some are on a boom truck, and some are temporarily stationary. Knowing the dynamics of how they work beforehand is one thing, but when working with new equipment you should always test out its operations first. Get a feel for how they handle and where the controls are.
For example, most cranes operate in 360 degrees nowadays, but some older cranes only operate in 180. Both these types have different load charts with different mathematical equations to keep track of. As with most construction machines, operators need time to get used to the speed and handling so they can focus on the math.
Knowing boom truck pressure
Boom truck operators and stationed cranes operator must understand the pressure the crane puts on the environment around it. When operating a crane, it uses stabilizers to help keep it from tipping over when dealing with heavy loads. Making sure you evenly distribute weight is a must! If you have to put a ton of force on one particular stabilizer, using the right outrigger to disburse the pressure is important.
Cranes and mobile cranes can be a tricky mistress for everyone involved in operating and for anyone working around them. Making sure everyone is on board for how the workday is going to go is important. Also being sure to signal your fellow workers and knowing how they can signal you can help save lives. Remember, there are things they can see that you can’t and vice-versa.
Get proper training
There’s a lot of things you’ll learn from doing and testing things out, however having someone show you the rope first is the safest option. Especially because OSHA has specific guidelines for training; some of which they are still working on today.
There are a few different ways you can get an operator certification as discussed in the new OSHA rules. These methods include strick onsite training and written tests:
- Certification by a nationally-accredited crane operating and testing organization
- An employer’s independently-audited program that is either okayed by either the U.S. military or local and state guidelines that align with strict federal guidelines
Certified Operators Love Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging
At Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging you know you’re getting OSHA certified materials and equipment for your next construction and utility rigging operation. We also offer OSHA rigging certifications to help you follow your dreams of manning your own crane. Contact us today and we can discuss materials and training with you.