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What it is Like to Be a Crane Operator

What it is Like to Be a Crane Operator

Cranes are undoubtedly crucial equipment in the construction industry. With the increasing number of constructions in Nevada, California, and Arizona, there are high chances of finding a crane in operation. The meticulous operations that come with this equipment all rely on the crane operator. This profession is quite demanding to ensure smooth operations and maintain safety. It also has its challenges that every crane operator must deal with daily. 

Here at Reliable Crane Service, we take pride in hiring the best crane operators who are well-equipped and trained to handle any cranes we send to your project site. We also offer support systems to complement their operation and maintain our impeccable zero-incident record. Meanwhile, here's a detailed look at what it looks like to be a crane operator. 

Day to Day

As a tower crane operator, you will likely spend most of your life in a crane, high above everyone else at various work sites. The work is outdoors, often in noisy conditions from construction and heavy machinery. Sometimes, you may have to travel to different work sites and live away from home for prolonged periods, depending on the nature of the project. 

A typical crane operator's work week spans a minimum of 40 hours, with the possibility of working overtime during peak periods. Some of the tasks that define a crane operator's day-to-day duties include the following: 

  • Operating a crane to hoist, move, or place various materials or equipment

  • Calculating load capacities and inspecting cranes

  • Setting up tower cranes at the work site

  • Cleaning and lubricating cranes, among other regular maintenance tasks

Besides these day-to-day duties, our crane operators at Reliable Crane Service are tasked with a daily crane 25-point inspection before they start their operation. This ensures that their cranes are in perfect condition for smooth and safe operation. We also have a standby support staff to maintain optimal safety at our job sites. 

On the Job Challenges

One of the most significant challenges crane operators face is harsh weather and ground conditions. Therefore, they must always look out for potential hazards to avoid endangering themselves and the rest of the crew members and ensure everything goes as planned. Some of the challenges that they have to go through include the following: 

  • Cold temperatures, which can compromise equipment startups or cause hydraulic features to malfunction

  • Wind gusts, which could impact the safety of lifting and moving operations 

  • Heavy loads, which require attention to detail and the right skillset

  • Fog, snow, or rain, which could impair visibility 

At Reliable Crane Service, we've equipped our crane operators with adequate resources to help them get through all the challenges of their operation, from comprehensive mobile crane hand signal charts, journeyman rigger's reference cards, rigging hardware capacities, shackles charts, and more. 

We also look out for new ways to improve our excellent safety record and require our riggers to pass a qualifying class exhibiting both knowledge and practical know-how of technical terms.

Training and Qualifications

Every rigger should have proper training and qualifications to be hired. With the safety demands in the crane industry changing every time, crane operators are expected to seek more qualifications and certifications to acquire a crane operator license. Besides that, they're expected to attend ongoing refresher courses to meet new operations requirements in the industry. 

At Reliable Crane Service, all our crane operators possess a current NCCCO license. This means they have gone through NCCCO's rigorous crane operation licensing program that requires every operator to pass a general written exam, a crane-specific written exam, and a practical exam to qualify. 

Besides that, all our operators have over 15 years of experience working in the California, Nevada, and Arizona construction landscape, with most of their time spent in prestigious projects like the construction of the New LA Rams/Charger Stadium. 

See How the Crane Operators at Reliable Crane Service Can Bring Your Project to Completion

Being a crane operator requires a deep understanding of crane mechanics, safety protocols, load capacity, attention to detail, and clear communication with the rest of the construction crew. This makes this profession physically and mentally challenging. 

However, with proper training, resources, and operation measures, it's easier to navigate every challenge, maintain smooth operations, and complete tasks with zero incidence. 

At Reliable Crane Service, all our crane operators meet the highest standards needed in their operation. We ensure they've undergone rigorous training, undertake regular evaluations, and have all the support and resources needed to ensure smooth operations and maintain the highest safety standards. Get in touch with our team to find out more about our services.

Image credit: Oleg Totskyi via Shutterstock