Working on a crane can be a thrilling, rewarding and well paid occupation. If you’re seeking to become a crane operator, we have compiled some need-to-know information to get you started.
What Does a Crane Operator Do?
A crane operator is the person who transports various objects using a crane and ensures that associated safety procedures are followed. A crane operator is generally responsible for the following tasks:
- Steering equipment with foot pedals, levers or wheels
- Moving material according to a schedule from supervisors
- Recording material moved
- Inspecting crane equipment
How Do You Get Qualified?
To work as a crane operator in Australia, you must receive a High Risk Work License for the class of crane you want to operate.
At Construction Training International, you can choose from the 11 different crane operations for a specialised delivered course over 32 hours for 4 consecutive days. After course completion, you will receive a statement of attainment and a High Risk License issued by WorkSafe Victoria.
What Are The Different Types of Cranes?
There are two types of cranes: fixed and mobile. Mobile cranes can be easily dismantled and are mounted onto a mobile platform, such as a truck. Fixed cranes are fixed into the ground, which reduces flexibility but gives greater ability to lift larger loads.
When choosing what type of crane you’d like to operate, think about what type of workplace you would like to work in, or are working in, and what would suit those conditions. There are 11 types of crane operations to choose from:
|1. Tower crane
2. Self-erecting tower crane
3. Vehicle loading crane
4. Non-slewing mobile crane (>3 tonne capacity)
5. Slewing mobile crane Class C2 (up to 20 tonne capacity)
6. Slewing mobile crane Class C2 (up to 60 tonne capacity)
|7. Slewing mobile crane Class C2 (up to 100 tonne capacity)
8. Slewing mobile crane Class C2 (over 100 tonne capacity)
9. Bridge and gantry crane
10. Derrick crane
11. Portal boom crane
What Is An Average Day As A Crane Operator Like?
“There’s variety, the money’s good, it’s different every day and there’s a lot of satisfaction in going home happy after doing a good job and building something lasting.” – Mobile Crane Operator Jim
Crane operators work in a broad range of environments, varying from construction, warehousing to mining. The tasks and equipment involved during crane operations depend largely on what industry you’re in. For example, operators in a warehouse usually use stacker or vertical cranes and there is an emphasis on keeping track of merchandise. Within mining, however, slewing or gantry cranes are usually used to remove earth, extract ore and other mined materials.
One of the hardest things about being a crane operator is the long shifts, which are usually up to 12 hours. Sometimes crane work can be extremely noisy, so it’s essential that you use the correct PPE and ear protection. Although crane operators spend all day in constant communication with other people through radios and hand gestures, they usually stay in the crane for the entire day and miss out on some of the socialisation that comes with other jobs.
Generally operators tend to stick with their job for many years. There is the opportunity for career growth, and crane operators are often able to move up, become supervisors or even buy their own equipment and go into business for themselves.
As with any career you want to enter, you should think long about the pros and cons of the occupation and how it would fit with your lifestyle. Being a crane operator comes with a high level of responsibility and demand, but can also be equally fulfilling and enjoyable. If it sounds like something you’re after, take a look at our list of courses in crane operations.