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Operating Heavy Machinery, Like Cranes, First Requires Learning the Trade

Updated on December 2, 2013

There are many viable career opportunities available to individuals without a college degree, however these often do require some type of formal training. If you want to pursue a career as an electrician, for example, you will need to earn a certification. This is also true for someone interested in heavy equipment operation. Heavy equipment operators are responsible for safely using large machinery for construction projects. There are many different types of heavy equipment used for a variety of projects, such as laying asphalt or pile driving. Another type of heavy machinery that one might choose to become an operator of is a crane.

If you choose to pursue a career as a heavy equipment operator, as already mentioned, you will still need to go through some formal training. There are several different types of cranes. You could learn how to operate them all through various trainings, or you could select mobile cranes, overhead cranes or tower cranes, for example. Different cranes fall into these categories and are as follows:

Types of Mobile Cranes: Boom Cranes, Lattice Boom Cranes, Boom Trucks and Industrial Cranes

Types of Overhead Cranes: Cab Operated, Pendant Operated and Remote Control Operated

Types of Tower Cranes: Self Erecting, Hammerhead Tower Cranes, Luffing Tower Cranes

Training programs for operating this type of heavy machinery teach you several things. For starters, in order to operate a crane, an individual must understand the terminology associated with the machine as well as what all of its components are. Training will also teach you how to safely operate the machinery and avoid accidents. Training will teach you various hand and voice signals used by radio operators, who assist the crane operator and standards set by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). These skills and more are what you can expect to learn when undergoing formal training to operate a crane.

After your training has been completed, you will move on to an apprenticeship where you will be able to gain on-the-job experience. After your apprenticeship has been completed, you will take an exam. Specific requirements for this exam can be found on the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators website. Upon completion, you can begin your search for a job as a crane operator.

If you are already a crane operator and need a piece of equipment for a project, check out Grand Davo Crane Rental, located in Kalamazoo, Mich. This company has been providing crane rentals since 1983. They offer the largest crane in the Midwest, which is a 240 ton Grove crane along with several other types.


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