Mobile Crane Operator
Mobile crane operators operate mobile cranes to lift, move, position and place materials and equipment. They perform pre‐operational inspections. They calculate crane capacities, determine load weight, and set up, position and stabilize the crane before the lift. Mobile crane operators have the additional responsibilities of disassembling, traveling and transporting mobile cranes. They may also participate in rigging procedures. They also perform some routine maintenance and housekeeping of the crane equipment such as lubricating and cleaning.
Mobile cranes are used in many industry sectors. They are very commonly used in the construction of buildings and the assembly of large equipment. They are used in locations such as construction sites, warehouses, factories, mines, oil rigs, refineries, railway yards, ships, windmill farms and ports. Mobile crane operators may be employed by rental companies, construction firms, manufacturers, public utilities, transport sector companies, ship builders, cargo-handlers, airports, railways and mines.
Mobile cranes come in different types such as crawlers, truck-mounted, rough-terrain and all‑terrain. The boom of the crane may be lattice or telescopic. Some mobile cranes are fitted with equipment, including piledriver, clamshell, dragline, wrecking ball, magnet and personnel basket, which can perform specialized functions. They may be outfitted with heavy lift attachments, tower attachments and luffing jibs.
Some mobile crane operators specialize in different crane functions. In some cases, an operator may work for years on a single large site, operating a single type and size of mobile crane. Mobile crane operators working for rental companies may rarely work on the same site more than once and may routinely perform a variety of tasks with different types and sizes of mobile cranes.
The majority of the work in this trade is outdoors. Key attributes for people entering the trade are strong communication skills, mechanical aptitude, mathematical ability, excellent visual and depth perception and a high degree of hand-foot-eye coordination. The operation of some mobile cranes is physically demanding as is the handling of accessories.
Mobile crane operators interact with other tradespeople, contractors and customers.
The skills of mobile crane operators are transferable to operating other heavy equipment. With experience, mobile crane operators may move into careers such as business owners, supervisors, trainers and job coordinators.