Knuckle Boom Crane Training

knuckle boom crane trainingKnuckle Boom Crane Training and You—Do You Need It or Not?

You see them almost every day but may not even know it. Knuckle Boom Cranes have become such an integral part of our lives here in America that we don’t even bat an eyelash when we see one driving down the road (unless it’s really big—like Effer’s 885 10-ton behemoth). But many much smaller knuckle boom cranes are used in various industries from delivery and construction to telecommunication and public utilities. You don’t think anything of passing a log truck on the highway or a pickup truck-mounted knuckle boom on your way to work—but maybe you should. With the growing prevalence of knuckle boom trucks in a wide array of industries, the need for knuckle boom crane training is increasing as well.

These types of lifting machines have been extremely popular in Europe for decades because their compact size and utility allows them to operate in tight quarters (like a village street) with extreme precision. They’re also very efficient—using hydraulic pistons for smooth, reliable lifting power. Now that popularity has really spread around the globe, making knuckle boom cranes essential equipment for hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide.

Here in The United States, understanding the rules, regulations, and requirements of knuckle boom crane training, certification, and operation can be a nightmare. Let’s see if we can demystify the world of this utilitarian lifting machine a little.

What is a Knuckle Boom Truck?

A knuckle boom truck is a truck onto which a knuckle boom crane has been mounted. Sounds simple right? Well, even this definition can get complicated. Knuckle boom lifts can be mounted on:

  • Pickup trucks
  • Commercial trucks
  • Trailers

That mounting can be permanent or temporary. In some cases, the crane can even be removed from the truck and operated as a standalone unit—often seen in logging and forestry operations.

However, anytime these two pieces of machinery are connected, you have a knuckle boom truck.

Do OSHA Regulations Pertain to Knuckle Boom Cranes?

The agency which oversees and regulates almost every industry in which knuckle boom cranes are operating here in The United States is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This agency creates a large number of rules and regulations pertaining to the safe operation of equipment in the workplace—including cranes.

Does OSHA have regulations that apply to knuckle boom cranes? Yes. At least in some cases. For example, if a knuckle boom truck is being used to deliver building materials to a construction site and simply drops those materials at ground level, it’s considered a delivery vehicle and no special certification is needed.

If that truck is supposed to deliver those materials above ground level (say to an upper story of a multi-level construction site) or to position equipment (like generators) at the site, it can be considered a construction vehicle. In that case, the operator needs to have certification from a nationally accredited agency.

However, that’s not to say that knuckle boom crane training is unnecessary. Even in circumstances in which certification isn’t required the operator must always be “qualified.” This qualification can often be demonstrated through on-the-job experience but may also be demonstrated through successfully completing a knuckle boom crane training course.

Do You Need Certification for a Knuckle Boom Crane?

Because knuckle boom cranes come in such a wide array of sizes and configurations and are used in such a variety of ways that certification isn’t always necessary. In The United States, certification requirements are almost always based on the machine’s lifting capacity (not necessarily the maximum height of the lifting equipment.

For example, if you’re operating a knuckle boom crane with a capacity of fewer than 5 tons, no special certification is needed in most cases. However, if you’re operating a knuckle boom with a capacity between 5 and 65 tons, certification is required.

This flow chart was created to help individuals understand federal regulations pertaining to the certification of crane operators. Just answer the questions as prompted and follow the arrows to find out whether or not you need accredited certification in order to safely (and legally) operate a knuckle boom crane in your area.

What Is the Most Popular Certification for Knuckle Boom Crane Training?

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is a nationally accredited and OASHA-approved supervisory agency for crane training facilities and programs. Nationwide Crane Training has been using programs that strictly adhere to NCCCO guidelines for years to train and certify operators in the safe and proper use of a variety of equipment (including multiple types and classes of cranes). For example, NCT offers off-site private training sessions for both Articulated Boom Cranes (ABCs) and Articulated Boom Loaders (ABLs) in addition to their on-site crane training courses available at multiple campuses across the country.

NCT is also now offering NCCCO certified knuckle boom crane training in private, closed-enrollment classes at hosted locations all over The United States. The training program is flexible, affordable, and can be conducted when it suits your schedule at a location of your choosing.

To learn more about knuckle boom crane training and the various certification requirements for your company’s crane operators, contact NCT today. Call us at (877) 628-2762 or contact us online.

NCCCO Crane Operator Certification


NCCCO certificationNationwide Crane Training is a leader in providing individuals and groups with training and exams to obtain NCCCO Crane Operator Certification. More than ever, finding quality crane training is of the utmost importance. In addition to the added measure of safety a well-trained crane operator provides, NCCCO crane operator certification also meets – OSHA & ASME requirements. Continue reading “NCCCO Crane Operator Certification” »

Crane Training for Jobs in California

Crane Operator Training in essential for finding a Crane Job in California

Crane operator training in California is essential because the Golden State is one of a handful of states that require all operators to earn NCCCO re-certification every 5 years. Crane operators need to stay on top of their skills and any new regulations in order to remain constantly eligible for the over 8,000 high paying crane operator jobs in California.

How much can you earn in California? Crane operator training can lead to a very lucrative career for any individual. Entry level positions pay up to $39,000 per year while the average is closer to $54,000!

Crane Operator Training in California Made Easy

Nationwide Crane Training can make the certification and re-certification process easier so you can get on with your career and quit worrying about testing. Our dedicated Crane Training School is centrally located in Bakersfield, California and the course only lasts 6 days!

NCT has been in the business of training expert crane operators for years. We’re a nationwide company that provides expert instructors, hands-on learning, and a guarantee like no other. Not only are our crane operator classes affordable – up to 20% less than the competition – each student is guaranteed to pass the written portion of their exams!

In addition, NCT training is flexible and can be adapted to fit your schedule. We can even provide equipment on which to train if you don’t have — or don’t want to transport — your own.

From signalperson skills to crane safety and beyond, NCT offers a variety of group and individual crane operator classes across California. Find the classes nearest you: call 877-NCT-CRANE or 877-628-2726 right now.

Crane Operator Classes in New York

Crane Operator Classes in New York Help You Get Your Foot in the Door!

Crane operator classes in New York can put your annual salary over $500,000. That’s according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ discovered that many of the 6,000 plus union crane operators in the Big Apple were making $500,000 or more per year after wages and benefits were added up. In fact, the average salary for a crane operator in New York City comes in at just over $82 per hour!

That’s the highest in the nation!

But you need the skills to get the job. New York requires crane operator classes and NCCCO Certification for all crane operators union or otherwise. Thankfully, that process may soon become easier than ever. Governing agencies in New York are considering changing regulations so that NYC crane operators would only have to pass standardized national tests in order to work in the city. That would open up the thousands of crane operator jobs in NYC to workers from outside!

Nationwide Crane Training Classes in New York

At Nationwide Crane Training we’ve been providing the highest quality crane operator classes in New York for years. Our individual and group rates are competitive and the instructors are industry insiders with real in-crane experience.

Choose from:

We have the highest pass rate of any training agency and our instructors work hand-in-hand with students to ensure every one passes the written exam.

Call NCT today at 877-NCT-CRANE or 877-628-2726 for crane operator classes in New York.

Economic Downturn Produces Increase in CCO Re-certifications

Some would think that a difficult economy would cause a decrease in the number of crane operators who pay to keep their certifications current – especially among those crane operators who are not working at the moment. Instead, the opposite is proving true.

Crane Operators understand that it costs less to re-certify than it does to lose their certification and then have to start the process all over again down the road.

That is why even out-of-work men and women are choosing to take advantage of how easy it is to re-certify. Instead of having to travel extensively to take a written test and then wait weeks for results, computer based testing (CBT) has greatly simplified the process. Operators can take a CBT re-certification test at one of more 260 centers. These testing centers are located all over the country, so most operators will only have, at most, a two hour drive to reach one.

And no more long wait for results. With CBT, the results are instant. The operator will know right away whether or not he or she passed. While it doesn’t seem that operators need an additional incentive to keep their certification current, the NCCCO offers one anyway.

Crane Operators who maintain certifications for minimum periods of time will be classified as two-star, three-star operators based on how long they have maintained their certifications.

An influx of new certification requests will likely be the result of a new decision by the UA. The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA), made the decision recently to require the NCCCO Signalperson certification for members who would deal with cranes or any type of lifting. This decision was made to enhance the safety of the workplaces.

Keeping crane operator certifications current during a down economy is, in some ways, more important than at any other time. Why spend the extra money to start all over in the future? More importantly, why lose a potential employment opportunity because you allowed the certification to lapse?

Take advantage of CBT re-certification and give yourself every opportunity to shine in the eyes of current or potential employers.

A Crane Operator Career

A career as a crane operator is rewarding financially and in providing the operator with a sense of accomplishment. A crane is a very complicated and potentially dangerous piece of equipment. It’s not like you can just watch someone operate one and then hop on. Instead, becoming a crane operator and receiving the necessary crane operator certification will take some training and dedication.

How to Become a Crane Operator

Many trade schools and organizations offer crane training. You’ll want to make sure that you earn your crane operator certification from a source that meets OSHA certification requirements, such as Nationwide Crane Training.

There are different types of cranes. Some require more training and additional certification. Once you enroll in a crane training course, you will be able to learn about the different types of machines and decide which you would like to become certified to operate.

What Crane Operators Do

One of the reasons that many crane operators say that they enjoy their jobs is that it is not necessarily the same day in and day out. Crane operators perform a variety of tasks such as:

  • Lifting construction materials on construction sites
  • Lifting and moving heavy equipment
  • Maintaining all safety regulations
  • Communicating with others on the team

In addition to operating the crane, communicating and making sure proper safety procedures are followed; crane operators must also participate in continuing education and recertification. Nationwide Crane Training provides all of the certifications and ongoing training that is necessary for you to continue to grow in your career as a crane operator.

Where Crane Operators Work

Crane operators work in a variety of places such as:

  • The military
  • Shipyards
  • Construction sites
  • Cruise ship ports
  • Government projects, such as building bridges
  • And many more

There are many possibilities, which is another reason that many choose a career as a crane operator.

What Crane Operators Love About Their Jobs

So is a career as a crane operator worth all of the training, ongoing education and certifications that are required? Yes! The Wall Street Journal wrote that crane operators are the highest paid construction workers. But the money isn’t the only reason that crane operators love their jobs. Some love the challenge, others the sense of purpose. Below are some quotes from crane operators about why they love their choice of careers.

“I enjoy the thrill of the power of the boom and the engine, balancing the hook, handing someone a beam 300 feet away and putting it right in their hands. I enjoy working with high quality people which many unions provide.”

“Crane operating gives the operator a sense of purpose, knowing that they have the ability to conquer often impossible tasks.”

“I love when I drive past a building years after I have finished it, knowing that almost every part of that structure has gone through my hook. Also, the view from my tower, and being able to nap when I’m not doing anything.”

“I enjoy the thought of 100 years or so down the line , long after I’m dead and gone, somebodys gonna look up at something that I’ve put up and just for a second stop and think ‘I wonder who did that ?’ I know I’m never gonna change the world. I will soon be gone and forgotten, but just for that second…”

As you can see, a career as a crane operator is rewarding in many ways. Start today and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying a career as a crane operator.