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If you have ever visited a construction or mining, or shipbuilding site in New Zealand, then there is a very high chance that you have spotted a crane operator. Every crane operator who goes through the Truck Mounted Crane Operator Training holds an indispensable position in certain industries (shipbuilding, mining, mainly construction, etc.).

But what does a crane operator really do, and how promising is the current job market for someone with this skill set? In this blog post, we are going to discuss this very topic and, also, fill you up with important details about the process of becoming a crane operator. If you’re interested in becoming one, then this blog post is the right one for you. Let’s keep reading.

As a crane operator, what are your responsibilities?

Crane operators are in charge of controlling a mobile crane in order to lift, move, place, and reposition a variety of heavy items. The operator controls various crane functions by pressing buttons, stepping on foot pedals, and adjusting crane levers. The unloading of accessories from trailers and other vehicles is a required task for operators of cranes. The operators are given hand signals and/or verbal instructions by a rigger or signal person so that the former understand what actions they need to take.

Crane operators are required to perform the following inspections in order to ensure that all of the machinery they operate always stays in perfect working condition:

  • Pre-trip inspection
  • Post-trip inspection
  • Daily equipment inspection
  • Monthly equipment inspection.

Crane operators, who should have completed truck mounted crane operator training programme in New Zealand, usually work under the direction and supervision of another person. They are expected to put in long hours that require them to sit, stand, move, or climb every now and then.

The operator also exposes themselves to the harsh environment while working outdoors, throughout the year. At the same time, the operator might need to work on weekends or during holidays, however, their off days might be compensated later, as per their company’s standard operating procedure.

What do crane operators do?

The construction industry in New Zealand places a significant emphasis on the use of cranes. You will have a direct impact on the development of New Zealand’s infrastructure if you pursue a career as a crane operator and have completed the truck mounted crane operator training programme. It doesn’t matter if you need to move heavy loads, lift structures into place, or unload containers from trucks: wherever there is development, there is a need for skilled crane operators.

Crane operators are responsible for moving large and heavy objects using cranes. This can include heavy parts in factories, containers on wharves, and construction materials at construction sites.

On any given day, as a crane operator, you’ll be given the following tasks:

  • Transporting mobile cranes to and from different construction sites
  • Carrying out work with the assistance of a crane
  • Using slings to lift loads that a crane can pick up
  • Examining the crane to ensure that it is erected appropriately and safely
  • Conducting checks on the water, fuel, and oil levels of the crane, in addition to its other mechanical components.

The operator, who must have completed formal truck mounted crane operator training, needs to maintain standard professionalism, coordination and communication with their peers. It doesn’t matter who’s controlling the crane, what matters the most is that everyone on the team works together efficiently.

How to know if you’re suitable for this job?

There are a few fundamental abilities that, if you possess them, will allow you to advance in your career as a crane operator. You really ought to be:

  • Accountable for your work.
  • Have a habit of being well-organized.
  • Comfortable working at different heights.
  • Loves working outdoors, no matter what the weather.
  • Should like to handle heavy machinery.
  • Maintains a decent level of physical fitness.
  • Bears above-average hand-eye coordination, hearing abilities, and vision (with or without spectacles).
  • Maintains clarity in communication with everyone at work.
  • Open to the idea of having flexible working hours. At times, you might need to work in the evenings, on weekends or on-call. Crane operators typically put in a total of 40 hours of work each week (8 hours a day, 5 days a week). In the construction industry, there will be times when you will be required to put in extra hours. The industry in which you work and the location both play a role in the amount of overtime that you are required to work. This differs from position to position.
  • Might need to travel out of town for work.
  • Have a decent level of patience.
  • The work environment might be noisy most of the time. This should not irritate you.
  • Good observational skills. You need to be alert and agile at work. Remember this job does bring along some level of risk as you’re going to use heavy machinery.
  • Should hold interest in working in construction, mining, shipbuilding or crane rental.
  • Last but not the least, if you have completed a truck mounted crane operator training programme from an authorised training company in New Zealand.

Requirements for becoming a crane operator

Basic requirements for becoming a crane operator

Firstly, you’ll need to get on-the-job training which should give you a New Zealand Certificate in Crane Operations (LEVEL 3), before you can finally bag a job as a crane operator in NZ. Next, you can also earn a LEVEL 4 New Zealand Certificate in Crane Operation (aka Advanced Crane Operation).

Do I need to take any specific course during my secondary education?

To become a crane operator, you don’t need to complete any secondary education requirements in particular. However, being proficient in English and mathematics, as well as construction and mechanical technologies, can give a boost to your crane operating career.

Once you’ve completed your 11th and 12th years you can take in the BConstructive Programme which will help you increase your knowledge base on the construction world and also acquire skills that are directly applicable to it. However, these programmes might help you get an apprenticeship, but they won’t speed up the process of completing it in any way.

What kind of industrial training is necessary?

First of all, you will need to complete Truck mounted crane training programme from a reputed training company. Once that is over, you’ll begin your profession as a crane trainee at a company, during which you’ll learn new skills, but at the same, you’ll be paid a stipend.

In this phase, you should be proactive enough to learn everything that is there to learn in crane operation and become a qualified crane operator by working closely with more experienced people at the company. You will receive assistance from a supervisor, who will make sure you are working correctly and safely.

What to do after completing your training?

After you have successfully completed your training, you will be qualified to work as a crane operator on construction sites located all over New Zealand. After that, you can upgrade your qualifications, which will support you in bagging more specialised roles in crane operation or getting promoted into supervisory roles.

As you keep upgrading your skills, you’ll keep having opportunities to get promoted to higher roles, such as foreperson, supervisor, health and safety advisor, project manager, etc.

Well, that’s about it. We hope that this blog post has given you some clarity as to what it takes to be a crane operator in New Zealand. If you need more info or wish to sign up for a truck mounted crane operator training programme in your city, feel free to get in touch with us today.