What Is a Crane?
West Coast Training has provided top-tier education for students of the construction industry since 1959. Under the tutelage of industry professionals—and by learning through hands-on instruction—students can learn everything about heavy equipment operation, including crane operation. Graduates will enter the industry as NCCCO-Certified Construction Crane Operators/Riggers and will have the knowledge and skills in the operation of multiple construction cranes, including rigging loads with hook block and overhaul ball and using various attachments.
But let’s start with the simplest question and ask: what is a crane?
In general terms, a crane is a type of large machine that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. There are many kinds of cranes, and they are used primarily in the transport industry for loading and unloading freight; in the construction industry for moving large building materials; and in the manufacturing industry to assemble other heavy equipment. There is a wide variety of forms and sizes of cranes, and most are tailored to specific uses.
Any crane you’re going to operate will be one of two kinds: either static or mobile. A static crane is installed permanently at a worksite, usually by being bolted to a large concrete pad that may weigh as much as 400,000 pounds. By doing this, the crane operator has ensured they can lift up to that much weight per load. As the building is built up higher, so is the crane. When the building is completed, this type of crane and will be taken down and rebuilt on another worksite.
A mobile crane is one that can move around a worksite, either because it’s on a track or because it has wheels. This makes it more convenient than a static crane but also makes it less stable, and it may not have the same carrying capacity as a static crane since it may have a lower base weight.
The tall part of the crane that you recognize first when looking at a skyline is called the mast. This is how the crane lifts the building materials, using ropes or chains and a pulley system. At the top of the mast is the gear and motor that rotates the crane. The operator sits in the operator cab and works the working arm (called the jib) and machinery arm to lift and lower and rotate the crane to move items from place to place.
The jib is the horizontal arm of the crane. There are some types of cranes where the arm remains horizontal, and there are some where that arm is at a higher angle. Either way, that arm is where the counterweights are located to help balance the load the operator is lifting.
If your dream is to become a crane operator, either of static or mobile equipment, we have courses where you can fulfill that dream. Our four-week Mobile Trane Training Course serves as the first half of our eight-week NCCCO Crane Operator/Rigger Course. However, if you are interested in certification in more than mobile cranes, then our eight-week course is the one you want. Contact us today to register.