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CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS

Mobile Crane Operator

Practical Exam

AVAILABLE PRACTICAL EXAMS

The CCO Mobile Crane Operator Practical Examinations are available on three crane types:

  • Lattice Boom Crane (LBC and LBT): includes lattice boom crawler cranes and lattice boom truck cranes
  • Telescopic Boom Crane—Swing Cab (TLL): cranes having an operator's station that rotates with the crane's upperworks
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes—Fixed Cab (TSS): cranes having a fixed (non-rotating) operator's station

NOTE: Candidates seeking the Boom Truck—Fixed Cab (BTF) certification are required to take the exam on a boom truck. All testing parameters (e.g., time limits) follow those for the TSS practical exams.

Written Exam
Corresponding Practical Exam
Lattice Boom Truck Crane
Lattice Boom Crane (Truck or Crawler)
Lattice Crawler Crane
Lattice Boom Crane (Truck or Crawler)
Telescopic Boom Crane - Swing Cab
Telescopic Boom Crane - Swing Cab
Telescopic Boom Crane - Fixed Cab
Telescopic Boom Crane - Fixed Cab
Boom Truck - Fixed Cab Telescopic Boom Crane - Fixed Cab (test must be taken on a boom truck)

Candidates may take the practical examination on one, two, or all three of the crane types provided they have already passed/will pass the written examination in the corresponding designation within the 12-month time frame.

The practical examination is comprised of six main tasks that increase progressively in the skill level tested. Skills tested are: inspecting the equipment, hoisting, booming, swinging, following hand signals, and combination (multifunction) operations. Crane operation with load and without load is required.

NCCCO adapts the Test Site Layout (CAD) for each model of crane used for the Practical Examination to ensure the examination remains standardized for all candidates, wherever and whenever they may test.

VIEW CANDIDATE VIDEO

PRACTICAL EXAM OUTLINE

The following sections describe the specific tasks you will be performing when taking the Practical Examination. It is important that you understand these instructions. If there is anything you do not understand, please request clarification from the Examiner.

TASKS

The tasks that make up the Practical Examination are:

There is also a Pre-Test Briefing, a Crane Walk Around, a Pre-Test Familiarization Period, and a Pre-Task Familiarization Period (prior to the Zigzag task) with a load. You will be required to complete all phases of the test in sequence.

You must report to the Test Site at the scheduled time. All candidates shall comply with Test Site requirements concerning personal protective equipment (PPE), which at a minimum shall meet federal OSHA requirements.

The Test Site Coordinator is responsible for setting the testing schedule. If you are familiar with the operation of the test crane, you may elect to test first to allow other candidates time to review the operator’s manuals and load charts. Otherwise, selection shall be by random drawing or by assignment of the Test Site Coordinator.

During the Practical Examination, you are under the direction of the Examiner and must follow the Examiner’s directions at all times.

Once you have completed all of the tests you are taking, you must leave the testing area. Only personnel involved in the administration of the test are allowed in the test area.

TIME LIMITS

For Task 1, Task 3, and Task 4 an optimum time limit has been set. If the task is completed within this time period, you receive no time penalty.

Once you exceed this time limit, however, you will lose points on a gradual basis. If you take one and a half times as long as the optimum time, you will have lost all the points allotted to that particular task. The optimum time for each task is stated as part of the task descriptions. At two times the optimum time the Examiner may end the task and move on to the next task.

PRE-TEST BRIEFING

While candidates are waiting to take their tests, they will have sufficient time to read this description of the tasks to be performed and review the operator’s manual and load chart for the crane(s) they will operate. In addition, they will be informed of the make and model of the crane, the boom length, and the weight of the test load. They will also watch a short video showing all the tasks they will be required to perform during the examination.

Note that:

  • The crane’s LMI system (if the crane is so equipped) has been correctly programmed and will not interfere with the proper operation of the crane.
  • The crane has been set up and leveled. A spirit level is available if you wish to verify level.
  • None of the target points have been placed at a radius that exceeds the crane’s rated capacity.
  • On telescopic boom cranes, the boom length has been pre-set. Telescoping will not be permitted at any time.
  • All hand signals used throughout the test are in accordance with the Standard Method hand signals.

CIRCUMVENTING THE COURSE

Circumventing the course on the NCCCO Mobile Crane Operator Practical Exam is defined as when the load:

  • Leaves the Zigzag Corridor and passes more than one pole without touching them before re-entering the corridor
  • Leapfrogs from one leg of the Zigzag Corridor to another with the chain off the ground
  • Passes more than four poles consecutively with the chain off the ground, inside or outside of the corridor

The Examiner has the authority to stop the exam at anytime if he feels that the candidate is attempting to circumvent any task.

UNSAFE ACT

If at any time during the Pre-Test Familiarization Period or during the test, you commit an unsafe act, you will be disqualified from continuing with the test. Unsafe acts include but are not limited to the following:

  • Dropping the overhaul ball or Test Weight (on ground, in barrel, etc)
  • Two blocking of the crane
  • Uncontrolled or reckless operation
  • Failure to respond to a stop signal
  • Any action that in the judgment of the Examiner could endanger personnel or equipment at the test site.

The Examiner has the authority to stop the test at any time for reasons of safety. Please ask the Examiner if you have any questions.

If a you are disqualified due to an unsafe act, you will not be permitted to retest on that day.

CANDIDATE ID AND SIGNATURE

Prior to beginning the examination, the Examiner will ask you for a photo identification, such as a driver’s license.

The Examiner will ask you if you have read the Candidate Information and Instructions and will answer any questions you may have. The Examiner will review the weather conditions and ask the candidates to sign indicating that they understand the instructions for the test and that they agree with the Examiner’s assessment of the weather conditions.

WEATHER CONDITIONS/EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS

The Examiner will use an anemometer to check the wind speed and then will record the weather conditions on the score sheet.

The Examiner has the responsibility to determine if weather conditions or equipment problems are such that a test needs to be suspended. If the test is interrupted due to weather conditions or equipment problems, the procedure for restarting is as follows:

  • You will resume the test at the beginning of the task he/she was performing at the time of the interruption, except for Task 4, when he/she will go back to the beginning of either Task 4a or 4b, as appropriate.
  • You will be entitled to a Pre-Test or Pre-Task Familiarization period before resuming the test.
  • If you resume the test on a different machine, you will have the option of starting the entire test over from the beginning.
  • If the testing is delayed to a different day, the test must be restarted from the beginning.

CRANE WALK AROUND

  • Before you begin operations, you are allowed a couple of minutes to walk around the crane to ensure proper setup.

PRE-OPERATIONAL INSPECTION

  • You will be asked to identify five items on the crane that are part of the pre-operational inspection.
  • One at a time, you will be asked to describe how you would conduct the inspection and what deficiencies you would look for.
  • You have approximately one minute per item.

PRE-TEST FAMILIARIZATION PERIOD

  • You will be allowed 15 minutes to familiarize yourself with the crane and to examine anything on the crane that you feel is necessary to operate it comfortably.
  • You will be allowed to get the feel of the controls and run the crane through its functions. The boom length has been preset. The brakes and other devices have been set according to the crane manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • You may not interfere with the test course, lift the Test Weight, or shadow the Zigzag Corridor or the barrels.
  • You must finish the Pre-test Familiarization Period with the load hook under control in the Start Circle within the 15-minute period.
  • The Examiner will notify you when there are ten, five, and one minute(s) remaining.
  • If you are ready in less than 15 minutes, you may indicate this to the Examiner.
  • If, at the end of the Pre-Test Familiarization Period, you feel that you are not ready to take the examination, you should notify the Examiner. You will have, in effect, disqualified yourself from taking the examination at this time, and you will be required to sign to that effect on the Candidate Score Sheet.

TASK 1: PLACE BALL IN STOP CIRCLE
Optimum Time — 1 1/2 minutes

  • At the Examiner’s indication to start, at which point timing will begin, raise the ball and chain at least 10 ft. off the ground to clear all obstacles and personnel.
  • Bring it from its starting position in the Start Circle to the Stop Circle.
  • Once the ball and chain reaches the Stop Circle, place it there such that the chain suspended from the hook makes contact with the ground inside the circle and remains there.
  • The Examiner will give you a stop signal once the ball and chain are under control.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:

a.  Dragging chain or contacting ground outside of the circle

b.  Hook or ball touching ground either inside or outside of the circle

c.  Hook or ball contacting any part of the course or crane

d.  Lifting the chain off the ground after it has made contact with the ground inside the circle

e.  Exceeding the optimum time

TASK 2: FOLLOW HAND SIGNALS
This task is not timed.

  • At the Examiner’s direction, you will be guided back to the Start Circle using standard B30.5 hand signals.
  • The Examiner will select four signals from the following:

a.  Hoist and stop

b.  Swing and stop

c.  Lower the load and stop

d.  Lower the load slowly and stop

e.  Lower the boom, raise the load, and stop

f.   Raise the boom and stop

g.  Lower the boom and stop

h.  Raise the boom, lower the load, and stop

  • The Examiner may give the signals in any sequence.
  • The Examiner or Proctor will remove the chain at the completion of this task.

TASK 3: PLACE BALL IN BARRELS
Optimum Times:
Telescopic Boom Cranes — Fixed Cab: 3½ minutes
Telescopic Boom Cranes — Swing Cab: 3½ minutes
Lattice Boom Crane: 4 minutes

  • At the Examiner’s indication to start, at which point timing will begin, bring the overhaul ball from the Start Circle and place it into Barrel #1. (If you knock over Barrel #1, at the Examiner’s indication proceed to try and put the ball in Barrel #2.)
  • The Examiner will determine when the horizontal white line painted around the center of the ball has dropped below the rim of Barrel #1 and will so indicate to you. At the Examiner’s indication, move the ball from Barrel #1 to Barrel #2.
  • The Examiner will determine when the horizontal white line painted around the center of the ball has dropped below the rim of the barrel. Hold the ball in Barrel #2 until instructed by the Examiner to remove it.
  • Timing stops when the ball is completely clear of Barrel #2 and the Examiner has given you a stop signal.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:

a.  Moving barrel (2 in. or more)

b.  Knocking over barrel

c. Hook or ball touching ground

d.  Exceeding optimum time

PRE-TASK FAMILIARIZATION PERIOD (WITH TEST WEIGHT)
This part of the Test is not scored.

  • At the Examiner’s indication, bring the overhaul ball over the Test Weight located in the Test Weight Circle.
  • The load will be attached to the crane’s hook by the Examiner or Proctor.
  • You are allowed to bring the Test Weight to the designated area, where you can get the feel of the load, test the brake, etc., before beginning the Zigzag Corridor task.
  • You may not swing the load outside of the designated area or shadow the Zigzag Course.
  • You will be allowed a maximum of five minutes for this Pre-Task Familiarization, by the end of which period you must have placed the Test Weight on the ground in the Test Weight Circle with the rigging taut.
  • The Examiner will notify you when there is one minute remaining.

TASK 4: NEGOTIATE ZIGZAG CORRIDOR WITH LOAD
Optimum Times:
Telescopic Boom Cranes — Fixed Cab: 4 minutes each direction
Telescopic Boom Cranes — Swing Cab: 3 minutes each direction
Lattice Boom Crane: 3 minutes each direction

  • At the Examiner’s direction to start, at which point timing will begin, lift the Test Weight into the air and swing, boom up or down, and hoist up or down as you judge necessary to guide the load through the Zigzag Corridor without touching the ground with the Test Weight, raising the Test Weight so high that the chain leaves the ground, or knocking over any part of the PVC pole barrier.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:

a.  Knocking ball off pole

b.  Moving pole base off line

c.  Knocking pole over

d.  Chain leaving ground

e.  Passing poles with chain off ground

f. Load touching ground

g. Circumventing the course

h. Exceeding the optimum time

  • Timing stops when you have placed the Test Weight on the ground in the Stop Circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. The task is not complete until the load is placed completely within the outside perimeter of the circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. If the Examiner does not give you a stop signal, this indicates the weight is not within the circle and the task continues to be timed.
  • Once you have placed the Test Weight in the Stop Circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal, you may reposition the boom tip over the Test Weight if necessary. You may not lift or reposition the Test Weight.
  • At this time the Examiner will reconstruct the corridor, as necessary.
  • At the direction of the Examiner, at which point timing will begin, lift the Test Weight from the Stop Circle and travel through the corridor in reverse fashion.
  • Timing stops when you have placed the Test Weight on the ground in the Test Weight Circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. The task is not complete until the load is placed completely within the outside perimeter of the circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. If the Examiner does not give you a stop signal, this indicates the weight is not within the circle and the task continues to be timed.
  • The Proctor will then detach the Test Weight from the load hook.
  • At the Examiner’s direction, swing the hook to the Start Circle and allow the Examiner to re-attach the chain.

TASK 5: SAFE SHUT-DOWN AND SECURING PROCEDURES

  • Before leaving the operator station, you will be required to apply safe shut-down procedures to the crane in preparation for the next candidate.
  • Once the crane is shut down, you will leave the operator station and describe to the Examiner the procedures you would follow to secure the crane at the end of the work day.

POST-TEST PROCEDURES

Once you have completed the practical examination:

  • The Examiner will record your performance.
  • The Examiner is not permitted to review your score sheet or discuss your performance on the test.
  • Exam results will be mailed to you within approximately twelve working days of International Assessment Institute’s receipt of the score sheet.
  • If you have made formal applications to test on any other cranes, return to the candidate briefing area.
  • If you have completed all of your tests, you must leave the Test Site.

PRACTICAL SCORE REPORTING

All candidates receive score reports of their performance. Examination results are mailed to candidates approximately 12 business days after the receipt of Practical Examination score sheets by International Assessment Institute.

Both the Practical Examination and the scoring system have been validated by NCCCO’s pilot testing program and verified by International Assessment Institute. A score of 75 represents the minimum passing score for Mobile Crane Practical Examinations.