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Mobile Crane Operator

Written Exam - Specialty Exams Outline

The Specialty Examinations for the CCO certification program test the following knowledge areas relating to the operation of each of these types of cranes:

  • Lattice Boom Truck Cranes (LBT)
  • Lattice Boom Crawler Cranes (LBC)
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes - Swing Cab (TLL)
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes - Fixed Cab (TSS)
    • Boom Truck - Fixed Cab (BTF)

Each Specialty Exam only contains questions relevant to cranes within that specialty area. For example, questions about lattice booms will appear on LBT and LBC exams, but will NOT appear on TLL or TSS exams. Note that the BTF exam will only cover questions relevant to boom trucks.

Domain 1: Site
(Approximately 12% of the test)

Domain 2: Operations
(Approximately 30% of the test)

Domain 3: Technical Knowledge
(Approximately 23% of the test)

Domain 4: Manufacturers’ Load Charts
(Approximately 35% of the test)


(Approximately 12% of the test)

  1. Know the proper use of mats, blocking, or cribbing and outriggers or crawlers as they affect the suitability of supporting surfaces to handle the expected loads of the operation.
  2. Know the limitations of machine clearances, extension of crawlers or outriggers/stabilizers, and counterweights.


(Approximately 30% of the test)

  1. Know how to inspect the crane for unsafe conditions, complete required records, and communicate unsafe conditions to the proper authority.
  2. Know how to pick, carry, swing, and place the load smoothly and safely on rubber tires and on outriggers/stabilizers or crawlers (where applicable).
  3. Know proper boom assembly and disassembly techniques for:
  4. a. Lattice booms
    b. Extension and retraction of power pinned and/or manual boom extensions
    c. Erection and dismantling of lattice extension or jibs
  5. Know how to react to changes in conditions that affect the safe operation of the crane.
  6. Know how to shut down and secure the crane properly when leaving it unattended.
  7. Know how to prepare the crane for transportation by loading or unloading on trailers, and be familiar with the differences between rail and barge loading.
  8. Know how to move the crane (no load) safely under its own power:
  9. a. Between job sites
    b. Within job sites
    c. Loading onto and unloading off of trailers
  10. Know the manufacturer’s specifications for operating  in various weather conditions and understand how environmental conditions affect the safe operation of the crane.
  11. Know how to level the crane properly.
  12. Know how to perform daily maintenance and inspections.
  13. Know how to use the following operator aids:
  14. a.  Wind indicator
    b.  Anti–two block device
    c.  Boom angle indicator
    d.  Boom angle device
    e.  Boom length indicators
  15. Know the proper procedures for operating safely under the following conditions:
  16. a. Traveling with suspended loads
    b. Approaching two blocking
    c. Operating near electric power lines
    d. Using suspended personnel platforms
    e. Using other than full outrigger/crawler extensions
    f. Lifting loads from beneath the surface of the water
    g. Using various approved counterweight configurations
    h. Handling loads out of the operator’s vision (“operating in the blind”)
    i. Using electronic communication techniques such as radios
  17. Know emergency response procedures for:
  18. a. Fire control
    b. Electric power line contact
    c. Loss of stability
    d. Control malfunction
    e. Two blocking
    f. Overload
    g. Carrier or travel malfunction


(Approximately 23% of the test)

  1. Know the functions and limitations of the crane and attachments.
  2. Know basic crane terms.
  3. Know the basics of machine power flow systems:
  4. a. Mechanical
    b. Electrical
    c. Pneumatic
    d. Hydraulic
    e. Combination
  5. Know how the boom hoist and load hoist(s) are driven and engaged to the power source.
  6. Know the requirements of standard and optional controls.
  7. Know the requirements of pre-operation inspection and maintenance.
  8. Know how to use operational assist devices, including:
  9. a. Anti–two block devices
    b. Load moment indicators and rated load indicators
    c. Outrigger position indicators
    d. Mechanical levels
    e. Boom angle indicators
    f. Load indicating devices
    g. Boom stops and boom hoist disconnect
    h. Radius indicators
    i. Drum rotation indicators and boom length indicators
  10. Know how to use manufacturer-approved attachments and their effects on the crane.
  11. Know the function and safe use of crawler position (extended or retracted), outriggers, and/or stabilizers.
  12. Know how to assemble and disassemble boom sections, extensions, and jib.


(Approximately 35% of the test)

  1. Know the terminology necessary to use load charts.
  2. Know how to use load charts; for example:
  3. a. The operational limitations of load charts and footnotes
    b. How to relate the chart to the configuration of the crane—crawlers or outriggers extended or retracted, jib erected or offset, and various counterweight configurations
    c. The difference between structural capacity and capacity limited by stability
    d.  What is included in load chart capacity
    e. The range diagram and its relationship to the load chart
    f. The work area chart and its relationship to the load chart
    g. Where to find and how to use parts-of-line information
  4. Know how to calculate net capacity for allowable configurations of the crane using the manufacturer’s load chart.