National Commission for the
Certification of Crane Operators
Committed to Quality, Integrity, and Fairness in Testing since 1995


Concrete Pump Operator

Written Exam Outline

The Concrete Pump Operator Written Examination tests the following knowledge areas relating to concrete pump operations:

Domain 1: Conduct Pre-Trip Planning
Approximately 15% of test

Domain 2: Driving the Truck
Approximately 9% of test

Domain 3: Set Up Pump
Approximately 34% of test

Domain 4: Conduct Placement Operations
Approximately 25% of test

Domain 5: Prepare Pump for Travel
Approximately 10% of test

Domain 6: End-of-Day Procedures
Approximately 7% of test 


  1. Select appropriate materials for job site that day:
    1. Emergency spill kits, system clamps, outrigger pads and/or dunnage, tools, spare parts, necessary paperwork, safety pins, operators’ manual, tarps, boom strap, spare gaskets
  2. Select necessary PPE required by the job:
    1. Knowledge of PPE required by the job
  3. Gather personal needs per environmental conditions (e.g., food, water, clothing):
    1. Knowledge of weather conditions
    2. Knowledge of how many jobs that day or the length of job
  4. Perform precheck inspection on truck (DVIR):
    1. Knowledge of FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) requirements
    2. Observational skills
  5. Perform precheck inspection on pump:
    1. Knowledge of how to inspect the boom safety pins, boom straps, grease levels, water levels, hydraulic levels, visible leaks, everything stowed and away for travel, outriggers pinned, outriggers retracted and in the fully up position
    2. Pre-operational function check
    3. Observational skills


  1. Plan route to the job:
    1. Take into consideration dimensions and weight of pump
    2. Verify permit limitations
    3. Check for traffic
    4. What roads you can be on
    5. Time management
  2. Drive the concrete pump to the job:
    1. Avoiding distractions
    2. Defensive driving skills
  3. Follow laws and regulations:
    1. Knowledge of driving laws for area driving in such as: federal, state, county, city
  4. Follow FMCSA guidelines:
    1. Maintain CDL logbook (HOS - hours of service)
    2. Maintain CDL requirements
    3. Clearing house rules
    4. Med card
    5. Intrastate vs. interstate


  1. Consult with pour supervisor for any known hazards and setup location:
    1. Knowledge of where underground utilities and power lines are located
    2. Obvious obstacles
    3. Job site traffic
    4. Communication skills
  2. Verify and observe the information from pour supervisor:
    1. Knowledge of cleanout location, soil conditions for outrigger placement, surrounding hazards, overhead obstructions (powerlines)
    2. Knowledge of primeout (where to prime)
    3. Other equipment and/or personnel that could enter work area
    4. Job site traffic
    5. Underground utilities/ground disturbance
    6. Observational skills
  3. Unfold the boom:
    1. Be aware of changes to surrounding hazards
  4. Visually inspect necessary components pre-pour:
    1. Awareness of necessary components
  5. Install attachments to boom:
    1. Knowledge of installation process
    2. Knowledge of where to find weight limitations for attachments
    3. Knowledge of concrete weight
  6. Test outrigger support:
    1. Understand proper ground bearing conditions
    2. How to use pocket penetrometer (if needed)
  7. Consult with pour supervisor/controlling entity if improvements need to be made:
    1. ASME B30.27
  8. Complete pre-pour paperwork
  9. Review plan of action for the day with crew:
    1. PTP, JHA, JSA, discussion of any safety measures
  10. Position pump in designated location
  11. Position outrigger pads:
    1. Knowledge of procedures regarding outrigger pads and dunnage
  12. Extend and lower outriggers:
    1. Know how to conduct short rigging
    2. Knowledge of company and manufacturer procedures regarding short rigging
  13. Level the pump:
    1. Knowledge of 1-to-1 rule and 3 degrees standard


  1. Guide concrete trucks:
    1. Knowledge of backing procedures, staging area, safety procedures
    2. Communication skills
    3. Directional skills
  2. Review concrete mix design and batch time prior to pour for pumpability:
    1. Communicate with pour supervisor regarding pump ability of mix (flow ability)
    2. Take ambient temperature into consideration
  3. Maintain communication with placement crew:
    1. Know how to use hand signals, verbal signals, radio, air horn, sticker on outrigger
    2. Communication skills
  4. Control and monitor boom/hose placement:
    1. Knowledge of system pours (if having to run the hose)
    2. Not kinking the hose
    3. Inspect piping and joints along the boom during pour
  5. Prime out pump:
    1. Identify style of prime out
    2. Identify safe location to prime out
    3. Clear area of all personnel
  6. Monitor conditions that affect the pump:
    1. Control amount of material being pumped
    2. Monitor concrete throughout the pour (i.e., drum spinning full hopper)
    3. Monitor wind conditions
    4. Monitor outrigger support (ground conditions)
  7. Manage blockages:
    1. Know how to recognize blockages
    2. Methods to rectify
    3. Troubleshooting skills
  8. Conduct a restart procedure:
    1. Know to clear area of all personnel
    2. Hazard recognition
  9. Monitor maintenance needs during pour:
    1. Knowledge of safety procedures for spill containment, greasing, water box level, monitor elbows


  1. Conduct a cleanout:
    1. Knowledge of types of cleanouts (different types and when to use)
    2. Use proper cleanout tools/PPE
    3. Local environmental regulations
  2. Conduct a shutdown procedure:
    1. The order of process is important
  3. Verify that all of the system is clean
  4. Plan route:
    1. Take into consideration dimensions and weight of pump
    2. Verify permit limitations
    3. Check for traffic
    4. Knowing what roads you can be on
    5. Directional skills
    6. Time management
  5. Prepare for offsite cleanout:
    1. Knowledge of containment of hopper, additives that may be needed
  6. Conduct pre-trip inspection:
    1. As needed, 360 degree walk around


  1. Conduct offsite cleanout:
    1. Knowledge of types of cleanouts (different types and when to use)
    2. Use proper cleanout tools/PPE
  2. Document post-trip inspection (DVIR):
    1. Knowledge of DOT regulations
  3. Document needed maintenance or repairs
  4. Pressure wash truck
  5. Prepare for the next day:
    1. Top off fuel and water
    2. Charge remote control batteries
  6. Perform preventative maintenance on truck:
    1. Knowledge of manufacturer and company specifications
    2. Basic mechanical skills
  7. Perform preventative maintenance on boom:
    1. Knowledge of manufacturer and company specifications
    2. Basic mechanical skills
  8. Complete paperwork:
    1. Knowledge of what paperwork is needed to be completed, such as logbook, timecard, inspection forms, company forms, complete PTP