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


Service Truck Crane Operator

Written Exam - Exam Outline

The Service Truck Crane written examination tests the following knowledge areas relating to the operation of service truck cranes:

Domain 1: Site
(Approximately 17% of the test)

Domain 2: Operations
(Approximately 44% of the test)

Domain 3: Technical Knowledge
(Approximately 21% of the test)

Domain 4: Manufacturers’ Load Charts
(Approximately 17% of the test)

Domain 1: Site

(Approximately 17% of the test)

  1. Know the responsibilities of worksite personnel and their responsibilities concerning site conditions.
    1. Controlling entity
    2. Crane operator
  2. Understand elements that affect ground stability:
    1. Below surface (e.g., voids, tanks, loose fill)
    2. On surface (e.g., retaining walls, slopes, excavations, depressions)
  3. Know the proper use of supporting materials (e.g., mats, blocking, or cribbing).
  4. Know electric power line hazards for:
    1. Site access
    2. Setup
  5. Know how to identify and evaluate hazards concerning:
    1. Access to job site
    2. Pinch/crush points
    3. Personnel during assembly/disassembly (outrigger/stabilizer setup)
  6. Know how to review lift requirements with site supervision (if present).


(Approximately 44% of the test)

  1. Know current federal regulations and industry standards, including but not limited to:
    1. ASME B30.5
    2. OSHA 1910.180
    3. OSHA 1926 Subpart CC
    4. SAE 765A
  2. Know how to lift, swing, and place the load smoothly.
  3. Know wire rope:
    1. Reeving
    2. Parts of line
  4.  Know types of signals:
    1. Hand signals
    2. Voice/audio signals
    3. Audible signals
    4. New or non-standard signals
  5. Know how to shut down and secure the crane when leaving it unattended.
  6. Know the limitations of operating in various weather conditions (e.g., wind, temperature).
  7. Know how to obtain dimensions, weight, and center of gravity of the load.
  8. Know how to verify the radius.
  9. Know basic procedures for rigging devices and their use, such as: slings, softeners, lifting beams, and shackles.
  10. Know proper use of hook blocks and downhaul weights.
  11. Know proper procedures and requirements for crane inspections:
    1. Shift
    2. Monthly
    3. Annual
    4. Repaired/modified
    5. Notifying supervision of inspection deficiencies
  12. Know and understand the use and function of operator aids, including:
    1. Load moment indicator (LMI)
    2. Anti-two block device/two-block damage prevention systems
    3. Boom angle indicator
    4. Boom length indicator
  13. Know alternative operating procedures when operator aids malfunction.
  14. Know and understand the use and function of safety devices, including:
    1. Horns
    2. Level indicator
    3. Holding/check valve devices
    4. Emergency stop
  15. Know the proper procedures for operating safely near energized power lines.
  16. Know the effects of lifting loads from beneath the surface of the water.
  17. Know the requirements and procedures for when load is not in full view of the operator.
  18. Know the requirements of tag lines.
  19. Know how to react to:
    1. Electric power line contact
    2. Loss of stability
    3. Control malfunction
    4. Block and line twisting
    5. Personnel under the load or in the fall zone
  20. Know how to properly use outriggers/stabilizers, including the use of operational assist devices, such as outrigger/stabilizer position sensor monitors.
  21. Know the effects of dynamic loading from:
    1. Wind, extreme weather, and wave action
    2. Impact loading
    3. Moving loads
    4. Boom deflection
    5. Side loading
  22. Know how to use manufacturer-approved attachments and their effect on the crane’s operation
  23. Know the emergency response procedures for a vehicle fire
  24. Know the effects of load share and load transfer in multi-crane lifts
  25. Know the operator’s authority to stop operations
  26. Know how to react to changes in conditions that affect the safe operation of the crane


(Approximately 21% of the test)

  1. Know basic crane terminology and definitions.
  2. Know functions and limitations of cranes and attachments.
  3. Know general maintenance and lubrication requirements.
  4. Know wire rope:
    1. Construction and breaking strength
    2. Replacement criteria and inspection procedures
    3. Capacity and when multi-part rope is needed
    4. Maintenance and lubrication
    5. Implementing proper corrective measures
  5. Know relationship between line pull and safe working load.
  6. Know the limitations of protective measures against electrical hazards.
  7. Know the significance of instruments, gauges, and machine power systems.
  8. Know the requirements of standard and optional controls.
  9. Know the emergency response procedure for:
    1. Overloading
    2. Two-blocking
  10. Know power systems (e.g., hydraulic, electrical).


(Approximately 17% of the test)

  1. Know terminology necessary to use load charts.
  2. Know basic math.
  3. Understand different elements of load charts:
    1. Apply load chart notes
    2. Rated capacity charts
    3. Stability charts
  4. Understand and apply manufacturer’s load charts given various configurations:
    1. Determining maximum radius for load placement
    2. Determining gross capacity
    3. Determining net capacity
    4. Determining load moment
    5. Determining intermediate values on capacity charts (boom length, radius, boom angle)
  5. Know how to calculate net capacity, including factors such as:
    1. Rigging weight
    2. Limiting factors (e.g., line pull restriction, winch capacity)
    3. Intermediate values on capacity charts (boom length, radius, boom angle)
  6. Read and locate relevant information in the equipment manual and other materials containing information necessary for safe operation.