Top crane operator skills needed to get the job.

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Host

What are the top 3 traits or skills every crane operator must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your crane operator expertise?

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bean in Midland, Texas

91 months ago

to be a good crane operator you also have to be a very good rigger and always remember your responsible for every aspect of the lift!

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Cary Hahn in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

88 months ago

You have to have the ability to say no. Alot of bosses say lets try one more and you look at your chart and say no. You are the man when it comes to the crane and peoples safety . You must have a short term memory. If you make a small mistake learn from it and store it. You have another pick so dont get worked up about the mistake because you will make more . Keep your head in the game.

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woody in Northfield, Massachusetts

83 months ago

I belive in traning all operators must stay up to date with training. The crane world is changing every day new cables new crane capacites lighter booms ect. I just took the new NCCCO test for crane operators and found it to be very easy. The best three I belive is traning from best which can be found at your nearest IUOE are very helpful. Call a local find the best poeple and imformation to help you become the best crane operator you can be.

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Manitowoc Nutt in Houston, Texas

81 months ago

Rigging knowledge, hand/eye coordination,
excellent depth perception, common sense, be safety minded and most important...have patience and never take chance or make an assumption regarding rigging, crane capabilities or crane set up.
A crane operator has to have the same manual dexterity as that of a pilot.
As an operator, the safety of the people working with or near the crane is your responsibility.
Just as the passengers on a plane are the pilots.
You NEVER allow someone to entice you to do something your not comfortable with.
A good operator will refuse to put his or others well being in harms way.

If you try to "cowboy" or "showboat" on a crane ,you'll screw up...eventually.

There are 2 types of operators.
True operators and those claiming to be an operator.
26 years in the seat, I've seen very few " True " ops.

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Mike in San Luis Obispo, California

79 months ago

Rick M. in San Diego, California said: Reliability/punctuality, flexiblity and hand/eye coordination are needed to exceed as a crane operator.

Practice as much as you can.

I am possibly moving down to San Diego in March is there any companies to get my foot in the door did a lot of rigging for concrete tilt ups. Want to start out rigging then work my way to crane operator.

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SHORTY in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

79 months ago

WE AS OPERATORS SHOULD SUPPORT EACH OTHER AND NOT DOG EACH OTHER. WE ALL GO THROUGH OUR PROGRESSIONS AND SKILLS THE MORE WE RUN OVER THE YEARS. MY BIGGEST PROBLEM IS GUYS THAT LOOK DOWN AT YOU FOR THE CRANE YOU ARE RUNNING. AS LONG AS YOUR COMPANY IS HAPPY WITH YOUR SKILLS AND YOU ARE SAFE AND YOU DID YOUR BEST THEN GO HOME AT NIGHT AND THANK GOD FOR ANOTHER SAFE DAY IN THE SEAT. OUR JOB IS STRESSFUL ENOUGH WITHOUT ANYONES HELP. I KNOW WHEN I GET OUT OF THE SEAT AT THE END OF THE DAY MY BRAIN IS FRIED. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS.

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Tony Cepeda in Riverside, California

79 months ago

Smoothness, good hand-eye coordination, and very important to make sure the crane is always level.

Gotta get the basics down before you try to become a great crane
operator.

Always inspect your crane for damages or defective material, never just expect to have a 100% clean functional crane.

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GUYANDERSON in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

Mike in San Luis Obispo, California said: I am possibly moving down to San Diego in March is there any companies to get my foot in the door did a lot of rigging for concrete tilt ups. Want to start out rigging then work my way to crane operator.

Brewer Crane , Lakeside try them

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Joe Sedlock in Canton, Ohio

75 months ago

In Depth Preception , Drive , Health .

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Joe Sedlock in Canton, Ohio

75 months ago

E_MAIL jjsedlock@gmail.com

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zachary mccormick in Ashland, Kentucky

74 months ago

iam 19 and iam running a manitowoc 3900 at a steel mill. trust me i catch a lot of crap from the older guys but its all in good fun because i give it to them just a much. the best info i ever got is from them if you want to learn listen to the older men when they tell u something more a likely they wont lie to you. and they now the easiest and safest way to do the job becasue they have been there before. one other thing you got to remember is to always have a clear mind dont get in the seat pissed off or shaken up because one wrong move and you could kill youreself and everyone around you. if you not comfortable with the lift dont be afriad to admit it and always check youre equipment out and the rigging youreself dont trust anyone because youre the man in charge

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Scothem Fathom in Beaverton, Oregon

70 months ago

Scothem Fathom here from the West Coast USA,

It's about the drive of the individual, the confidence in the individual, and the trained knowledge of the individual. These are crucial aspects to success in this industry.

To develope these skills, an individual can eat healthy, shower daily, get trained through an apprenticeship, and play video games to work the mental dexterity of the human mind.

~ Scothem Fathom, September 2008

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got out in 2000 in Kansas City, Missouri

70 months ago

never get excited, never saddle a dead horse, never push a wagon up a hill,know who on the crew knows how to rigg a load dont be afraid to dog it off and talk about it before the pick, never override the computer. FOLLOW SIGNALS IF YOUR NOT SURE STOP .

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Terry in Phoenix, Arizona

70 months ago

As far as the most important part of being a "good" crane operator, 2 things come to mind: Have a good groundsman, and when all else fails...STOP. if something doesnt look, feel, or sound right, stop. take a second, third or as many looks and inspections as it takes. If the boss is complaining, just remember, it is YOUR responsibility for the safety of everyone in range of your machine once that pick has begun.

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Joe from NY

65 months ago

A good crane operator KEEPS HIS MOUTH SHUT !! PERIOD

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Ron Walton in Edmonton, Alberta

65 months ago

Know your charts inside and out !! NEVER exceed them. Read the manual for the unit you are running, Check the Crane log for History of the machine (before you take it out) the guy before you may have put it out of service, Don't listen to what Joe from NY says communication between you and your ground crew is paramount ..

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Robertoe542 in Hellertown, Pennsylvania

65 months ago

A good crane operator never keeps his or hers mouth shut. If something is not right or you are unsure always say something. It is your but on the line not anyone elses.

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polska4life1 in Edmonton, Alberta

64 months ago

whats a good place to start your apprenticeship for mobile crane here in edmonton plz write it on here or send me an email
smallpolakseb@msn.com

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iuoe l12 in Menifee, California

64 months ago

Joe from NY said: A good crane operator KEEPS HIS MOUTH SHUT !! PERIOD

thats not true! speak up your the man at the controls let other hands know what you expect. safety, safety safety!

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iuoe l12 in Menifee, California

64 months ago

GUYANDERSON in Los Angeles, California said: Brewer Crane , Lakeside try them

its real slow out here in socal.. i know they just laid off some guys. i have friends that work there...lots of accidents

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Mark in Longview, Texas

64 months ago

iuoe l12 in Menifee, California said: its real slow out here in socal.. i know they just laid off some guys. i have friends that work there...lots of accidents

The crane industry is unfortunately [b]SLOW[/b] world wide buddy!
I happen to know quit a few crane-people in Europe, and they have the same complaint!
As far as I know, there are currently about 300.000 operators (give or take a few thousand) looking for a new job in the USA alone!
This whole recession thing doesn't look too good, for ANY of us riggers, operators, supervisors, crane-instructors/inspectors, ect, ect.

I have a total of 16.5 years experience in the vertical transportation/heavy lifting industry.
Working as; Technical Evaluator Crane Jobs, Crane & Safety Instructor, Crane Inspector, Lift Engineer,
Site/Lift/Safety Supervisor, Experienced-Crane-Operator.
Even with all THAT experience and knowledge it's still TOUGH to get a job nowadays, nomatter where in the world the job is!

Host said: What are the top 3 traits or skills every crane operator must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your crane operator expertise?

1) SAFETY!
STICK to your rigs manual and charts limitations, no matter WHO is threatning you with what!
SAME counts for your rigging equipment,.....do NOT EVER overload your rigging, and use it properly only, because it WILL bite you in your backside eventually!

2) IMMUNITY TO STRESS!
No matter what "they"-(supervisor,client,manager or your boss) say,......in the END it's YOUR @SS & your family's @ss on the line.
ONCE again; STICK to your rigs manual and charts limitations, no matter WHO is threatning you with what!
SAME counts for your rigging equipment,.....do NOT EVER overload your rigging, and use it properly only, because it WILL bite you in your backside eventually!

3) DEDICATION
For obvious reasons.

4) LOYAL
For obvious reasons.

5) RESOLUTE
For obvious reasons.

6) ACCURATE
H

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Mark in Longview, Texas

64 months ago

hmmm, thats weird,...half my post is missing?!?

Ooooh well,.... I put the rest here then;

5) RESOLUTE
For obvious reasons.

6) ACCURATE
Having "an eye" for details, is a life saver, litterally!
This counts for rigging up or down your rig, and for working with your rig.
Taking it "NICE_N_EASY",.......is usually best for everyone!

7) BEING A TEAM PLAYER
YOU as an crane operator are THE KEY to success for that project, therefore you have to be able to communicate really well, on all levels.

8) FLEXIBLE
Day & night, on call,....requires everything except a "9 to 5" mentallity!

Hope the above list helps you?

Anyway,...I'm also immediately available, for any crane related job anywhere.

Interested?
Email me on; cranes_chokers_shackels_n_chains@live.com so I can send you a FULL resume.

Thanks.

Regards
Mark

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Mark in Longview, Texas

64 months ago

Manitowoc Nutt in Houston, Texas said: Rigging knowledge, hand/eye coordination,
excellent depth perception, common sense, be safety minded and most important...have patience and never take chance or make an assumption regarding rigging, crane capabilities or crane set up.
A crane operator has to have the same manual dexterity as that of a pilot.
As an operator, the safety of the people working with or near the crane is your responsibility.
Just as the passengers on a plane are the pilots.
You NEVER allow someone to entice you to do something your not comfortable with.
A good operator will refuse to put his or others well being in harms way.

If you try to "cowboy" or "showboat" on a crane ,you'll screw up...eventually.

There are 2 types of operators.
True operators and those claiming to be an operator.
26 years in the seat, I've seen very few " True " ops.

I couldn't AGREE with you more!
There are indeed WAY TOOO MANY, wannabees out there.
Which explains, most of the crane accidents!

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jody2 in Marshall, Texas

64 months ago

Host said: What are the top 3 traits or skills every crane operator must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your crane operator expertise?

Hey I live in marshall, how long you been operating? I may have a little bit of advice for you if interested.

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bigd7462 in Jonesborough, Tennessee

62 months ago

The best advice i can give is never lose you passion for the job if you stop caring about the people you work with or the job you are doing you may as well dog off your crane step out of the cab and never look back. I watch a lot of operators lose there passion for the job and they start making mistakes. unfortunately we don't get the option of doing that.....

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Mike "Flipper" Wilkins in Sanford, North Carolina

62 months ago

Host said: What are the top 3 traits or skills every crane operator must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your crane operator expertise?

The first three that came to mind are:
1. Interpretation of load charts/Sense of humor
2. Outstanding intuitional abilities/Ability to identify "Goat Ropers" on your job site
3. Know, not guess, all parameters of limitation, personal and mechanical.
4. Charts can be fudged on main boom. We do it all of the time. I personally found that a Grove 50 ton with full counterweights can be overloaded by 28,000 lbs. over the rear before tipping. The load was only four inches off the ground. No big deal. NEVER OVERLOAD ANY JIB OR STINGER!!! IT WILL EAT YOUR LUNCH.
5. When you track any Link-Belt in the 2 Series(18,38,48,etc. lock out your lifting hyds. before moving. From experience. Catostrophic damage will occur. When I was tracking to the rear I bumped the winch up on low and pulled the fixed jib over backwards with load into the main. The rest is history. No one got hurt. Later fellow O.E.s. My em is woodw1nd@aol.com

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eazy_money81

61 months ago

watch other operators and listen to stories you will hear about wrecks they got away with and bragged about, learn from others mistakes and dont do what they did, also find a good mentor that isnt afraid to teach you things, there are always little things that will help, but there are always little things that will have big bad results, build yourself a good reputation and you will always have work but it wont take nothing to screw it up, if you take care of you you will be able to take care of business at hand, and do not sacrifice safety, when the people you work with trust you you will know, people where i work will walk under 130,000# loads no matter how much i yell at them. and safe machinery is extremely important, you cant replace a person, but you can replace parts before things get bad.

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Waldo pepper in Los Angeles, California

60 months ago

iuoe l12 in Menifee, California said: its real slow out here in socal.. i know they just laid off some guys. i have friends that work there...lots of accidents

Does anyone know the cause of the accident here in los angeles on I 405?

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dave heesom in Wigan, United Kingdom

60 months ago

a good crane driver , i think mr kipling must of been one at some time

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

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dave heesom in Wigan, United Kingdom

60 months ago

your only as good as your last lift

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want to get my welding certs back in El Segundo, California

54 months ago

ken cesco in Windham, Ohio said: is there still programs out there get paid to train. im in school now for heavy eqip. oper. how to i get more info. on becomming a crane oper.

yes, but I don't know if they are in your area. People have mentioned apprecticing and you get paid while you learn.

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Cosme Perez in Lake Jackson, Texas

53 months ago

Dedication to learn all you can, Disciple to not take the easy way, Thirst to be the best you can be. many times when I finish working in one spot on the job site and have to move the crane, alot of 4 by 4's and other material are left on the ground and all the hands are gone to break or where ever, so I can run over the stuff and take a chance busting a line or hose or I can sit and wait till they come ask what's the hold up and get them to move the wood like a prom Dona. I get out and move the 4 by's and look at the ground and plan my path. also I stay working most the time. I don't make a whole lot but I do love my job. At the momment I'm on a 2009 55 ton terex, she got some skinny legs but a real nice heater. Years back I was told by a boss man to rig a load like my family was going to be under it and I have always remembered that!!

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Cosme Perez in Lake Jackson, Texas

53 months ago

Sorry I meant prim Dona

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second generation Reed in Longview, Texas

40 months ago

practice, practice practice....you either got it or you aint!!!

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A Crandall in Clinchfield, Georgia

40 months ago

Training , from as many operators as you can get, Preferibly IUOE sponsored. Ability to know the job and what needs to be done next, Mind reading 101. Nerves of steel, Even if you are nervous you never let the men you work with see it, They need YOU to be confident, it makes there day go easier and when that happens everybody goes hope safe. Know your job and realize your responsibility. ALL Professional Ops are aware of everything going on around them (even before it happens).

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Dave Kay in Hesperia, California

39 months ago

Seat-time, seat-time and MORE seat-time! That's it in a nutshell. Or at least that's how it was a few years ago... But now, with the way the work in construction trades has all but slowed to a crawl, MOST contractors are looking to hire the cheapest, dumbest, do-anything-he-tells-em-to-do-know-nothing bootlickers, that he can possibly find. Here in The States you won't even have to speak English or have a green card either... until you get caught.

Been kicking around this forum for about a year now and I can't figure out why everyone wants to be a crane op these days! Because I've worked cranes for over 20 yrs now and believe me when I tell you--- there is practically NO WORK to be had right now. Those lucky few who are employed in the trade are MOSTLY either family members of the boss or the worst kind of scab-rat-bootlicker there ever was, and there's practically nothing in between.

This trade lost it's pride and prestige when they made it so that anybody can take 2 weeks of class, learn to catch a hook, and then give 'em a crane license. It's so easy now that in our Local, EVERYBODY IS A FREAKIN CERTIFIED crane operator! And when I see these guys on the job and watch them work, it's like an apprentice class all over the place. And whats even more astounding is that some of these greenhorns don't even know the difference between a basket and a choke hitch--- and to them--- it doesn't even matter! No apologies for the flaming--- BUT that is the new reality!

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Gripper2 in El Cajon, California

38 months ago

Right out of the gate, I'll tell you that I am not an operator nor have I ever been at the controls but I am a whirly or gantry crane rigger at a shipyard.
Now that you know my limited knowledge of operating, I still have an opinion and I have to say that some replies were great.
Practice, practice, practice is the key. You must have seat time to gain confidence and coordination. Discipline is important and definitely, knowledge of rigging is hugely important. There are many more great tips I read here and some tips that are irrelevant but 2 of the comments I read I want to express an opinion on.
I have to agree with the person that was saying either you have it or you don't. You can have the best training there is and endless seat time but may never excel.
As for JOE from NY, that was a ridiculous statement about the operator should keep his mouth shut. Communication is one of the keys to good and safe operating.
I do also strongly agree that a good rigger is very helpful.
One of the things I have learned is that a bad rigger can make even a great operator look bad. that goes both ways though because a bad operator can drag down the best rigger.

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Gripper2 in El Cajon, California

38 months ago

For what I think the top physical skills that an operator can possess would have to be
Hand eye coordination
Good depth perception
There are also other skills that are very important.
Communication, steady nerves, patience, focus, ability to get the big picture, knowledge of your crane and rigger, and more and more.
Most people do not understand the many functions an operator must perform and exactly how much the operator does for his rigger.
It took a few different operators to get in my azz to get me to understand what they have to do.

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craneguy in Menifee, California

38 months ago

Mike in San Luis Obispo, California said: I am possibly moving down to San Diego in March is there any companies to get my foot in the door did a lot of rigging for concrete tilt ups. Want to start out rigging then work my way to crane operator.

Try Brewer Crane and rigging.....i'm union and right now unless ur "A" list or know someone your not gonna get hooked up. Brewer is non union

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D.OKeefe in Menifee, California

38 months ago

Dave Kay in Hesperia, California said: Seat-time, seat-time and MORE seat-time! That's it in a nutshell. Or at least that's how it was a few years ago... But now, with the way the work in construction trades has all but slowed to a crawl, MOST contractors are looking to hire the cheapest, dumbest, do-anything-he-tells-em-to-do-know-nothing bootlickers, that he can possibly find. Here in The States you won't even have to speak English or have a green card either... until you get caught.

Been kicking around this forum for about a year now and I can't figure out why everyone wants to be a crane op these days! Because I've worked cranes for over 20 yrs now and believe me when I tell you--- there is practically NO WORK to be had right now. Those lucky few who are employed in the trade are MOSTLY either family members of the boss or the worst kind of scab-rat-bootlicker there ever was, and there's practically nothing in between.

This trade lost it's pride and prestige when they made it so that anybody can take 2 weeks of class, learn to catch a hook, and then give 'em a crane license. It's so easy now that in our Local, EVERYBODY IS A FREAKIN CERTIFIED crane operator! And when I see these guys on the job and watch them work, it's like an apprentice class all over the place. And whats even more astounding is that some of these greenhorns don't even know the difference between a basket and a choke hitch--- and to them--- it doesn't even matter! No apologies for the flaming--- BUT that is the new reality!

I have to agree. I let my NCCCO go after I obtained my OECP. Ill tell you that the training site was filled with dirt hands trying to obtain thier cert. My response to them was you can teach a monkey to pull levers but you cant teach them to think.. That was proof when 20 of us got called to San Onofre and only a handful had seat time...maybe 5 or 6.

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D.OKeefe in Menifee, California

38 months ago

Joe from NY said: A good crane operator KEEPS HIS MOUTH SHUT !! PERIOD

Joe your an Idiot. That'll get someone killed or injured..You must be an iron worker or a hot mopper.

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D.OKeefe in Menifee, California

38 months ago

Waldo pepper in Los Angeles, California said: Does anyone know the cause of the accident here in los angeles on I 405?

I think your talking bout the fatality.... The dolly on the terex was messed up and started to fishtail. Harold lost control...that particular crane was a piece and you couldnt go over 45mph for that reason.

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Cosmo in Lake Jackson, Texas

38 months ago

dave heesom in Wigan, United Kingdom said: a good crane driver , i think mr kipling must of been one at some time

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

Good words. Not just for crane operators but for everyone

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Dave Kay in Hesperia, California

38 months ago

D.OKeefe in Menifee, California said: I think your talking bout the fatality.... The dolly on the terex was messed up and started to fishtail. Harold lost control...that particular crane was a piece and you couldnt go over 45mph for that reason.

Really? Is this the accident that happened in 2008? Around Oct/Nov maybe? And was that a Brewer crane? Wow, I was working in Century City at the time when that happened and lucky I was on nites so I missed the horrendous trafic tie up that resulted. What we heard was that the dolly wasn't pinned to the boom or maybe it came loose and when boom and dolly disconnected the house swung around and the whole crane flipped on its side almost instantly. Then it rammed the center divider retaining wall--- cab-first. Driver never even had a chance to bail or anything. Pretty bad wreak.

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D.OKeefe in Menifee, California

38 months ago

yep thats the 1. the dolly fishtailed, the house never seperated from the lower. he hit the center divider at 45mph which crushed the driverside cab trapping him and the hydro tank caught fire. The oiler tried to pull him out but was unable to. he felt for a pulse and couldnt find one..RIP

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BK in Clark, New Jersey

38 months ago

May 18, 2011
Does the following crane sound like a crane anyone would want to buy? Or, should I send it to the recycling/scrap yard? It was my dad's. It is a diesel 1964 Grove TM-12 Truck Crane. Thank you. Sincerely, BK

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preyashiwnarayan@yahoo.com in Los Angeles, California

37 months ago

I AM FROM GUYANA I AM HEAVY DUTY OPPERATOR I WORK IN THE SUGAR INDUSTRY (EAST BERBICE ESTATE)MY NAME IS MAHENDRANAUTH SHIWNARAYAN I LIVE AT 28 ADELPHI SETTLEMENT , EAST CANJE , BERBICE ,

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hydro man in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

34 months ago

pulling up to a job site and surveying the surroundings, ground stability, where exactly the loads are going ,counterweight clearance ,power lines ,how much weight your going to lift, boom deflection, . making sure you understand when you are working in the blind that you have a great signal man who speaks fuken english,lol. mainly always have a fear and respect for the machine that you are operating. any personal shi* from home brought to the site can screw you up mentally, and you have to be 100% mentally stable to take on the responsibility of operating a crane. operating is the easy part, an excellent operator will know how and where to set up his machine, never beat up your equipment. always check the oil before firing that beast up every mourning,, thank you mr. ray anthony... lol,. thats a heavy rodge.. a big 10-4 yeah im an HTC man.. and fuk those douche bag guys who are signing the tickets at the end of the day who act like they know everything.. they dont know shi* ,only how to do their neck tie...

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Dave K in Victorville, California

33 months ago

Kaleb Newman said: I am looking for a certified crane operator with oilfield experience. we are based out of Northwest Louisiana but service central arkansas, all of Louisiana, and southern texas. Salary is Negotiable. Come work for one of the fastest growing companies in the oil & gas business in the south. Opening yards on a quarterly basis including Casper Wyoming shortly and after that Ohio, and then Colorado. Room to grow!

Email me direct at knewman@jcfodale.com

Hi Kaleb, glad to hear SOMEBODY'S business is growing! Might be interested in re-locating to that Casper yard to boot. Meanwhile, we got a bunch of companies here around Bakersfield looking for certified crane operators. The problem with getting hired is that a lot of these outfits REQUIRE 2 or more years oil-patch experience, minimum. When you call for more info or apply they basically tell you that they want a roust-about w/crane cert., and that it's a young man's job. So I ask for a reply that all can see and my question is; what are your company's requirements for crane ops and exactly what kind of oilfield experience is needed? Thanks, Dave

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