NCCO /NCCER Just plastic

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Russ Downs in Crystal River, Florida

67 months ago

I have been operating equipment since the early 90s. Last November I decided to get my crane cert. I attended the Georgia School of Construction to prep me for the exams (job placement sucks). I scored 100% on the practical, and 90% plus on the core and large hydraulic. I recieved my NCCO and NCCER cards and I might as well use them to cut up bananas. Emloyers are looking for yrs of experience not plastic. I have been building sub stations for wind farm projects from Texas to Illinois to PA and have yet sat in a Hydraulic crane. I am a Operator for the IBEW and my pay ranged from $17.64 hr to $39 hr plus benefits and per diem. What I am getting at is if you plan on going out and getting your certs without crane experience and landing the job right away, you are up for a dissapointment. I have seen operators that could butter toast with the hook and then there are the ones that its a miracle they negotiated the walk to the crane. I have seen so many unsafe acts in regards to cranes in the last yr, its unreal. I left $34 an hr in Illinois because management would not prevent unsafe lifts. When the safety director left the site it was lets get this done anyway thats possible. Everything can be done safely, its engineered in.

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haulbot1@yahoo.com in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

67 months ago

I agree that NCCCO card is worthless and I have 14 yrs of operating Drywall booms not the same but I Know I can swing steel or pipe to start not big critical lifts but they all want 5 yrs exp:where do you get that if now one will hire you.I also don't feel I should have to start at the bottom of the scale in the union but not the top also.

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Russ Downs in Crystal River, Florida

67 months ago

I agree, if you have some good wits about you, and can understand what leverage and stability really mean when weight is involved, you can catch on to a crane pretty easily. I have seen lineman in Illinois say that wind does not mean anything to them or that the the machine should lift OK without reviewing a load chart or confirming the weight. They were a ton over not mentioning the 23 mile an hr wind that was away from boom. Wrapping the line around the load, not using slings.

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bigjakesrq in sarasota, Florida

66 months ago

Russ Downs in Crystal River, Florida said: I agree, if you have some good wits about you, and can understand what leverage and stability really mean when weight is involved, you can catch on to a crane pretty easily. I have seen lineman in Illinois say that wind does not mean anything to them or that the the machine should lift OK without reviewing a load chart or confirming the weight. They were a ton over not mentioning the 23 mile an hr wind that was away from boom. Wrapping the line around the load, not using slings.

Russ I don't agree with you at all. Being good crane operator is an art. For you to say "I agree, if you have some good wits about you, and can understand what leverage and stability really mean when weight is involved, you can catch on to a crane pretty easily." That is a slap in the face to REAL operators every where. If you really think that's all it takes I feel sorry for you. I've been running since I was 18 years old and I've seen a lot of people that just couldn't cut it. They weren't stupid, but they just couldn't make as a good and safe operator. Just my 2 cents.

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bigjakesrq in sarasota, Florida

66 months ago

I should clarify I completely agree with your 1st statement just not the 2nd one Russ.

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Russ Downs in Valdosta, Georgia

66 months ago

2 cents are all good. I have been around equipment my entire adult life and when I say "wits about you" I didn't mean just being smart. I catch on to just about ever new challenge pretty quickly so going from a safe equipment operator to a safe heavy equipment operator was not very difficult for me. If someone truley understands leverage and stability and has a good sense of safety and have hydrualic experience they can operate a crane. They are not immediate artist but I have to say that you probably were not either, it takes time. No one is offering to buy my art ( certs ) and I am not saying that not having a cert makes someone a bad operator. I have met operators who can pass the practical and totally blow the written everytime and vise versa. I will also say that having that peice of plastic in someones pocket does not always make them operator.

Thanks for your 2 cents bigjakesrq

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haulbot1@yahoo.com in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

66 months ago

I have operated drywall booms for 14 yrs up to 74' remotes.Try picking up steel studs in a snow storm with a remote from the 7th floor those studs are just balanced there not rigged in so they can't drop. Now thats art that I don't think many people can' do. But when the construction buisness dried up around the midwest I lost my job so last summer I went and got my card at that school in OKC so I can use my skills on other typs of work.I have sent my resume out to about 75 companies not even a call back.When I talk to someone on the phone that I contact the say where is your crane exp.So I think it is a useless peice of plastic that cost $8500 Plus expenses about a xtra $1000.

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Russ Downs in Crystal River, Florida

66 months ago

I hear ya, I have a little over 8grand in mine with the school and housing.
Russ

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bigjakesrq in Sarasota, Florida

66 months ago

I don't think the "art" would be the "cert", it would be operating with skill. I can teach anyone with half a brain to pass the nccco exam. Even the practical, its not like they want you to do anything crazy hard. I mean come on how hard is it to run through some cones. That can be learned how to do in a matter of a week or two if not less. Bottom line I don't know that the card is a good thing, it certainly doesn't make you a crane operator. Then again it's not bad either. I just wish they made some kind of mandatory oilership to go along with it. I don't care what you've run in the past if it wasn't a crane then you're not going to be able to jump on a crane and one be safe, two have the skill needed to get the job done, three keep everyone on the job site happy. I'm not saying that you may not be able to do the job, but not like it should be done.

Hey Russ by the way are you working at the Crystal river power plant? I hear they have like ten years of work up there. I have a bunch of family up there and know the area. I try to get up that way every couple of months.

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roger goodling

66 months ago

your stupid you are what makes the operator your plastic just makes it leagal and puts all blame or fame on you cant get in the seat lie and say you have experience then prove you are good.

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haulbot1@yahoo.com in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

66 months ago

Learn english befor u coment

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bigjakesrq in sarasota, Florida

66 months ago

roger goodling said: your stupid you are what makes the operator your plastic just makes it leagal and puts all blame or fame on you cant get in the seat lie and say you have experience then prove you are good.

Roger, I'm not sure what you were trying to say. I read your post about 5 time and couldn't make heads or tail of it. Maybe you should think about the point you were trying to get across and then with a calm collective head type it out. Don't forget before you post it check it to make sure other people can get what you're trying to say.

haulbot1@yahoo.com, If your going to make fun of people don't you think you should make sure your comment is in proper english?

"Learn english befor(before) u(you) coment(comment)"

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Bubba in Orlando, Florida

66 months ago

when you go to a "school" or "college of construction" and get an nccco license, then yes, its just a damn piece of plastic. how in the hell can you call yourself a Certified Crane Operator when you have 0 hours experience in the seat. In my opinion, you should have a minimum of 4000 hrs seat time before they let you in the door to take the exam! Buying a license was not what the program was intended to do, but thanks to these so called "schools", that's what it has become. Forget critical lifts, I'd just like to see these "college grads" with their cco cards hang some iron, or even pour concrete.

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bigjakesrq in sarasota, Florida

66 months ago

Hahaha That would be the day. Can you imagine them flying trusses or pouring concrete. Let's see how far that card would get them then. I like the idea of having a minimum seat time before you get cut loose. It'll never happen though.

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Mr Clean

66 months ago

this plastic is B,S crane accidents have gone up because of certication not down. im, no rocket sientist Im, a crane operator with 25 years in the seat i have my certs. because with out them I cant get work.God bless these kids fresh out of construction collage that want to be crane operators let them be oilers fore a while then when they can set up a rig in less than perfact conditions give them a chance under close supervision by a experanced operator

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tompkins in Cabot, Arkansas

66 months ago

If any leads on work would be helpful . It's so slow right now . Thanks .

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Bubba in Orlando, Florida

66 months ago

i cant believe that they are paying RIDICULOUS money for these cards! i payed 165.00/185.00 or so for the written, and 80.00 for all three practicals. i seen on here they post paying anywhere from 5k to 10k!!!! and they cant use it for squat because they dont know how.

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russ in Jessieville, Arkansas

66 months ago

Blattner, Wansek, I have a number here for a company at the nuc plant in Crystal River, I just have to locate it and send it to you. I talked to them this week and they need crane operators but need seat time, I don't know if cert is required. I have cert but not enough time.
In regards to your previous post. The guys with fresh crane certs are not getting in those cranes. I am a heavy equipment operator by trade and I have applied for 78 yes 78 job postings for crane operator in the last 3 months, and no seat time, no job. I wanted my cert to give me some knowledge to open a door to learn crane operations,whether it be working as an oiler or rigger first, companies are not interested. My advise to anyone who does not have crane experience, do not go out and get certified. Osha is trying to get it so everybody has to be certified, there will be a couple of options for that.
I'll try and track that # for you if your interested.

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tompkins in Cabot, Arkansas

66 months ago

russ in Jessieville, Arkansas said: Blattner, Wansek, I have a number here for a company at the nuc plant in Crystal River, I just have to locate it and send it to you. I talked to them this week and they need crane operators but need seat time, I don't know if cert is required. I have cert but not enough time.
In regards to your previous post. The guys with fresh crane certs are not getting in those cranes. I am a heavy equipment operator by trade and I have applied for 78 yes 78 job postings for crane operator in the last 3 months, and no seat time, no job. I wanted my cert to give me some knowledge to open a door to learn crane operations,whether it be working as an oiler or rigger first, companies are not interested. My advise to anyone who does not have crane experience, do not go out and get certified. Osha is trying to get it so everybody has to be certified, there will be a couple of options for that.
I'll try and track that # for you if your interested.

Yes , Thank You . That would be very helpful .
It's hard to get seat time if you don't know someone willing to take you under their wing . Keep putting your foot in the door , it will open one day .

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Bubba in Orlando, Florida

66 months ago

zachry is the company three five two, seven nine five, six six one one

working 5 days a week, payin per diem on 7

looking for picker ops, and 2250 op.

not sure about the cert. i know you get more money with it. experience is MANDATORY.

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Bubba in Orlando, Florida

66 months ago

i think they are hiring near west palm, and polk city as well. not sure but you can check out their website

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haulbot1@yahoo.com in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

66 months ago

Even with a card they are not hiring or even calling back

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Bubba in Orlando, Florida

66 months ago

depends on your EXPERIENCE and WHO you talk to, what you wanna run. if you gotta good rep with the riggers and ironheads youll get on

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tompkins in Cabot, Arkansas

66 months ago

yeah have sent out 100 resumes . Ive worked for Zachery , SW&B , BE&K , JV Industrial . There does seems to be anything going on . It's so slow . Thanks for the heads up .

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beercandan in Rochester, New York

66 months ago

My son wants to get into the trade. I'm in HVAC and he 's no college boy , smart enough but isn't into it and wont be. he can do the school for his certs , I'd pay but I would like him to get hands on experience prior. is there some sort of helper position apprienticeship? maybe back at the shop or something. how would you go about inquiring for such a position? I'd hate for him to get his certs and they be useless and I don't want him be a lacky his whole life .

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tompkins in Cabot, Arkansas

66 months ago

beercandan in Rochester, New York said: My son wants to get into the trade. I'm in HVAC and he 's no college boy , smart enough but isn't into it and wont be. he can do the school for his certs , I'd pay but I would like him to get hands on experience prior. is there some sort of helper position apprienticeship? maybe back at the shop or something. how would you go about inquiring for such a position? I'd hate for him to get his certs and they be useless and I don't want him be a lacky his whole life .

His best bet to get experience is to be a rigger first . Get his feet wet , learn it from the ground . Get in the click , an find someone to take him under there wing an teach him the ropes . Seeing everything from the Rigger veiw gives you the undrstanding of all that the CRANE operator has to see , and is responsible for . Riggers are the right hand to a crane operator . There is a whole other world for a crane operator . When you get into with the understanding of the ground responiblty you tend to pay alot more attention , then just worring about pulling sticks . Good Luck to you Both in the paths you choose . Good Luck to All with the search for work - it is so slow , and sad .

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beercandan in Rochester, New York

66 months ago

tompkins in Cabot, Arkansas said: His best bet to get experience is to be a rigger first . Get his feet wet , learn it from the ground . Get in the click , an find someone to take him under there wing an teach him the ropes . Seeing everything from the Rigger veiw gives you the undrstanding of all that the CRANE operator has to see , and is responsible for . Riggers are the right hand to a crane operator . There is a whole other world for a crane operator . When you get into with the understanding of the ground responiblty you tend to pay alot more attention , then just worring about pulling sticks . Good Luck to you Both in the paths you choose . Good Luck to All with the search for work - it is so slow , and sad .

thank tompkins , just the info I was looking for. good luck and fortune to you and all

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Bubba in Montgomery, Alabama

66 months ago

beercandan in Rochester, New York said: My son wants to get into the trade. I'm in HVAC and he 's no college boy , smart enough but isn't into it and wont be. he can do the school for his certs , I'd pay but I would like him to get hands on experience prior. is there some sort of helper position apprienticeship? maybe back at the shop or something. how would you go about inquiring for such a position? I'd hate for him to get his certs and they be useless and I don't want him be a lacky his whole life .

sign up for the apprenticeship program at your local IUOE.

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steve in Bastrop, Louisiana

66 months ago

everyone needs the seat time there is alot of stress in the seat.have to know when to say no alot of people on the job well try to get u to do lifts u know u should not and being new most of the time youll make the lift.when u r in the seat u r the king of the craneif u make a lift u r not 100% sure is safe then you dont need to get in the seat.remember it is easy to kill people from that seat.there is a whole lot more to being a crane operator then just operating a crane.

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haulbot1@yahoo.com in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

66 months ago

I agree if he can get in Apprentice program that would be better,you can also purchase the books for nccco he could do some self study and get the card on his own with help from the Union.I n Illinois & Wis the Union is closed and not taking on any apprentices.

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frank in Rochester, Minnesota

66 months ago

world of difference between certified and qualified. Minnesota made cert. mandatory and we have alot of book smart operators that seem to lack that all important hands on exp.

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The Operator in Atlanta, Georgia

66 months ago

It's a little baffling to me that there are so many other operators out there complaing about the NCCCO and using it as an escape goat for not being able to find work when the economy, high maintenance operators, alchahol problems, sleep habits or other random things are what usually keeps people from finding work, Lets hava little self check here the CCO is just a test proving that YOU the operator has met a minimum standards test showing that you can read retain and operate a selected piece of equipment to the lowest standards set forth thus far.
The only reason operators are required to have a cco card as of 1996 is to keep our contractors insurance cariers happy to the fact that the operators of one of the largest potentially most dangerous piece of equipment on site has some kind of training.
I have operated cranes from 8.5t-600t crawlers including tower cranes of various sizes, Just for a little background on myself

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tompkins in Cabot, Arkansas

66 months ago

As the PreMadonna has said - NCCO is to show that your are qualified to run the equipment you get into , but as the news has shown there is more accidents since anyone can walk into the office an get a NCCO card regardless of seat time , rigging knowledge , or site experience . It has been shown that Money talks and Experience walks . It's sad that the rest of Corp. World would put a Book worm in the seat then someone with 15+ yrs seat time ( total yrs 29 ) construction experience .

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frank in Claremont, Minnesota

66 months ago

Just for the record I don't drink,I sleep very well and I was smart enough to save my money so the economy has not been as hard on me as some. Started in the trades as a laborer in 1971 and in 1978 I joined the operators union and spent 2 years oiling for one of the best crane operators in the area. Have been running cranes ever since from 15t to 400t rts, crawlers and truck cranes also towers Pecco,Wolff and Liebherr. Just got my pension statement and it says I have worked 61000 hrs sence my init, just a little backround on myself. What was meant by my statement yesterday was the cco is a fine thing and after you do your class work it should also be mandatory to work as an app. for 2000 hours before you really get to carry that certification or have documented previous experience. by the way I have never had a problem finding a job. Everybody goes home every day.

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The Operator in Atlanta, Georgia

66 months ago

I'm not emphasizeing that any of you do or do not fall into the class of persons I have listed above, But lets keep on point here with the going topic, I will not defend any comment previous except to say that if your definition of an inteligent response is to call names, cast aspersions or make childish accusation then there is no need for myself to even read this forum.
Forward; As I want to believe that this is a sight for good reliable crane operators to share information I'll continue by say that it seems all of the corporate industries are scaling back training and calling it streamlining and after seeing the caliber of operators flooding into all markets in the last three years it shows that cco cards are only to profesional training where we use to have unions to perform the same task, But with our local union and non-union outfits it seems that even the aprenticeship programs are lacking in quality of operator ability, I do not disagree with the fact stated above that a college trained construction student would generaly be hired over a career operator not always due to ability but due to the sheer fact that college is like a private club and college graduates will always hire a club member before myself not just because of the cco card but because they can relate to another college kid...

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Bubba in Orlando, Florida

66 months ago

I agree with the 2000 hours seat time b4 you cert. our apprentices can NOT test for CCO until their FOURTH year in the apprenticeship. I STRONGLY DISAGREE with these "colleges" SELLING CCO licenses.

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tompkins in Cabot, Arkansas

66 months ago

I agree with you . Time and experience is strongly needed for this craft . Other people have differant plans - an Crane Operators will become a thing of the past . (True Operators). It's sad that they have more than qualified Operators sitting at home not working because they don't have the time or money to take the NCCO test . An there are alot of Companies that will only except certain schools . Which is good in a way . But it is still wrong in many ways . Why don't companies give their operators an option , take the test we will pay you work for us kind of thing . They know they have the experience , they know their work ... Does it make more sense ? Option to pay back , etc . It's just truely screwed up .

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Bubba in Orlando, Florida

66 months ago

Bubba in Orlando, Florida said: i cant believe that they are paying RIDICULOUS money for these cards! i payed 165.00/185.00 or so for the written, and 80.00 for all three practicals. i seen on here they post paying anywhere from 5k to 10k!!!! and they cant use it for squat because they dont know how.

and my company reimbursed me upon completion of the tests. so really, mine was free. :)

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Russ in Tampa, Florida

65 months ago

165.00/185.00 or so for the written,80.00 for all three practicals. Bubby can manage his money a little better than some obviously. You guys still are not getting that our cco is not taking your job. No company is taking just cco's to be A CRANE OPERATOR. They may pick someone up to climb the ladder but not as a operator. Seasoned operators are setting home either because of no work in their area and their not wanting to travel or no one wants you. I read in a previous post incinuating recent crane accidents are due to the new cco's. I will research this because I don't believe it, no one is letting anyone with no seat time in those cranes. And as far as being the best there is, because that is how you guys put yourself out there, you should have enough money to pay for the exam. We paid for the class to give us the basic knowledge so we know what the hell is going on. Let me ask you guys this, how many of you guys have performed an unsafe act. I want you to think about this. I have been in the wind farm projects as and equipment operator and I'll tell ya, a lot of cranes and the operators are old timers.

example: Operator was lifting a sail (it has the actual generator in it )100,000lbs + depending on model. A night lift, 28mph winds on top of tower. During the pick the load would fall back 3-4 ft and then stop. This happened several times until the load was set. Come to find out the line was overlapped on the spool.

example: Same situation, at night, lifting sail but too windy to align sail to tower so they put a person in the sail to better align the holes.

example: Recently at nuke in Crystal River. Operator was in 3rd gear with a RT and ended up 100ft off the road in the mud stuck.

I can go on and on. If you haven't seen this kind of stuff, don't preach because its out there. I have seen some of these so called operator engineers operate cranes and I'll tell ya Don't become a surgeon.

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frank in Rochester, Minnesota

65 months ago

you have a valid point. This stuff goes on a lot more than it should and will continue as long as companies have a policy that is safty first unless it cost money or takes time. That is why I was all for the cco test in the begining thought it might stop some of it but has not really had that effect.

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Russ in Tampa, Florida

65 months ago

The ONLY thing that trumps safety is MONEY. I know jobs are tight and people don't want to stir the soup so when a safety issue arises they back into the shadows and don't say a thing or will go along with the plan and not realize that is more than a 50/50 chance of succuss or failure. I stand up, I speak, I ask questions and if not happy with the answer I keep asking. I have a 100% accident free history. I still have my fingers, toes and most important, everybody goes home, I refuse to accept less. More people should feel the same, ( speaking of managment ). In this Industry, we get paid what we are worth, and no more to be unsafe. Whether you are a union member, a life long operator or a newbe, SAFETY IS SAFETY. I am sure most of you in this forum are safety conscience and are great at what you do, the reason I say that is because your on this forum, not afraid to stand up and discuss things. It is good to hear because it shows a interest not just a job.

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frank in Rochester, Minnesota

65 months ago

what you describe is the dfference between an operator and a lever puller. I can teach a monkey to pull a lever that don't make him an operator. operators have to be a different breed we have to care more about the people we work with than they care themself. We go home at night and think of whats coming the next day and what we need to do to make sure everyone goes home, no good operator locks his crane at night and forgets the job till the next day

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tompkins in Cabot, Arkansas

65 months ago

I've been in Construction for 29 yrs . I've always been requested for the jobs . I travel everywhere . Bought a home that I spent maybe 2 months a yrs at . Work is slow right now , nobody really paying anything . Everyone looking for local operators to save paying per diem . NO mishaps , close calls , everyone I work with goes home every night . I stand up for wrong doings , unsafe acts . Any true operator would , it's your butt on the line .
As I said before , I'm for the NCCO in a way - but just as must against it as for it . Alot of things they need to work out before I will truely be for it .

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jkmjstone@yahoo.com in Waterloo, Iowa

65 months ago

Bubba in Orlando, Florida said: when you go to a "school" or "college of construction" and get an nccco license, then yes, its just a damn piece of plastic. how in the hell can you call yourself a Certified Crane Operator when you have 0 hours experience in the seat. In my opinion, you should have a minimum of 4000 hrs seat time before they let you in the door to take the exam! Buying a license was not what the program was intended to do, but thanks to these so called "schools", that's what it has become. Forget critical lifts, I'd just like to see these "college grads" with their cco cards hang some iron, or even pour concrete.

I went to OKCC and i swing steal,core decking,concrete bucket and other various items on a daily basis. I just got done setting 55 ft beams(which I'm sure there are beams out there that makes that look like a grain of sand, but that is beside the point). So yes some of us that do go to the school are not total failures. But I do agree with you because some of the guys that were in class with me couldn't even get the ball in the barrel.

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Samuelzman@yahoo.com in Kansas City, Missouri

65 months ago

I've had my cco for both hydros and both lattice cranes for about 7 yrs. It has helped me, but superintendents think you should know it all. I DON'T know it all and I am learning more every day. I work for a crane rental company and my biggest concern is that everyone goes home at the end of the day. Never has anyone complained about the work I do (not tooting my own horn) but I think that is because I take my job very seriously. Work has gotten slow here so I've started looking for work elsewhere.

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loadlifter in Oswego, Illinois

65 months ago

Yes it's a piece of plastic that if you want to look at a crane you will need really soon,I have been operating drywall booms of all shapes and sizes for 15 years and soon even those will require the card ,I got mine so I can stop stocking rock and climb into a toasty cab and use my skills as an operator instead of also stocking rock ,steel you name it by hand I guess the only way to do that where I live is to join 150 which I have no problem with that just have to start out at the bottom again because the 62'articulating remote I operate does not have a wire rope at the end and 15 years in the mud setting up my boom on all types of treacherous terrain but none of what I learned on the job or at occ means squat? I have dropped 5 lifts in 15 years and for something that only balance and gravity and skill are keeping on the forks and the amount of lifts I have made ,well anyone who knows the trade wil tell you 'taint bad I just hope to get into an rt or something they pay the same here and give my bones a well deserved break I'm closing in on 40 and the drywal has been rough on the body.the controls on a grove or link belt are close to an IMT the only diffrence is the rope but once I got the feathering down I was ok.

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999crane

64 months ago

Any new or up coming jobs anywhere? Yes I have my NCCCO for 2years for LBT,LBC,TLL and 9years Exp in cralwers and hydros and a safe record and will go thruout the midwest to work but still can't find a job. I agree the CCO could take it a bit further and add the 2000hrs or something even crane inspection every crane I've got in to has had some mechanical issues some major some miner but should have been cought by the last operator but they just wanted to pull levers or they think they should run it till the wheels fall off instead of maintaining it before it stop you from working!! Sorry way off the subject

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haulbot1@yahoo.com in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

64 months ago

Finaly got a job because I have my card it took a little paitence and persavernce to get someone to take a chance on me. They are very happy with my skills and have given me brand new crane.

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russ in Abilene, Texas

64 months ago

great to hear about your opportunity. Good luck on your future.
Russ

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haulbot1@yahoo.com in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

64 months ago

Thank You!!!

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