What do you enjoy most about your crane operator career?

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Host

What do you enjoy most about being a crane operator? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

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Rick M. in San Diego, California

91 months ago

Host said: What do you enjoy most about being a crane operator? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?
What keeps you at your job?

I enjoy the thrill of the power of the boom and the engine, balancing the hook, handing someone a beam 300 feet away and putting it right in their hands. I enjoy working with high quality people which many unions provide. I dislike working with unskilled labor. The way I learned was oiling and watching other crane operators. Then I got into a small crane and made picks. I would make each pick a masterpiece whether it is large or small. I stayed with it no matter what. When there wasn't a crane job in the area I was in I would move to a location where there were crane jobs I liked. Each job I would treat as if I would stay there forever. What keeps me at my job is showing off now that I have 30 years experience in all cranes.

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David Pride Vancouver BC in Burnaby, British Columbia

91 months ago

Crane operating gives the operator a sense of purpose, knowing that they have the ability to conquer often impossible tasks.
I am have been operting cranes for 18 years
i started when i was 19. I know a lot of operators become easily frustrated with unknowledgable riggers and inexpierienced staff. However i myself enjoy the ability to teach and share information with others rewarding. Often newer riggers will brush off or even take offense to advise that you have given them but one day they will realize that you have been there done that. I recall a lot of small tips i recieved as i learned on the job. Starting out you don't have an comprehension of bad lift or possible rigging errors until things break. I have learned to be extra cautious because there is no need to create extra risks. However work must get done so this creates a lot of resposibility for the operator,
Supers owners agents cso's riggers must respect and appreciate that fine line the operators must decide on every second of every lift.

Various over 5 ton non-mobile crane operator.

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Viv in Tampa, Florida

74 months ago

How do you get up and down from the crane? And how about bathroom "breaks"?

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Matt

72 months ago

Viv in Tampa, Florida said: How do you get up and down from the crane? And how about bathroom "breaks"?

I assume you are talking about a tower crane? You crawl up a ladder, it might be 100ft or 700ft or more. Sometimes, if you are close enough to the building, you can have some scaffold to reach a higher floor, or better yet the roof. As I empty water bottles I fill them back up.

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Matt

72 months ago

Host said: What do you enjoy most about being a crane operator? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

I love when I drive past a building years after I have finished it, knowing that almost every part of that structure has gone through my hook. Also, the view from my tower, and being able to nap when I'm not doing anything. My wallet enjoys the paychecks too!

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dave heesom in Wigan, United Kingdom

70 months ago

i enjoy the thought of 100 years or so down the line , long after im dead n gone, somebodys gona look up at something that ive put up and just for a second stop and think " i wonder who did that ? "i know im never gona change the world, i will soon be gone and forgoten , but just for that second ,,,,,

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Anonymous in Highland, Indiana

70 months ago

I don't run a tower crane, I run an overhead bridge crane. But, just like these guys here I like it for pretty much the same reasons. It's intense, yet gratifying to know that you are good at something many would find difficult. I have a ton of respect for tower crane operators........it takes precision and patience. I haven't seen too many talk about bridge cranes though......not sure why. I'm proud of what I do. I make 250 to 300 lifts in 8 hours.....and it too requires precision (of a different sort) and patience. And it's more mentally challenging than most would think. I've been doing it for only 4 years and I love it!

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Chris in Edmonton, Alberta

69 months ago

my name is chris, i am a rigger for a smaller company based out of edmonton, i have been trying to get apprenticed in a tower crane but they just dont have the journeyman, ive had seat time and have lots of experience rigging, 2 . 5 years do uhave any advice on getting signed up?

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Chris in Edmonton, Alberta

69 months ago

ive been looking for a crane operator out of vancouver possibly to apprentice me, like i said 2.5 years rigging but not much seat time, eager to learn

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Drew in Chicago, Illinois

69 months ago

Would luv to talk to yu some time..I am in the LAnsing ill area..I am thinking of getting into the local 150 aprent program..
in Highland, Indiana"]I don't run a tower crane, I run an overhead bridge crane. But, just like these guys here I like it for pretty much the same reasons. It's intense, yet gratifying to know that you are good at something many would find difficult. I have a ton of respect for tower crane operators........it takes precision and patience. I haven't seen too many talk about bridge cranes though......not sure why. I'm proud of what I do. I make 250 to 300 lifts in 8 hours.....and it too requires precision (of a different sort) and patience. And it's more mentally challenging than most would think. I've been doing it for only 4 years and I love it!

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trevor liviniuk in Edmonton, Alberta

68 months ago

i have been a crane operator for 5 years now threw edmonton and all over alberta. ive run the big hooks from 100ton to 300ton all friction conventional. to hydrulic truck mounts, to r/t. to me the best part of being a crane operator/ crane owner now is being one of the most important guys on the job site. as a crane operator you are 100% reliable for that load when it leaves the ground and let me tell you, when you have a 100lbs to a 100,000lbs 250 feet in the air and 100ft from you it sure does get your adrenaline going :) but its not just all fun dont forget, some one has to rig those big cranes up in the air wich can take from an hour on small cranes to 10 days on some of the bigger ones. it takes a lot of grunt work being a crane operator. from pounding pins and puting boom together, to jibing up cranes, to rolling 200lbs crane pads around, to walking boom and pulling cable, not as fun as it looks. takes alot of knoledge to set them up to :)

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cranetony in shadyside, Maryland

68 months ago

Drew in Chicago, Illinois said: Would luv to talk to yu some time..I am in the LAnsing ill area..I am thinking of getting into the local 150 aprent program..
in Highland, Indiana"]I don't run a tower crane, I run an overhead bridge crane. But, just like these guys here I like it for pretty much the same reasons. It's intense, yet gratifying to know that you are good at something many would find difficult. I have a ton of respect for tower crane operators........it takes precision and patience. I haven't seen too many talk about bridge cranes though......not sure why. I'm proud of what I do. I make 250 to 300 lifts in 8 hours.....and it too requires precision (of a different sort) and patience. And it's more mentally challenging than most would think. I've been doing it for only 4 years and I love it!

local 150 is one of the best locals from what ive been told. I was trying to transfer a couple of months ago, but they are slow, were not taking transfers right now.

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Op dude in New Westminster, British Columbia

59 months ago

I love operating about as much as I love the HSBC Mastercard application process. I am going to get out as soon as I can. Bad for health and too many long hours.

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Marcos in Pojuca, Brazil

59 months ago

Op dude in New Westminster, British Columbia said: I love operating about as much as I love the HSBC Mastercard application process. I am going to get out as soon as I can. Bad for health and too many long hours.

Yes dude, I agree....It's hot, dusty, stresssing, noisy, low salary etc. If I could give one a piece of advice it would be: Never get into it!!!
The country here where I live, companies pay sheet and try to peel your back way. I have already got away from there. I'm unemployed now cos I wasted 10 years working at such a bad place. So watch out if you intend to get into this kind of environment.

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brand in Edmonton, Alberta

58 months ago

trevor liviniuk in Edmonton, Alberta said: i have been a crane operator for 5 years now threw edmonton and all over alberta. ive run the big hooks from 100ton to 300ton all friction conventional. to hydrulic truck mounts, to r/t. to me the best part of being a crane operator/ crane owner now is being one of the most important guys on the job site. as a crane operator you are 100% reliable for that load when it leaves the ground and let me tell you, when you have a 100lbs to a 100,000lbs 250 feet in the air and 100ft from you it sure does get your adrenaline going :) but its not just all fun dont forget, some one has to rig those big cranes up in the air wich can take from an hour on small cranes to 10 days on some of the bigger ones. it takes a lot of grunt work being a crane operator. from pounding pins and puting boom together, to jibing up cranes, to rolling 200lbs crane pads around, to walking boom and pulling cable, not as fun as it looks. takes alot of knoledge to set them up to :)

Hi there, looking for some guidance from someone in the Edmonton crane industry. I have my oilfield crane journeyman, but no longer work in the field and want to expand into construction. How did you go about your apprenticeship? Is there lots of work out there to justify putting myself through the schooling? Do companies ever subsidise the course and train you for the position?
Thanks for your time, any advice you can give would be appreciated.

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Darcy Flood in Edmonton, Alberta

58 months ago

I like to say yes. I like to come up with a solution examples: How are we going to get that 27,000 pound pump over there ... we couldn't get a crane in there ... you guys don't need to carry that ... you don't need the zoom boom I can carry this all the way as a pick and carry over the front ... it doesn't matter if the piece is larger than my crane it matters about actual weight and its load center. Using the knowledge you gain about your cranes limits, your limits, and your rigger's/signalman's limits to get things done is very rewarding. When I'm operating it encompasses all my focus, you react and predict, you estimate observe and measure, you test and record you constantly learn new things, you operate and maintain a multimillion dollar piece of equipment ... plus some of the seats tilt way back :) I operate rought terrain hydraulics up to 100 ton lattice boom to 440 ton and overhead up to 30 ton havnt spent much time in at or highway cranes and i look forward to getting on tower cranes someday... I love heights and use any excuse to get up there. Doing the physical parts reminds you that your a construction worker, stepping in the cab or slipping on the control belt reminds you that you are something more.

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crane guy in Cheyenne, Wyoming

57 months ago

Just as a few people have said, it is a thrill. There is nothing quite like it in the world. It is very satisfying to go home at night knowing that you set over 100 pieces of steel in one day. Granted it can be not at all glamorous, but I would not trade my job for anything.

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ray guy in Bronx, New York

57 months ago

Is it possible for someone without experience to receive an apprenticship with a union. I understand that a mechanical aptitude is also need to do this work. What can someone like myself do to become a crane operator?

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bluwenis@aol.com

49 months ago

I would enjoy answering any questions you have. You can contact me directly at bluwenis@aol.com. Please enter a obvious subject so I do not dismiss you as spam.

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Dave in Attleboro, Massachusetts

44 months ago

I know crane operators in the US are well paid but I'm not exactly sure as to how much you guys can make on different types of cranes, can you assist in an answer please. It's not like in the middle east or India where these guys are virtual slaves and they know it.
When it's windy or for other reasons, if no lift is taking place you are free to do nothing like drink coffee or read, etc?
Lastly, you are paid by the hour and get paid as long as you are on the job site and ready to work? Is this correct?

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available bc in New Westminster, British Columbia

44 months ago

you can have as all the coffee you want as long as you haul your piss down daily. 12

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available bc in New Westminster, British Columbia

44 months ago

you can have as all the coffee you want as long as you haul your piss down daily.

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levon in Vancouver, Washington

42 months ago

Chris in Edmonton, Alberta said: my name is chris, i am a rigger for a smaller company based out of edmonton, i have been trying to get apprenticed in a tower crane but they just dont have the journeyman, ive had seat time and have lots of experience rigging, 2 . 5 years do uhave any advice on getting signed up?

I am intarestid in being a crane operator do you now haw I can git startd

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Leanne Redwood in Edmonton, Alberta

40 months ago

David Pride Vancouver BC in Burnaby, British Columbia said: Crane operating gives the operator a sense of purpose, knowing that they have the ability to conquer often impossible tasks.
I am have been operting cranes for 18 years
i started when i was 19. I know a lot of operators become easily frustrated with unknowledgable riggers and inexpierienced staff. However i myself enjoy the ability to teach and share information with others rewarding. Often newer riggers will brush off or even take offense to advise that you have given them but one day they will realize that you have been there done that. I recall a lot of small tips i recieved as i learned on the job. Starting out you don't have an comprehension of bad lift or possible rigging errors until things break. I have learned to be extra cautious because there is no need to create extra risks. However work must get done so this creates a lot of resposibility for the operator,
Supers owners agents cso's riggers must respect and appreciate that fine line the operators must decide on every second of every lift.

Various over 5 ton non-mobile crane operator.

I am applying for school and need to interview 3-4 crane operators. Would you be i
willing to answer some questions and talk about your experiences.

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Leanne Redwood in Edmonton, Alberta

40 months ago

David Pride Vancouver BC in Burnaby, British Columbia said: Crane operating gives the operator a sense of purpose, knowing that they have the ability to conquer often impossible tasks.
I am have been operting cranes for 18 years
i started when i was 19. I know a lot of operators become easily frustrated with unknowledgable riggers and inexpierienced staff. However i myself enjoy the ability to teach and share information with others rewarding. Often newer riggers will brush off or even take offense to advise that you have given them but one day they will realize that you have been there done that. I recall a lot of small tips i recieved as i learned on the job. Starting out you don't have an comprehension of bad lift or possible rigging errors until things break. I have learned to be extra cautious because there is no need to create extra risks. However work must get done so this creates a lot of resposibility for the operator,
Supers owners agents cso's riggers must respect and appreciate that fine line the operators must decide on every second of every lift.

Various over 5 ton non-mobile crane operator.

I am applying for school and need to interview a crane operator and ask some questions .. I would like talk about your experiences and get some knowledge before starting school..

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brent in San Diego, California

37 months ago

Rick M. in San Diego, California said: I enjoy the thrill of the power of the boom and the engine, balancing the hook, handing someone a beam 300 feet away and putting it right in their hands. I enjoy working with high quality people which many unions provide. I dislike working with unskilled labor. The way I learned was oiling and watching other crane operators. Then I got into a small crane and made picks. I would make each pick a masterpiece whether it is large or small. I stayed with it no matter what. When there wasn't a crane job in the area I was in I would move to a location where there were crane jobs I liked. Each job I would treat as if I would stay there forever. What keeps me at my job is showing off now that I have 30 years experience in all cranes.

I think about you alot brother, we had some good times and I miss you, your a little futher down the road then the rest of us now. Save me a place in the crane next to you.
Brent

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Tonymcen in MacaƩ, Brazil

33 months ago

Host said: What do you enjoy most about being a crane operator? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

Altough, I am "little" crane operator (xcmg 70) i like so much to assembly some equipments and be recognized sometimes, but here we are not well paid for this you know, sometimes 11 hours operating, I would like to get some job out of my country, know places, improve my english, be well paid for i'm doing

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im ashfaq in Doha, Qatar

32 months ago

job mobilecrane op xcmg 70t

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Tonymcen in MacaƩ, Brazil

32 months ago

im ashfaq in Doha, Qatar said: job mobilecrane op xcmg 70t

Hello friend, when I said "little" was because i have a lot of friends who operate another big crane like: liebher, tadano, terex over than 100t, sometimes I feel little near them, hahahahaha but i love my job, see ya

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Dean Livanos in Sydney, Australia

29 months ago

I started driving tower cranes about 5 years ago, i got my dogman (maybe you guys call it signal man) and riggers license at technical college and got various jobs as a rigger then got a job on a building site as the dogman for the towercrane. The crane driver told me he was leaving to go back to his home country in one month, he was a nice guy and i told him i would like to drive the crane and be an operator, he taught me how to operate the crane and in 1 month i called the assessor to come out, i got tested and got my license. Its the best job i have ever had and i have had plenty of jobs, ive worked since i was about 10; car detailer, car salesman, bicycle courier, labourer, window cleaner, rigger, dogman, real estate assistant, delivering and selling newspapers, waiter.

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eldar in Tel Aviv-yafo, Israel

28 months ago

Hi Dean,

I am a crane operator living in Israel. I am thinking of immigrating to Australia soon and have some questions about this job:
1) what are the working hours? Do you have to work overtime? In Israel you have to work around 12 ours a day (9 - is the minimal and after that you receive 125%, 150% and 200% for each hour).
2) How many working days do you have? I work 5 days for 12 hours and 1 day - 6 hours
3) How is it easy to find a job, say in Sidney or Melbourne?
4) If you work full-time, is it enough for leaving and saving?

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Nicolas in Netherlands

28 months ago

Hello people. I see that many people had to go to school
For à long time. Here in the netherlands. Its only 2 weeks. Training
And they throw you in the business. First it was very hard for my
To operat à towercrane. Now after 4 years its à pièce of cake
I like THE job and its good money also if you work for yourself

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Dean Livanos in Sydney, Australia

24 months ago

hi Eldar
I have a friend that has a contracting company he may be able to get you a start in Sydney, he is after experienced operators. You are best to talk to him, there is work out there. His email is
towercrane (at) email (dot) com
the work is usually 6 days a week with some jobs requiring more hours than others, and its definatly enough to save and live but it all depends on how you live.

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Gary K. in Bakersfield, California

21 months ago

Fourty years ago I started my career. When I joined the Army that was the MOS they gave me. I didn't even phathom what a crane was, but after I started running one I was hooked. Back then they didn't have the cranes like they do now. It was all clutch,lever and brake, none of this up,down, neutral stuff there is today. It was a challenge to operate a crane back then. That's what I liked about it. Mostly what we had then were truck mounts. 20 ton Linkbelts, with lattice type booms. But that was many years ago. Now I just operate the small telescopes in the field. I'd really like to go back to work. I even have my NCCCO card good till 2015. Kinda semi-retired at the moment.

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