After reading the article, you can find out all the basic information about the profession of a crane operator and about training for a profession. We will also talk about the features of the work of a truck crane driver, overhead and tower, crawler and other cranes according to ETKS. Wages and other nuances of such activities are characterized.
A crane operator is a profession that is much less well-known than a welder or an architect, a salesman or a police officer.. And the instrument of his activity attracts attention more often than the specialist himself. However, without such people, any large construction project, the operation of transport, and many industrial facilities will be impossible.
Despite the pronounced internal division, all such professionals specialize not only in the management of lifting equipment — which, by the way, is what they are useful to society in the first place. They are also involved in the maintenance of the entrusted property.
Of course, in case of serious breakdowns, you will have to turn to other professionals. However, maintaining the equipment in working condition on a daily basis is the responsibility of the crane operators themselves. It is curious to emphasize that officially this profession is divided into several private areas. So, operators work on large tower cranes, and if we are talking about a specialist in managing mobile lifting equipment, then we are talking about truck crane operators. The latter cannot be considered drivers in their pure form: although they have driver’s qualifications and obey universal traffic rules on public roads, they need to know and be able to do many other things.
Crane work consists of the same type of procedures. Those employed in this field perform standardized tasks in a clear pattern. Deviation from the established standards is categorically not allowed, unless it is connected with extraordinary circumstances. You have to work in the open air, and even when you are in the cabin, fluctuations in temperature and humidity will affect the crane operator. From the point of view of the classifiers, this is a typical working profession — it only requires great qualifications and skills.
Lifting mechanisms and specialists in their management have been known for a long time. To some extent, it would even be fair to say that the development of this sphere has reflected and reflects the dynamics of the entire civilization. But the crane with a mechanical drive appeared only in 1827. The widespread use of such technology falls on the twentieth century.
Therefore, crane operators with good reason can talk about both the antiquity and the modernity of their profession.
Responsibilities by category
For this category, the current ETKS provides for the readiness to:
- manage cranes, overhead and locks;
- move loads weighing up to 3000 kg;
- perform simple handling operations with simple solid and bulk cargoes;
- operate monorail carts and overhead cranes;
- participate in the repair of a dedicated crane;
- check the quality of the fixation of the cables and the adjustment of the brakes.
At this level, it is also required to operate overhead and sluice type cranes with a lifting capacity of up to 15,000 kg. Also, the qualification of a specialist allows you to work with tower, gantry, gantry cranes (when equipped with any existing load-handling device). If we are talking about work of medium complexity, then a crane operator of the 3rd category cannot lift more than 10,000 kg in 1 move. He needs to be ready for the installation of industrial equipment and its individual parts on machines.
Additional skills required:
- move scaffolds;
- operate electric hoists;
- work with mobile cranes;
- work with rack stackers.
At this level of skill, the crane operator must know the rules of the road. Additionally, you will need to study:
- the device of the crane itself and its individual machines;
- procedure for preventive maintenance;
- the main manifestations of malfunctions and ways to eliminate them;
- requirements for the quality of work and building structures;
- features of the device of slings and grips, other removable devices, requirements for them and for their use;
- the procedure for working with a crane;
- plumbing in a minimum volume;
- emergency procedures.
Required skills will be:
- control of truck cranes with a lifting capacity of up to 6300 kg during operations with cargo on command;
- inspection of external fasteners and adjustment of cable mechanisms;
- determination of the readiness and suitability for work (serviceability) of individual parts;
- reading working drawings;
- maintenance of watch logs and waybills.
Moreover, you need:
- move with tower and gantry cranes up to 25,000 kg of simple types of cargo;
- move loads of medium complexity on stationary lifts (up to 3 m in size);
- move structures and parts 3-6 m long with a bridge or sluice crane;
- tilt ship sections;
- move scaffolds;
- use caterpillar and pneumatic-mounted cranes with a lifting capacity of up to 10,000 kg (but not during construction and installation work);
- take into account stored values;
- manipulate rack stackers with a load capacity of more than 1000 kg;
- use automatically controlled stackers;
- control cranes remotely using standard radio equipment.
At this level, knowledge of:
- specific purpose, methods of action and internal arrangement of nodes;
- features of safety devices;
- schemes of preventive maintenance;
- locksmith skills (5th category);
- crane manufacturers’ instructions;
- general nuances of labor protection;
- environmental protection standards;
- consumption rates of fuels and lubricants and raw materials for certain works.
Such a specialist must be ready to operate a truck crane with a lifting capacity of up to 10,000 kg inclusive. He personally inspects all fasteners and is responsible for them. If necessary, maintains and performs operational repairs of truck cranes at the level of a locksmith of the 5th category. Like other specialists, he obeys the internal regulations of the organization. The assignment of such a category is allowed only after two years of work in the specialty at a lower level.
Additionally, he must:
- use sluice and bridge type cranes with a lifting capacity of 10,000 to 100,000 kg;
- use fixed tower cranes and gantry-type systems with a lifting capacity of 5000-25000 kg;
- lift loads that require extra care;
- load blanks in the furnace and unload them;
- assist in construction and installation works;
- operate caterpillar and pneumatic wheel cranes, as well as railway cranes.
The professional standard of this category assumes that you will have to work with devices with a carrying capacity of more than 100,000 kg. Often it is necessary to move loads longer than 6 m, including those requiring increased accuracy. The usual thing is the installation of technological apparatus in the industry, slipway and sectional assembly. In some cases, grade 6 crane operators are involved in metal spills at steel mills.
Finally, it is worth mentioning the work with caterpillar, wheeled and self-propelled equipment used in construction and on the railway — such machines can lift more than 25,000 kg, perform any handling manipulations, except for construction.
The job description of a truck crane operator fixes the exact knowledge of the rules for working with a truck crane, including in the security zones of reservoirs, electrical networks, and heating networks. He must be ready to independently refuel the lifting equipment and prepare it for work after receipt.
This level of qualification means precise knowledge of the procedure for repair and maintenance of the main parts of the equipment, the procedure for testing and acceptance into operation. A professional of the 7th category is able to independently repair devices with plumbing work in his profile.
Additionally, you will have to study and master the principles of working with control and measuring equipment, with alarms, the procedures for maintaining working documentation, and fire safety requirements.
The highest level of qualification means:
- skillful use of resources which increase the carrying capacity of machines and allow you to work faster;
- willingness to work in industrial construction, in the construction of metro and energy facilities, during the analysis of rubble;
- the ability to check the operation of the electric motor and clutches, hydraulic and pneumatic components;
- monthly technological service stationary or truck crane in accordance with regulatory requirements;
- maintaining security when moving and performing direct work, in preparation for them.
Crane operators can only be those who have reached the age of majority. It is worth noting that from 2021, women will also be allowed to hold such a position. But the level of other requirements for them is no softer. All candidates will have to obtain a diploma of secondary vocational training in the relevant specialty. You will definitely need to undergo a medical examination and regularly repeat such an examination.
Another important nuance is obtaining a permit for the 3rd level of electrical safety at least (for low-voltage equipment and apparatus). You will also have to obtain permission to work in accordance with federal industrial safety standards (in terms of the use of lifting equipment). Crane operators also comply with the labor protection rules introduced in the order of the Ministry of Labor in September 2014. Testing for the level of knowledge and competencies is carried out according to the methodology described in the joint decree of the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Education, issued on January 13, 2003.
To operate a truck crane, you will need to get a driver’s license. The category is determined by the type of lifting device and may change. Also, the requirements for any crane operators are:
- absence of visual, vascular, nervous, respiratory and endocrine problems;
- high quality of the musculoskeletal system;
- excellent coordination of movements;
- excellent eye in any situation;
- high level of attention and concentration;
- emotional stability;
- the ability to find a common language with slingers.
The demand for the profession of a crane operator is undeniable. Therefore, many educational organizations are engaged in the preparation of such professionals. You can apply to any secondary specialized educational institution where there is an appropriate profile. The most attractive, according to experts:
- road construction technical school of Chelyabinsk;
- industrial and economic college of Yekaterinburg;
- road college of St. Petersburg;
- Omsk College of Construction and Forestry;
- road construction technical school of Khabarovsk;
- Krasnoyarsk transport and service technical school;
- Tula Technological College.
Place of work
Graduates of educational institutions are not prepared for a «crane in general», but for a specific type or even for specific models of machines. The scope of the automobile (self-propelled) lifting mechanism is very wide. He needs:
- in private housing construction;
- in auxiliary operations of large housing construction;
- in housing and communal services;
- in agriculture.
Therefore, truck crane operators are invariably demanded specialists. They are called for both the formation of foundations and the laying of roof structures. If the technique, which a specialist is trained to master, has increased cross-country ability, then the scope of his skills is further expanded.
Overhead or electric overhead crane operators are involved in installation and repair work at various facilities. They can work both in a closed workshop and in open areas; quite often it is necessary to sort the metal with the help of electromagnets.
A large role in construction and other areas belongs to tower cranes. According to some data, their share in the total park ranges from 17 to 20%. Such machines are in demand in industrial and civil construction, in the construction of hydraulic facilities. Some of the devices are initially adapted for high-rise construction. Each such model costs a lot of money and is thought out very carefully.
Tower modifications are divided into self-propelled, semi-self-propelled and non-self-propelled types. The choice between them is determined by engineers and designers. Individual crane operators work on tracked vehicles. It is represented by classic boom versions and excavators with the addition of a lifting base. Often these devices are used for work at power engineering facilities and at assembly and downsizing sites.
In addition to truck cranes and stationary versions, manipulators are regularly used. They are suitable for the carriage of goods in suspension. Of course, its size and mass will be less than with a single rise.
No less important is the fact that transportation imposes very strict requirements on the skill of the performers and on their responsibility. Manipulators of heavy models are not widely distributed in our country, and there is little demand for specialists in handling them.
Gantry operators are called upon to service large warehouses requiring significant turnover. The span can vary most often from 4 to 40 m. But on some objects, the boom reach is additionally increased. There are also operators:
- portal (grab, hook, mounting) cranes;
- ship lifting equipment mounted on watercraft;
- a separate floating crane (a self-propelled or barge-type vessel, the main function of which is just the lifting and moving of goods);
- cranes for metallurgical production, able to work in harsh environmental conditions.
Additionally, metallurgy has its own division:
- for foundries;
- intended for «undressing» open-hearth ingots;
- filling and some other types of crane equipment.
The salary received is influenced by the rank achieved and the experience gained. Working conditions are also taken into account.. The average salary in large companies in big cities is 70,000-100,000 rubles. Outside the regional centers, the bulk of the crane operators in Russia receive from 30,000 to 60,000 rubles. The highest income is observed among those who agree to work in the Far North and in areas equivalent to it.
It is curious that in Moscow the payment is by no means the maximum. In reality, in the Russian capital, the average rate is 45 thousand rubles. Considering the consumer prices characteristic of this city, this is not an impressive amount at all. If you go to Yugra, you can increase the average salary to 86,000 rubles. The income of lift operators on Sakhalin will be slightly less.
Petersburg crane operators usually expect a salary of up to 37,000 rubles. In other regions, the situation is as follows:
- Magadan region — 49000;
- Tyumen region — 40,000;
- Kazan — 35,000 (the same number in Izhevsk, Ufa);
- 32000 — in Nizhny Novgorod companies;
- 30,000 — in Krasnodar.