Certified Mobile Crane Riggers: What Exactly You Need to Know

Crane Riggers
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When you consider all the work that goes into the proper operator of a mobile crane, you would think those doing the operating have to go through years of training. Well, they actually do. Most crane riggers are certified by different organizations and have spent a reasonable amount of time working as a sort of journeyman with an experienced mentor or company that can provide them on-the-clock exposure to the job.

When looking for a high-quality mobile crane rental company in the Sacramento, CA area, you should ask if they have fully certified mobile crane riggers for the job. You want to get the most value for your money, and that includes ensuring your work is performed by a professional who is experienced in the different tools, safety regulations, and various other job requirements you will need at your location.

What is Rigging?

The simplest way to describe rigging is to call it the attaching of different loads to the end of a crane. Riggers ensure that the crane can handle the weight of the load properly and work to balance and secure all the materials being lifted. They pay attention to environmental factors such as weather, wind, debris, and obstacles around where they are lifting. They fully understand the repercussions of having a dropped load and the damage it can cause to workers and property.

Riggers are most often found in construction or manufacturing jobsites but can be employed in significant landscaping and repair work around homes and businesses. They calculate the size and type of connection required for the job they are working on, carefully selecting the latches, ropes, pulleys, and other necessary equipment to get the job done. Many riggers get their experience working at docks and shipyards where the constant flow of goods creates a lot of opportunities to learn. If you can get a hold of a rigger with that kind of experience, you are sure to have no issues at your jobsite.

What Kind of Certification or Experience is Required?

The potential danger involved in securing heavy loads has led to a lot of oversight of fully qualified riggers. People want reassurance that the operators on their mobile crane rentals are able to handle the job for which they are hired. You should always feel comfortable requesting the certifications of your potential rigger. High-quality companies like Dependable Crane in Sacramento will be happy to provide you with the information you request to set your mind at ease. Suppose a potential mobile crane rental company you are considering won’t provide that same information. In that case, you should probably consider an alternative company to spend your money.

Most riggers have certifications with the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, or NCCCO. This organization makes sure crane riggers have passed a few exams and have worked as an apprentice for a certain amount of time. The work of a rigger is highly specialized, which is why an apprentice with a good mentor is crucial to a rigger’s career.

An experienced rigger will be relatively in shape and capable of lifting and moving heavy objects. They’ll have decent hearing and eyesight and will be tuned to how the team works to properly look for any safety issues. They have a lot of responsibility in securing the load weight that goes overhead.

Training to be a Master Rigger

Most states have formal Master Rigger licenses that candidates can acquire after a certain number of hours performing their job. They will be given a written exam, a practical exam, pass a background check, and have at least five years of experience. They have so many qualifications because once they are a master, they can begin to take on apprentices. Of course, you wouldn’t want an apprentice doing your work without the experienced and watchful eyes of a Master Rigger.

Riggers also have to state up to date on the different changes in regulations and standard operating procedures. They have to know what OSHA will require for the upcoming year in crane safety requirements as well. That is why companies like Dependable Crane keep their staff formally informed about changes as they arise. They want to make sure all their team members can maintain their qualifications so the work can be done at any jobsite.

How to Evaluate Crane Operators

After you have requested a rigger’s credentials, it doesn’t hurt to speak with the boss or foreman overseeing a rigger. They will have records of how the rigger has performed and any notes of concern that may have arisen. Remember, the only real way to become a rigger is by “doing the job,” and that requires working with a company willing to take the practical risk. They are just as motivated as you to ensure their staff follows all safety guidelines and standard practices.

Word of mouth will spread quickly around the mobile crane rental industry. It only takes one misstep for a rigger to get a bad reputation. That is why you want someone that will work within the rules. They are experienced enough to know the rules exist for a reason, and safety is paramount on any jobsite.

The Rigger Walkaround

One of the most informative ways of making sure you’ve hired an excellent rigger is by performing their “walk-around” with them. Most riggers will not mind at all having a second pair of eyes for their maintenance and safety checks. They will walk around the crane with you to inspect it and make sure nothing is out of working order. This is a great way to witness their attention to detail and the seriousness of how they perceive their role in a mobile crane company.

Watch for their comfort levels explaining the different parts of the cranes and how they strap loads. A good crane rigger will operate like a sailor who has spent years at sea and has no problem moving smoothly around their ship. They will actively communicate with everyone at the jobsite to make sure all safety measures are understood before operating the crane.

Crane riggers also tend to have decent mechanical skills. They are used to working around their equipment and have a special bond with the different booms they operate. This trait is an excellent sign that you have found a great rigger.

Why You Should Hire an Experienced Rigger

It is simply not worth the risk of hiring a rigger that has not met the basic qualifications of their job. You don’t want to spend the time and money trying to fix a problem rather than having it done right the first time around. There are a few benefits to hiring an experienced crane rigger like:

They Do Everything

Riggers know how to operate on a team and motivate their coworkers to complete the job as efficiently as possible. You don’t have to lift a finger when the job is being done. In fact, most operators would prefer you stay out of their way as a safety measure. These riggers have insurance and knowledge to manage when a crane breaks down or how to maneuver around tricky obstacles.

They have the Right Stuff

Doing a good rigging job requires experience, knowledge, and certifications. The people you hire to do the job come from a background where they know what they are talking about. Their expertise can be relied upon at the jobsite, and their insights can make the day go a lot smoother. Allowing these highly skilled workers to perform their duties in their methods will lead to a more efficient project instead of suffering setbacks that can get costly.

Forget the Maintenance

When you hire a rigging team, you don’t have to worry about the maintenance costs involved in operating a mobile crane. The high costs are passed onto the rental company and are managed by the rigger, not you. You can rely on them to operate the crane safely, so you don’t get stuck with any damage due to unforeseen maintenance situations. You should make sure you document the condition of the crane before they begin the work when you perform a workaround with the rigger, just in case.

Safety Comes First

A rigger has had the safety concerns of a jobsite hammered into their heads from day one. Every test, evaluation, experience, and training reinforces the importance of safety on the job and how it affects the clients, business, workers, and reputation. As a result, they want to do their job well and then go home for the day. The worst thing to delay that pattern is a safety issue that causes damage or harm. That means they are highly motivated to do the job as safely as possible each and every time.

They Want the Details

Any operator who doesn’t ask questions about size, weight, possible obstacles, and any extra debris is not worth your time. Good riggers want the information ahead of time so they can probably prepare. They are motivated to complete their job as perfectly as possible in order to keep growing in their career. This is even more important if they are training an apprentice. They feel the weight and responsibility of ensuring their training is of the highest quality so they can guarantee the work of their students when they become masters in their own right.

Wrapping it Up

It may feel like a lot of knowledge to take into consideration when hiring a rigger. Still, in reality, most of the companies you work with will provide you with the information upfront. They will use the expertise and experience of their crane riggers as a selling point for hiring their company to do your work. That is not different for Dependable Crane. They stand by the quality of their operators and riggers. They are happy to answer any questions you may have about their team.

Take the time to do your due diligence when hiring a certified crane rigger. You will end up a lot more satisfied with the quality of work performed on your project. You will most likely save money over the long run and put your investors, owners, and business leaders in a happier state of mind knowing the people they are trusting with the work are more than qualified. You also benefit from avoiding any regulatory issues because those certifications carry with them the assurance that the people doing the work are capable, knowledgeable, and, most important, safety-conscious.

When you are looking for quality boom truck rentals in the Sacramento, CA area, you should consider Dependable Crane. Their founder has leveraged his more than 25 years of experience in the crane industry to provide customized quality solutions with a “Can-do” attitude. As a result, Dependable Crane has the equipment that you can depend on to get the job done with new and maintained cranes, ranging from 22 tons up to 75 tons. All cranes are OSHA-certified annually. In addition, all operators are NCCCO certified for your peace of mind and to meet your project’s regulatory guidelines.

If you are interested in working with the reliable, professional team at Dependable Crane, give them a call at (916) 306-7474, or request a project quote through their website. They are always willing to answer any of the questions and concerns you may have about utilizing a boom truck at your next Sacramento worksite.

Danny Matranga

Danny Matranga

Danny has been in the crane industry for well over 22 years.. He enjoys racing dwarf cars and wake surfing.

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