Practical Operating Exam
Practical Operating Examination Process – On-site /Accredited
Skills Tested | Scheduling a Test | Test Day Requirements | Practical Exam Scoring
Practical Operating Exam Outline
Candidate Info & Instructions | Tasks | Time Limits | Pre-Test Briefing | Unsafe Act | Candidate ID & Signature | Weather Conditions / Equipment Problems | Pre-Test Familiarization Period | Task 1: Place Ball in Stop Circle | Task 2: Follow Hand Signals | Task 3: Place Ball in Barrels | Pre-Task Familiarization Period (w/ Test Weight) | Task 4: Negotiate Zigzag Corridor w/ Load | Post Test Procedures
The CCO practical examinations are available on three crane types:
Lattice Boom Cranes
Large Telescopic Boom Cranes (swing cab)
Small Telescopic Boom Cranes (fixed cab)
The practical examination is comprised of four main tasks that increase progressively in the skill level tested. Skills tested are: hoisting, booming, swinging, following hand signals, and combination (multifunction) operations. Crane operation with load and without load is required.
CCO adapts the test site layout for each model of crane used for the practical examination to ensure the examination remains standardized for all candidates wherever and whenever they may test.
Exam Test Schedule
Students taking the practical exam should contact The Crane School to determine the date of scheduled COO exams.
Exam Day Requirements
Candidates must report to the test site at the scheduled time, The Crane School will notify you in advance of this location and time. Candidates are required to bring personal protective equipment to wear during the test, including as a minimum: hard hat, work boots, and suitable work clothing.
Practical Exam Scoring
Candidate performance on the Practical Examination is recorded by Practical Examiners accredited by CCO. Examiner requirements include meeting CCO requirements for certification, passing the written and practical exams and successfully completing an accreditation workshop. The Crane School is an accredited Practical Examiner by the CCO.
Note: The CCO testing procedure has been developed to provide the highest degree of standardization and reliability. The Examiner’s task is primarily to record the performance of the candidate.
A candidate may lose points either through operational errors or exceeding established time limits. The scoring of candidates’ performance is done off-site at the facilities of National Commission for Certification of Operators (CCO)
Practical Exam Outline
The following is an outline of the practical testing procedure, as provided to candidates at the time of testing. This outline is for the Crane Operators Practical Exam certification.
Candidate Information and Instructions
The following sections describe the specific tasks candidates will be performing when taking the practical exam.
The Four Tasks are:
Task 1: Place Overhaul Ball in Stop Circle
Task 2: Follow Hand Signals
Task 3: Place Overhaul Ball in Barrels
Task 4: Negotiate Zigzag Corridor With Test Weight
There is also a Pre-Test Briefing, a Pre-Test Familiarization Period, and a Pre-Task Familiarization Period (prior to the zigzag task) with a load. You will be required to complete all phases of the test in sequence.
You must report to the test site at the scheduled time. You are required to bring personal protective equipment to wear during the test including as a minimum: hard hat, work boots, and suitable work clothing.
The Test Site Coordinator is responsible for setting the testing schedule. If you are familiar with the operation of the test crane, you may elect to test first to allow other candidates time to review the operator’s manuals and load charts. Otherwise, selection shall be by random drawing or by assignment of the Test Site Coordinator.
During the practical examination, you are under the direction of the Examiner and must follow the Examiner’s directions at all times.
Once you have completed all of the tests you are taking, you must leave the testing area. Only personnel involved in the administration of the test are allowed in the test area.
For Task 1, Task 3 and Task 4 an “optimum” time limit has been set. If the task is completed within this time period, you receive no time penalty. Once you exceed this time limit, you will lose points on a gradual basis. If you take twice as long as the optimum time, you will have lost all the points allotted to that particular task. The “optimum” time for each task is stated as part of the task descriptions.
While you are waiting to take your test you will have sufficient time to read this description of the tasks to be performed and review the operator’s manuals and load charts for the crane(s) you will operate. In addition, you will be informed of the make and model of the crane, the boom length and the weight of the test load. You will also watch a short video showing all the tasks you will be required to perform during the examination.
The crane’s LMI system (if the crane is so equipped) has been correctly programmed and will not interfere with the proper operation of the crane. The crane has been set up and leveled. A spirit level is available if you wish to verify level. None of the target points or barrels has been placed at a radius that exceeds the crane’s rated capacity. On telescopic boom cranes, the boom length has been pre-set. You will NOT be permitted to telescope at any time. All hand signals used throughout the test will be in accordance with ASME B30.5.
If at any time during the Pre-Test Familiarization Period or during the test, you commit an “unsafe” act, you will be disqualified from continuing the test. An “unsafe” act includes the following:
Dropping the ball or Test Weight (on the ground, in the barrel, etc.)
Two blocking of the crane
Uncontrolled or reckless operation
Failure to respond to a “Stop” signal
Any action that in the judgment of the Examiner could endanger personnel or equipment at the test site.
The Examiner has the authority to stop the test at any time for reasons of safety or if the Examiner determines the candidate is attempting to circumvent any task. Please ask the Examiner or proctor if you have questions.
If you are disqualified due to an unsafe act, your case will be reviewed by CCO, and you will be notified as to your eligibility for rescheduling your practical test.
Candidate ID and Signature
Prior to entering the cab, the Examiner will ask you for a government-issued photo identification such as a driver’s license.
The Examiner will ask if you have read the Candidate Information and Instructions and will answer any questions you may have. He will review with you the weather conditions and ask you to sign indicating you understand the instructions for the test, and agree with the Examiner’s assessment of the weather conditions.
Weather Conditions/Equipment Problems
The Examiner will use an anemometer to check the wind speed and record weather conditions on your score sheet. The Examiner has the responsibility to determine if weather conditions/equipment problems are such that a test needs to be suspended. If the test is interrupted due to weather conditions/equipment problems, the procedure for restarting will be as follows:
You will resume the test at the beginning of the task you were performing at the time of the interruption, except for Task 4, when you will go back to the beginning of either Task 4a or 4b, as appropriate.
You will also be entitled to a Pre-Test or Pre-Task Familiarization period before resuming the test.
If you resume the test on a different machine, you will have the option of starting the entire test over from the beginning.
If the testing is delayed to a different day, the test must be restarted from the beginning.
Pre-Test Familiarization Period
You will be allowed 15 minutes to familiarize yourself with the crane and to examine anything on the crane which you feel is necessary to operate it comfortably.
You will be allowed to ‘get the feel” of the controls and run the crane through its functions with the exclusion of telescoping. The brakes and other devices have been set according to the crane manufacturer’s recommendations.
You may not interfere with the test course, lift the Test Weight, or “shadow” the zigzag corridor or the barrels.
You must finish the Pre-test Familiarization Period with the ball under control in the Start Circle within the 15-minute period.
The Examiner will notify you when there are 10, 5 and 1 minute(s) remaining.
If you are ready in less than 15 minutes, you may indicate this to the Examiner.
If at the end of the Pre-Test Familiarization Period, you feel you are not ready to take the examination, you should notify the Examiner. You will have, in effect, disqualified yourself from taking the examination at this time, and you will be required to sign to that effect on the Candidate Score Sheet.
Task 1: Place Ball in Stop Circle
Optimum Time – 1 minute and 30 seconds.
At the Examiner’s indication to start (at which point timing will begin) raise the ball and chain at least loft, off the ground to clear all obstacles and personnel.
Bring it from its starting position in the Start Circle to the Stop Circle.
Once the ball reaches the Stop Circle place it there such that the chain suspended from the hook makes contact with the ground inside the circle and remains there.
The Examiner will give you a stop signal once the ball and chain are under control.
Points will be deducted for the following:
– Dragging or contact of chain outside of the circle.
– Hook or ball touching ground either inside or outside of the circle.
– Hook or ball contacting any part of the course or crane.
Task 2: Follow Hand Signals
This task is not timed.
At the Examiner’s indication to start, bring the ball and chain from the Stop Circle to the Designated Area.
You will be asked to respond to three standard B30.5 hand signals given by the Examiner.
The Examiner’s signals will be:
– Lower the boom and raise the load, and stop;
– Swing, and stop
– Lower the load slowly, and stop
The Examiner may give the signals in any sequence.
At the Examiner’s indication that this task is concluded, return the overhaul ball to the Start Circle.
The Examiner or Proctor will remove the chain at this time.
Task 3: Place Ball in Barrels
Small Telescopic Crane – three and one-half (3½) minutes.
Large Telescopic Crane – three and one-half (3½) minutes.
Lattice Boom Crane – four (4) minutes.
At the Examiner’s indication to start (at which point timing will begin), bring the overhaul ball from the Start Circle and place it into Barrel #1. (If you knock over Barrel #1, at the Examiner’s indication, proceed to try and put the ball in Barrel #2.)
The Examiner will determine when the horizontal white line painted around the center of the ball has dropped below the rim of Barrel #1, and will so indicate to you.
At the Examiner’s indication, move the ball from Barrel #1 to Barrel #2.
The Examiner will determine when the horizontal white line painted around the center of the ball has dropped below the rim of the barrel. Hold the ball in Barrel #2 until instructed by the Examiner to remove it.
Timing shall stop when the ball is completely clear of Barrel #2 and the Examiner has given you a stop signal.
Points will be deducted for the following:
– Moving barrel (2 ins, or more)
– Knocking over barrel
– Hook or bail touching ground
Pre-Task Familiarization Period (with Test Weight)
This part of the Test is not scored.
At the Examiner’s indication, bring the overhaul ball over the Test Weight located in the Test Weight Circle.
The load will be attached to the crane’s hook by the Examiner or Proctor.
You are allowed to bring the Test Weight to the designated area where you can get the feel of the load, test the brake, etc. before beginning the zigzag corridor task.
You may not swing the load outside of the designated area or shadow the zigzag course.
You will be allowed a maximum of five (5) minutes for this Pre-Task Familiarization, by the end of which period, you must have placed the Test Weight on the ground in the Test Weight Circle with the rigging taut.
The Examiner will notify you when there is one (1) minute remaining.
Task 4: Negotiate Zigzag Corridor with Load
Small Telescopic Crane -four (4) minutes each direction.
Lattice Boom Crane – three (3) minutes each direction.
Large Telescopic Crane – three (3) minutes each direction.
This task is divided into two tasks 4A and 4B. 4A requires you to go through the corridor in a forward direction. 4B requires you to go through the corridor in a reverse direction. (This is the only task in which the time allowed differs depending on the crane type you are operating.)
At the Examiner’s direction to start (at which point timing will begin), lift the Test Weight into the air and swing, boom up or down, hoist up or down as you judge necessary to guide the load through the zigzag corridor without touching the ground with the Test Weight, or raising the Test Weight so high that the chain leaves the ground, or touching or knocking over any part of the PVC barrier.
Points will be deducted for the following:
– Knocking ball off pole
– Moving pole base offline
– Knocking pole over
– Chain leaving ground
– Load touching ground
Timing will stop when you have placed the Test Weight on the ground in the Stop Circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. The task is not complete until the load is placed completely within the outside perimeter of the circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. If the Examiner does not give you a stop signal, this will indicate the weight is not in the circle and the task continues to be timed.
At this time the Examiner will reconstruct the corridor as necessary.
At the direction of the Examiner, at which point timing will begin, lift the Test Weight from the Stop Circle and travel through the corridor in reverse fashion.
Timing will stop when you have placed the Test Weight on the ground in the Test Weight circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. The task is not complete until the load is placed completely within the outside perimeter of the circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. If the Examiner does not give you a stop signal, this will indicate the weight is not in the circle and the task continues to be timed.
The Proctor will then detach the Test Weight from the overhaul ball hook.
At the Examiner’s direction, swing the hook to the Start Circle and allow the Examiner to attach the chain in readiness for the next candidate. Remain in the cab until the Examiner gives you a clear indication that you may leave the cab. Set the swing brake and lock before leaving the cab.
Post Test Procedures
Once you have completed the practical examination:
The Examiner will record your performance.
The Examiner is not permitted to review your score sheet or discuss your performance on the test.
Exam results will be mailed to you within approximately twelve (12) working days of CCO receipt of the score sheet.
For tests on any other cranes you have made formal application to test on, return to the candidate briefing area.
If you have completed all of your tests, you must leave the test site.
Crane safety training programs are designed to meet and exceed the requirements of OSHA and ASME/ANSI Standards.
The Crane School offers both training on-site with hands-on as well as open enrollment.
The Crane School is listed as a training Co. by the NCCCO to take the CCO process from start to finish and is accredited to perform the practical operating exam.
The Crane School often arranges for a test site and registration for the written and practical exam.
The bottom line of Operators certification is to train operators in the prevention of accidents. Any person that attempts to use a crane of any capacity needs training.
The skill level of operators may very from person to person, but everyone needs training other than actual operating. Experienced operators can gain a lot of knowledge attending training classes. Operators that live by the seat of their pants have other considerations to deal with in cranes of today. Load charts in cranes are complicated and not understood clearly without proper training.
A typical example is when a hydraulic boom is fully extended lifting from the fly section and remains at the same boom angle, does the crane gain any capacity retracting the boom bringing the load closer to the crane?
Does a truck crane have the same capacity over the side as it does over the rear? How do you know?
Can an L. M. I. installed on a crane be used to determine how far out a maximum load can be handled safely?
What is the required safety factor for rigging hardware? (Wire slings, shackles, hooks, round slings, eyebolts.)
Can we exceed the rated capacity because of the safety factor?
A 6 X 19 running rope on a lift crane is required a safety factor of 3.5 to 1. Can we use the same factor in rigging hardware?
Attending a training class will answer these questions and others Operators may have.
Topics Covered in this Class
Starting with an introduction of basic terminology,
this class covers a variety of topics such as:
Identification of crane types
Safe operating procedures
Accident case studies
Preparing for a lift
ANSI/ASME signal chart
The principles of leverage and stability
The concepts of structural competence or strength of materials
Understanding load charts
Pick and carry operations & other operator responsibilities.
A copy of the ASME/ANSI B-30.5 also OSHA 1926- 1400
Absolute Limit of approach to power lines
Ground bearing requirements
A formula for setup near an excavation
Weather conditions allowed wind speeds
Hoisting personal rules and checklist
Making a lift plan
Crane safety quiz
Sling angle effects
How to maintain the proper sling angle when attaching slings
Do’s and don’ts of rigging
Load charts used in testing
Notes for lifting charts, questionnaire
Load chart questions
Parts of line information
200 plus sample test questions.
50 plus load chart calculations questions