What Are the Differences Between Boom Truck Operators and Crane Mechanics
Posted by Talent Plus Staffing
Bucket trucks, boom trucks and cherry pickers all refer to the same Class A utility vehicles that are responsible for vertical work. Trucks in this class share the same type of design: a cab where the operator sits and steers, an actuator arm for raising the boom and a bucket or cage where the driver can stand when lifting. The purpose of using a boom truck is to assist workers in reaching inaccessible heights.
Boom trucks have several uses. They are most commonly used to transport heavy material to areas that are hard to reach, such as hilltops or rooftops. How much can be lifted varies based on the vehicle’s size and weight. Boom trucks generally can’t lift as much weight as cranes, but the fact that they can be driven to various work sites makes them practical and versatile. Additionally, boom trucks with buckets lift workers up so that they may work on telephone poles and other hard-to-reach places.
How Cranes Differ from Boom Trucks
Cranes, on the other hand, can be fixed or mobile. Fixed cranes tend to be found in places like shipyards where they are built into the foundation. If they need to be used somewhere else, the crane has to be disassembled. While not as versatile, fixed cranes have the highest load capacities and can be used in industrial facilities.
Mobile cranes can be moved to various locations and can lift both heavy and lightweight loads. There are different types of mobile cranes including truck cranes, gantry cranes, railroad cranes and small lifting cranes. Vehicles of this sort can be found in the transportation industry, manufacturing industry and construction.
Boom Truck Operators vs Crane Operators
Boom truck and crane operators have similar roles. They must hold a CDL Class A or B license with Hazmat Endorsement. Driving records must be kept clean and experience is highly regarded. It is expected that crane operators will understand and employ safety practices and procedures to prevent injuries or damage to vehicles. Additional responsibilities include:
-Operate boom to lift and move building materials
-Inspect and adjust crane mechanisms
-Determine load weights and check them against load capacities
-Clean, lubricate and maintain all mechanisms
-Function in a dynamic warehouse
-Attend safety meetings
In the end, the differences between being a boom truck operator or a crane operator are subtle. If you plan on operating a fixed crane, you can expect to work with heavier materials in industrial settings. A lighter weight boom truck will tackle smaller jobs in various locations. Safety is crucial when operating these vehicles, as well as determining load weights and capacities. Fortunately, experience pays off in this department, and most boom truck and crane operators lead highly rewarding and professional careers.