Written Exams American Crane School

Mobile Crane Training: Questions Overview

  • Crane operator certification core test – 90 questions (90 minutes).
  • Small telescopic boom crane test – 26 questions (55 minutes).
  • Large telescopic boom crane test – 26 questions (55 minutes).

Written Exam Content Outline (Core Exam)

The National Crane Operators Certification Written Exams cover four main content domains, including:

  • Domain 1: General Technical Information (Approximately 28% of the test).
  • Domain 2: Site Information (Approximately 20% of the test).
  • Domain 3: Operations (Approximately 26% of the test).
  • Domain 4: Use of Load Charts (Approximately 26% of the test).

The following is a detailed content outline for the exam (taken directly from Federal OSHA Appendix C to Subpart CC of Part 1926 Operator Certification: Written Exam: Technical Knowledge Criteria ):


1. The functions and limitations of the crane and

2. Wire rope:

  1. Background information necessary to under – stand the inspection and removal from service criteria in $ 1926.1413 and $ 1926.1414.
  2. Capacity and when multi-part rope is needed.
  3. Relationship between line pull and safe working load.
  4. How to determine the manufacturer’s recom – mended rope for the crane.

3. Rigging devices and their use, such as:

  1. Slings.
  2. Spreaders.
  3. Lifting beams.
  4. Wire rope fittings, such as clips, shackles, and wedge sockets.
  5. Saddles (softeners).
  6. Clamps (beams).

4. The technical limitations of protective measures against electrical hazards:

  1. Grounding.
  2. Proximity warning devices.
  3. Insulated links.
  4. Boom cages.
  5. Proximity to electric power lines, radii, and microwave structures.

5. The effects of load share and load transfer in multi-crane lifts.
6. Basic crane terms.

7. The basics of machine power flow systems.

  1. Mechanical.
  2. Electrical.
  3. Pneumatic.
  4. Hydraulic.
  5. Combination.

8. The significance of the instruments and gauge readings.
9. The effects of thermal expansion and contraction in hydraulic cylinders.
10. Background information necessary to understand the requirements of preoperation and inspection.
11. How to use the safety devices and operational aids required under § 1926.1415 and § 1926.1416.
12. The difference between duty-cycle and lifting operations.
13. How to calculate net capacity for every possible configuration of the equipment using the manufacturer’s load chart.
14. How to use manufacturer-approved attachments and their effect on the equipment.
15. How to obtain dimensions, weight, and center of gravity of the load.
16. The effects of dynamic loading from:

  1. Wind.
  2. Stopping and starting.
  3. Impact loading.
  4. Moving with the load.

17. The effect of side loading.
18. The principles of backward stability.


19. How to identify the suitability of the supporting ground/surface to support the expected loads of the operation. Elements include:

  1. Weaknesses below the surface (such as voids, tanks, loose fill).
  2. Weaknesses on the surface (such as retaining walls, slopes, excavations, depressions).

20. Proper use of mats, blocking/cribbing, outriggers, stabilizers, or crawlers.

21. Identification of site hazards such as power lines, piping, and traffic.
22. How to review operation plans with supervisors and other workers (such as the signal person).
23. How to determine if there is adequate room for extension of crawlers or outriggers/stabilizers and counterweights.


24. How to pick, carry, swing and place the load smoothly and safely on rubber tires and on outriggers/stabilizers or crawlers (where applicable).
25. How to communicate at the site with supervisors, the crew, and the signal person.
26. Proper procedures and methods of reeving wire ropes and methods of reeving multiple-part lines and selecting the proper load block and/or ball.
27. How to react to changes in conditions that affect the safe operation of the equipment.
28. How to shut down and secure the equipment properly when leaving it unattended.

29. Know how to apply the manufacturer’s specifications for operating in various weather conditions, and understand how environmental conditions affect the safe operation of the equipment.
30. How to properly level the equipment.
31. How to verify the weight of the load and rigging prior to initiating the lift.
32. How to determine where the load is to be picked up and placed and how to verify the radii.
33. Know basic rigging procedures.
34. How to carry out the shift inspection required in this subpart.

35. Know that the following operations require specific procedures and skill levels:

  1. Multi-crane lifts.
  2. Clamshell/dragline operations.
  3. Pile driving and extracting.
  4. Concrete operations, including poured-in- place and tilt-up.
  5. Demolition operations.
  6. Operations on water.
  7. Magnet operations.
  8. Multi-drum operations.
mobile crane training range diagram

36. Know the proper procedures for operating safely under the following conditions:

  1. Traveling with suspended loads.
  2. Approaching a two-block condition.
  3. Operating near power lines.
  4. Hoisting personnel.
  5. Using other than full outrigger/crawler or stabilizer extensions.
  6. Lifting loads from beneath the surface of the water.
  7. Using various approved counterweight configurations.
  8. Handling loads out of the operator’s vision.
  9. Using electronic communication systems for signal communication.

37. Know the proper procedures for load control and the use of hand-held tag lines.

38. Know the emergency response procedure for:

  1. Fires.
  2. Power line contact.
  3. Loss of stability.
  4. Control malfunction.
  5. Two-blocking.
  6. Overload.
  7. Carrier or travel malfunction.

39. Know how to properly use outriggers and stabilizers in accordance with manufacturer specifications.


40. Know the terminology necessary to use load charts.
41. Know how to ensure that the load chart is the appropriate chart for the equipment in its particular configuration and application.
42. Know how to use load charts. This includes knowing:

  1. The operational limitations of load charts and footnotes.
  2. How to relate the chart to the configuration of the crane, crawlers, or outriggers/stabilizers extended or retracted, jib erected or offset, and various counterweight configurations.
  3. The difference between structural capacity and capacity limited by stability.
  4. What is included in capacity ratings?
  5. The range diagram and its relationship to the load chart.
  6. The work area chart and its relationship to the load chart.
  7. Where to find and how to use the “parts-of-line” information.

43. Know how to use the load chart together with the load indicators and/or load moment devices.

crane operator uses load chart
crane operator requirements houston texas
operator certification exams