Things to Look for in an Overhead Crane Operator

June 5, 2021 at 9:30 PM
An image of where overhead crane operators would work.

As important as the equipment in your facility are the people you hire to operate it. By hiring a team you can trust, they’ll take care of your tools, gear, and heavy-duty equipment, so it lasts longer and operates safely and reliably. Your overhead crane operator will be the first to notice wear on the crane and notify management when it needs servicing or repair. Hiring a qualified, dedicated overhead crane operator safeguards your employees, materials, and products.

Here are some of the most important things to look for in an overhead crane operator.

Keep these five essential overhead crane operator skills in mind when hiring.

Your employees are the most critical part of keeping your business running smoothly. By making thoughtful hires, you can more your company run more efficiently, increase profit, and reduce on-the-job injuries and downtime from broken equipment.

A view down a tunnel of a man in a neon shirt operatin a forklift carrying boxes stacked on a pallet. An OSHA inspection checklist will ensure each aspect of this process is up to code.

Experience with heavy-duty machinery

An overhead crane operator position isn’t an entry-level position. The applicant should have at least a year of experience operating heavy-duty machinery––preferably overhead cranes and hoists. Candidates who’ve worked the same kind of crane that your warehouse uses won’t need as much training and will already know signs of wear and tear on the crane parts.

Instead of hiring outside the company, you may opt to promote and train an existing employee who shows these qualities while at work.

Confidence and reliable decision-making skills

The overhead crane operator is responsible for the safety of everyone on the shift. Confidence in their decision-making skills means they’ll stop operation if the cable shows signs of wear or another part isn’t performing as expected.

When you have an operator willing to halting operation for crane maintenance, you can trust they’ll prioritize the safety of others above everything else. Operators have to respect safety procedures and use safe standard practices when loading, unloading, and operating the crane as well.

Hand-eye coordination and awareness of their surrounding

Moving heavy material and product through the warehouse, overhead crane operators need exceptional spatial awareness and above-average hand-eye coordination. Easily distracted candidates who are unfocused during the interview may not pay close attention to the warehouse floor––where the safety of both materials and people depend on them.

Crane operators should have exceptional focus while on the job and stay aware of the layout and movement within the warehouse at all times.

A man driving a fork lift in the warehouse that was once used for the storage and distribution of NCI publications ordered through the NCI Cancer Information Service (CIS). 1988

Emergency procedure training and rehearsed protocols

When something goes wrong during the workday, you want your overhead crane operator well-rehearsed in emergency procedures. No matter what goes wrong, they should be well-versed in the crane they’re operating and able to react with OEM emergency procedures in mind.

Candidates should feel comfortable bearing responsibility for the safety of their team members and the facility.

Certifications from accredited trade schools or some secondary education

Not everyone requires overhead crane operators to be certified, but keep in mind that job candidates who have gone to an accredited trade school have more than just equipment training: writing, math, OSHA safety, and more.

A well-trained crane team will run more efficiently and will show initiative and pride in their job.

Work with T&M Cranes to provide your overhead crane operator team with Indiana’s best overhead cranes, parts, and service.

T&M Cranes manufactures standard and specialized, complicated cranes for warehouses and workshops throughout the Chicagoland and Indiana areas. We design, build and install cranes customized for your operation, duty cycle, and facility. Our expert team is always available for ongoing inspection, service, and repair of your T&M Crane.

We ensure your overhead crane operators have the best tools to do their jobs. To learn more about our wide array of overhead crane and hoist products, contact us through our easy online form.