Crane trucks are used in many capacities every day. Although it might seem easy enough to hook on some straps and lift heavy objects with the help of a strong crane, any lift can turn to disaster without the proper rigging. By reflecting on past accidents using new and used crane trucks, experts now question whether operators are receiving enough and appropriate training.
Rigging is Part Theory, Part Operation
Rigging for all cranes involves creating a plan, then executing it. No two lifts are the same, since everything is dependent on variables such as what is being lifted, how high, where it needs to be moved, as well as other factors and requirements. With that being said, safe and effective lifting in any field requires workers who can plan their lifts appropriately based on conditions and actual left set-up. The problem is that most operators who are actually handling rigging on both small and large cranes have minimal formal training in this specific area.
The Unavailability of Rigging Training
The rigger’s job, whether operating construction cranes or new or used crane trucks, is to design the best and safest lift to satisfy the lifting requirements. Yet accomplishing this is much more challenging than most realize, especially when workers have only very basic training on how rigging actually works. This is partly due to the fact that rigging is not a recognized specialty trade. As a result, there are few courses available that just cover rigging.
Most riggers are tradespeople working in other capacities who have simply learned how to rig as part of their jobs. Many of these operators learn by actually doing the job without actual instruction in the theory that provides an essential understanding of how rigging works and how lifts must be executed.
Accidents are often a result of simple inexperience and lack of essential theory knowledge. Still, many companies continue to hire operators who are willing to learn how to rig crane trucks and other cranes on the job as they go. This also makes keeping up with advancing technology more difficult.
Dealing With the Issue of Rigger Training
Since rigging is not recognized as its own individual trade, most of those who perform this task receive training and experience based on the way it applies to the specific industry in which they work. There are a few specialty programs now available that offer more extensive study on rigging theory and hands-on training.
The good news is that as equipment becomes more complicated and accident risks remain substantial, more companies are becoming interested in providing this specialized training to their employees. A specialized rigger title still does not exist and companies still want to hire recognized operators and tradespeople who can learn rigging. At least there is now a wider recognition that more training is needed.
Today’s crane trucks are more capable than ever, offering more precise controls and greater lift capacities for all applications. Safe and efficient operation of these new and used crane trucks requires more in-depth training, especially about rigging. Companies who invest in advanced rigger training will see the benefit of safer and more efficient lifts and a lower risk of dangerous lifting accidents!