Companies that rely on knuckle boom trucks must keep up with safety training, and ensure all operators are qualified to operate this equipment. Operator training and qualification is a critical topic, and one that any company currently using boom trucks, or those looking for their first boom trucks for sale must consider. Yet understanding just exactly how to keep operator training current, and whether employees need certifications or not, can be confusing. For information about common knuckleboom training and operation safety issues, and to keep employees compliant and safe - read ahead!

What Training Is Required to Operate A Knuckleboom Crane?

According to OSHA safety laws, anyone who plans to operate any kind of boom trucks for sale must receive specific safety and training classes for knuckleboom operators. They must then be evaluated, and pass two tests in order to become certified. Refresher training, re-evaluation, and recertification is generally required every three years - but there are certain circumstances where this is required more frequently. If a knuckleboom operator is involved in an accident, observed operating equipment in a dangerous manner, or if they receive a poor work evaluation, they must be retrained and recertified, to help ensure they will uphold safety standards concerning knuckle boom trucks. Also, if an operator is only trained on one type of mobile crane, and must then work on another type, they must receive proper training on the new equipment, and be recertified.

In addition to crane training, operators of knuckleboom and articulated cranes must take rigger signal person training. Certification is not required, but it is available. The benefit to being certified in the operation of any crane is the training is transferrable, whereas those who are not certified will be required to train again when changing jobs, or working on different equipment.

What Is Involved in Becoming Knuckleboom Certified?

After receiving the appropriate training (provided in-house, or by a third-party trainer), operators must then take, and pass, a written test - as well as a practical test - using the equipment. No matter how much experience an operator has, they must continue to pass both of these tests, as required, in order to maintain their certifications. Currently, OSHA does not require knuckleboom operators to also be NCCCO certified to operate articulating cranes - but this requirement may be seen in the near future.

Can Those Certified On Other Cranes, Operate Knuckleboom Cranes?

The answer to the above-question is simply "no." There is specific training, and certification required for all types of mobile cranes. Therefore, an operator trained to run another type of crane must recertify in order to operate boom trucks for sale, and vice-versa. However, where crane makes are concerned, there is no requirement. All certified operators can use any kind of knuckle boom trucks, but should the company purchase a new crane brand, employees should receive additional training for that crane.  

Safety training requirements for operating knuckle boom trucks today, are continually changing. This is why it is essential that any company using these machines keep informed. Although the basic questions about operator training for this type of equipment have been answered here, it is important that a company confirm with OSHA and NCCCO if they are concerned about any specific training requirements their operators will need based on the equipment being used. Also, any business adding new or used boom trucks for sale to their fleets, must be aware that an operator's current certification to run other types of cranes, will not transfer to knuckleboom cranes, so recertification of their operators may be necessary to remain in compliance with safety regulations!

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