Crane and tower operators use machinery to lift and move heavy loads.
Some building projects are so large they need a large crane to match. In some cases, the crane itself has to be built before it can do any work. For example, a bridge in Connecticut needed a crane big enough to lift a bridge span weighing over 850 tons. A crane was shipped to the site a month in advance. It came in over 200 separate trailer loads and then was assembled. Once it was put together, it lifted the bridge span 65 feet in the air and into place.
A crane is a machine for picking up and moving heavy objects. It operates by means of cables attached to a moveable arm, called a boom. Operators move the boom in or out to lower or raise a hook hanging from it. Most operators receive hand signals or radioed instructions from coworkers that tell them how to move loads.
Operators who work for manufacturing companies may weigh loads using a floor scale. They record weights in the company records. They compare load weights to the lifting capacity of their equipment. They must avoid lifting loads that are too heavy for their equipment. Operators also inspect loads to be sure they are packaged properly for lifting.
In addition, crane and tower operators may keep records of the materials they move. They also review delivery schedules to determine the order for moving items. They may also do some loading and unloading using forklifts. Many operators also inspect, clean, adjust, and service their own equipment.