CPCS A02 Crawler Crane Above 10 Tonnes Course

1. Introduction

This CPCS A02 Crawler Crane above 10 tonnes course is designed to provide both practical and theoretical knowledge of the principles and practices involved in crawler crane operation. Candidates will gain an understanding of the construction and capabilities of the machine, safety precautions, and the need for an efficient construction in the lifting role. The course is based upon the CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) criteria. The successful candidates will be issued with a Red CPCS Trained Operator Card. The CPCS Red card shows that the candidate has achieved a recognized level of competence. This course is aimed at people who have had sufficient experience operating 10-tonne crawler cranes and those who have reached the required operating standard. Candidates must have a basic understanding of current health and safety issues. This course will consist of classroom-based tutorials and practicals. The aim of the first week will be to provide candidates with sufficient underpinning knowledge to progress onto the second week. This will include knowledge of the machines and accessories, current health and safety legislation, and its implications in the construction industry on different types of cranes, and lifting requirements and basic construction management. All of which will be assessed through written competency tests. The second week will consist of a one-day tutorial revising the underpinning knowledge learned in week one, followed by four days of practical training and one day for the CPCS Practical and Theory Tests. This will be held at the training center’s proving grounds, or on the customer’s site if they have the relevant equipment and an accredited CPCS trainer.

1.1. Course Overview

The Work Based (Competence) Assessments are aimed at those with a limited experience in the above tested category. The course normally lasts 5 consecutive working days and includes both theoretical and practical assessments on the final day. This course is aimed at people who are experienced in operating above 10 tonnes crawler crane for the purpose of gaining a recognised operator qualification. This course uses a maximum of two candidates at a time. This ensures that they receive the most thorough instruction possible, thus increasing their chances of successfully passing the assessments. Criteria for assessment is based on the National Backward and Awards guided unit descriptors for CPCS A02. Each candidate is given their own individual assessment plan which covers the entire guided learning hours from start to finish. This includes not only the training and assessment time but also the recommended self-study and instruction hours. On the first day of the course, each candidate has a theory assessment to test their initial understanding of the job. This enables the instructor to identify the candidate’s weaker areas in which more detailed instruction is necessary.

1.2. Objectives

This course is intended to provide candidates with the required basic understanding and practical knowledge in the safe operation of Crawler Crane of 10 tonnes and above through a combination of targeted training and experience. The course also includes the self-study of lift chart and understanding of the crane’s capabilities and limitations. Candidates will receive an ITA certificate after successfully completing the course. This is a 5-day course for novice to experienced operators. Simulation exercises using a crane/trainer type 1 would add extra days to gain the candidates’ required number of operating hours. This course is designed to enable candidates to: – Understand the basic construction and functional details, including the hazards and safe use for the lifting operations with Crawler Crane. – Identify and understand the principle construction and components, the purpose and use of all controls and gauges for the type of machine to be used. With the introduction of the new endorsement system within CPCS, we have produced a question and answer booklet for the Red Card candidate. The endorsement is required to prove the candidates’ competence in the plant operation/type of machine that a candidate has experience in. For example, A73 – Crawler Crane 10 tonnes and above. This booklet can be found on the CPCS website and is to be used to test the knowledge of a Red Card operator. This information can be found in the CPCS theory test section.

1.3. Target Audience

The target audience for the CPCS A02 Crawler Crane above 10 tonnes course is designed for individuals in operating a Crawler Crane at work. Candidates will usually come from an operational background in roles such as rigging and slinging, plant operations, lifting and sectors involving mobile cranes. We would also welcome supervisors and managers working within these industries. We are able to train novices and experienced operators on this course. Novices will undergo our full training programme to achieve their RED CPCS Trained Operator Card. We are also able to offer experienced operators, with plenty of practical seat time, a CPCS technical test and completion of their NVQ portfolio to achieve the CPCS BLUE Competence Card. The CPCS A02 course is designed to provide candidates with a thorough practical and theory training in operating a Crawler Crane, to enable the candidate to attain the CPCS Red Operator Card. With a combination of experienced, highly trained instructors and the latest equipment and safety training aids, we can provide training and testing at dates and times to suit your needs – at our centres, or on your site. With our high standards of training and testing, we have gained a strong reputation in the industry.

2. Crane Operations

Load charts and capacity calculations – The final section of this unit will cover how to read and understand load charts and making the correct calculations to ensure safe lifting.

Safe operating practices – This section is key to the learning outcome. The trainer will progress to explain what factors can influence the stability of the crane, how to rectify it, how a load should be lifted then positioned, and what to do once the load has been released.

Pre-operational checks – Learners will be trained on how they are carried out, what faults they may find, and what steps should be taken if a fault is identified. An effective check can not only prevent accidents and incidents but can also limit damage to the crane and load.

Crane components – Learners will be trained on what all the crane components are and what they are used for. This includes dogging equipment, including various hitches and slings: chains, wire ropes, or fiber ropes: tipped or untipped: spliced or endless: and other lifting gear. Articulate knowledge of sling angles, sling stress factors, and angles for a hitch are essential for the trainer.

The crawler crane is a large, heavy piece of equipment on tracks. The crawler is very useful in big construction sites and industrial sites. The crane climbs and descends slopes and moves loads horizontally while lifting. In addition, a crawler crane is capable of traveling with a load. Unlike any other type of mobile crane, the crawler crane’s track shoe assemblies are mounted to the crawler frame, which allows for easy damage replacement and provides a long durable life for the crawler crane. Tasks can range from driving a pile to lifting a bridge beam and can take place in a variety of different settings, including highway and bridge projects, residential and commercial building projects, and in the rugged energy sectors.

When operating a crawler crane, it is important that you can do so safely and competently. This is covered by CPCS testing.

2.1. Crane Components

The hoist is a mechanical component that is similar to a winch. It is used for raising or lowering a load by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which rope or chain wraps. It has a built-in brake that enables it to stop and hold a load in any position, and it has a gear-changing system to control the speed of the load. Ropes are a basic lifting and lowering tool. They are suitable for lifting heavy loads and are usually made from steel wires for strength and durability. This is because the ropes are often subject to being scraped along the ground or other hard surfaces.

The crane’s foundation is the outrigger. It is used to stabilize the crane. The larger the crane, the more outriggers it has. Outriggers are extendable and are vertically or horizontally extended to increase the crane’s stability. A mobile crane will use the tires as the foundation, providing it is on level ground. The tires are then locked in place so they cannot rotate. A crawler crane will have a similar setup with a track as its foundation. It is also common for a crane to have a boom. This is an arm that is either fixed or mobile. At the end are wire ropes, sheaves, and a grapple. All of these components are used to lift and move an object.

It is important for you to understand the components of a crane before operating it. This basic knowledge of crane components and their functions is vital for safe crane operation and inspection. Learning the crane’s systems and their functions will help recognize any malfunctions, adjustments, or repairs. Each type of crane has different components; however, there are similar functions between them.

2.2. Pre-Operational Checks

Crane operations are inspected to check whether safety is suitable to start the work. Before operating a crane, the inspection must be done on the general condition, controls, and whether it is in full working condition. It must be in good condition at all times. The operator should wear personal protective clothing and conduct themselves in a way that does not endanger any person or property. Safe working with the crane includes handling lifting tackle, suitable communication, and clear signals from the giver to the receiver. After that, the receiver will follow the instructions, information, and registration. The operator must provide brief details regarding the capacity of the crane and the lifting machine. Then, the date of inspection, overall crane age, etc. On tower winches, swing, and lifting equipment, the suitability inspection of the crawler depends on the ground condition and work to be done.

2.3. Safe Operating Practices

Keep clear of the slew area and never move the load whilst slewing. Avoid sudden stops or starts and always move the load smoothly. Be aware that travelling with a load is hazardous and make sure there is no personnel in the area. Never leave a swinging or stationary load unattended, particularly when it is suspended. During travel ensure all plant and personnel are a safe distance away from the load. When travelling, ascends or descends slopes, gradients or inclines under no circumstances drag a load. Always position the load on the uphill side and ensure it is secure. Make sure that the load is not too heavy for the slope being used. Security of load is of paramount importance so frequent checks must be made. The load rope should be long enough to complete the lift, plus the additional rope required for the highest and furthest positioning of the load. Using the correct rope length will prevent damage to the rope and drum, and it will provide an adequate safety factor in the event of an unexpected crane movement. It is essential that the correct ropes, attachments, and lifting accessories are used and that they are in good condition. Inspect all gear before use and frequently during use. If in doubt, seek advice from a competent person.

2.4. Load Charts and Capacity Calculations

3. Outriggers – A crane with outriggers will have a chart displaying the maximum load that can be lifted from the inside to the outside of the fully extended outriggers, again without causing an overload. The chart will show various 360 degree house slew capacities. If the ground or support is compact or not 100% known, the load that an outrigger can support should be divided by four and the radius increased to obtain a safe working load.

2. Radius – This is so that a crane operator can identify the maximum load that a crane can lift at a given boom extension without causing an overload. The load chart will display a table alongside a diagram showing the various radii with present lift capacities.

1. Configurations – This is to accommodate cranes with different counterweight variations and also if the crane has the option to install narrow track extensions. The load chart will specify the counterweight used and the track width to ensure the crane is set up correctly.

Load charts are used to help personnel involved in the planning and execution of a lift to be able to determine the approximate weight of a load based on its size and to select the appropriate crane configuration and rigging. Since the implementation of 2006/42/EC and the need for manufacturers to CE mark their product, load charts have been standardized across the industry and are now much easier to understand and use. All terrain cranes and above will have 3 separate and distinctive load charts for each of the following:

3. Crane Maintenance and Inspections

Routine maintenance is crucial to keeping your crawler online and functioning. By following a routine maintenance schedule and using a pre-start maintenance inspection (PMI) form, you can identify those problems which, if repaired in a timely, orderly, and cost-efficient fashion, will forestall more serious damage to the machine and result in higher availability time. Simulation results have shown that simulating random and conditional hydraulic excavator and shovel failures as a result of poor maintenance practices has a substantial negative impact on mining shovels and loader equipment cost and can dramatically reduce the cost benefit of equipment automation. This is analogous to manual and hydraulic excavators and shovels of today and thus shows that there is a need for cost-efficient maintenance practices for today’s heavy equipment. High production rate depends on high availability time, which requires strict maintenance practice.

Daily inspection is essential as the safety is dependent on the performance of the machine. Know about the equipment by reading the manufacturer’s manuals. Spend a few minutes each day checking things over and making sure that everything is in order. Check for fuel and hydraulic fluid leaks. Make sure that all of the controls operate smoothly and confirm that there is no unusual noise or vibration when operating the controls. Make sure that the travel and swing brakes are operating properly. Also check the engine clutch and transmission. The next step would be to start the crane and let the hydraulic fluid warm up. Then operate all the equipment functions in all possible directions to warm up the hydraulic system and to ensure that everything is working alright and there is no sticking of controls at any point. Let the equipment rest and then check for the hydraulic fluid leaks and fuel leaks again. Finally, check that the crane is mobile and that all travel speeds are working.

3.1. Daily Inspections

Before carrying out daily, weekly, or monthly checks on the crane, it is important to identify what may affect the results. This may include excessive noise, vibration, temperature changes, and any abnormal smell. It is also important to check if the crane is to be kept in a safe and locked position to eliminate any risk to the operator or any personnel coming into contact with the crane when checks are being carried out. Wind and weather conditions can also be influential. If there is rain, snow, or ice, you should check to see if there are any specific additional inspections that need to be carried out to prevent deterioration of specific parts of the crane. Any information on specific checks in adverse weather must be recorded. It is important that the operator is aware of the crane’s functionality when these checks are to be carried out, as the crane will be in various positions and collecting data on ground condition and hauling with load will be necessary if there is a risk that the crane may overturn. Operators and fitters must refer to the manufacturer’s data to obtain ground bearing pressures and predicted lifting capacities when monitoring the load angle indicators. A competent appointed person should supervise and carry out any necessary risk assessment prior to inspections to ensure the safety of all personnel involved. All parts replacement during inspections should be on a like-for-like basis to ensure that crane integrity is maintained.

3.2. Routine Maintenance

Time spent carrying out routine adjustments on the crane is time well spent, as this will prevent more severe damage down the road. Retightening nuts and bolts will help to prevent excessive wear. Any nuts and bolts that are missing should be replaced immediately. Any adjustments should be done at the end of the day’s operations, so as parts will have cooled down and it will be easier to spot any abnormalities in the adjustments. A regular inspection for any loose or damaged parts should be carried out. These parts should be repaired immediately or replaced if necessary. This will help to eliminate any major repairs in the future. Any welding carried out on the crane should be performed by a qualified welder. It is often useful to have a technical expert investigate the condition of the crane at regular intervals. Any modifications of weldments should eliminate stress raisers, and they should be performed when the part is in its component parts so as to prevent any warping.

In order to avoid any major overhauls, it is important to use the crane correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, taking into consideration the actual conditions under which the crane will be working. Never modify any part of the crane to adapt it to the conditions.

Lubricating the crane is a great way to prevent corrosion of components, and they will be easier to take apart when carrying out repairs. You should bear in mind the climatic conditions in which the crane operates and the type of work it is carrying out when deciding on the correct type of lubrication. The crane will usually have a large amount of grease points which need to be lubricated at the end of each working day. This will prevent damage to the bearings. Any lubrication should be applied after the daily operations and after the crane has been hosed down.

Daily inspections are an extremely important part of a maintenance programme. Damage or wear that is found during daily maintenance can be repaired quickly, preventing further damage and more costly repairs. Always clean the area of the crane where you will be carrying out an inspection or maintenance. This will prevent the ingress of foreign material. Before cleaning the crane, cover components such as the control panel and gauges. Always use an environmentally safe solvent when cleaning components of the crane. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using solvents and other chemicals.

3.3. Troubleshooting and Repairs

Effective use of inspection record information (CPCS A02 M6 Q29) can assist in troubleshooting by identifying when a problem first occurred. An accurate diagnosis can be made because the operator may have noticed a drop in performance on certain functions at a specific time. Maintenance and inspection personnel may be aware of this and can report any abnormalities noted at the time. Coordinating information in this way, it is possible to prevent the same type of failure occurring on different components of the same system. Simulation tools such as the one below are effective for training diagnostic skills.

A professional maintenance approach does not eliminate the need for troubleshooting and repairs. At many points during the life of the crane, you will need to locate a fault or a smaller problem that is affecting performance. It is essential to have personnel who are cross-trained between maintenance and repairs to carry out effective troubleshooting. When dealing with a faulty two-speed system, for example, a diagnostic approach should be taken. Test all the components before assuming that the motor on the high-speed side is faulty. If the motor is found to be at fault, check the cleanliness of the cooling air that it receives. It is often better to swap components from the two systems to ascertain whether a problem is actually with the motor. If a problem is discovered but the solution is not immediately available, the status of the crane should be evaluated. Often it is still possible to use the crane at a reduced capacity until a more opportune time for taking it out of service. Temporary fixes are sometimes used; however, these should be carefully planned to ensure that they do not cause secondary problems or present a safety hazard.

3.4. Inspection Records

Having the correct records for thorough inspections is a necessity for a trouble-free plant. The owner and the person undertaking the thorough examination must make and keep a record of the dates of the thorough examinations and the dates when the machinery or plant was subject to inspection. These records must be kept until the next thorough examination of the machinery or plant has taken place and then be preserved for two years. If the machine or plant has been subject to any alteration or repair which is relevant to safety, then the records shall also include details of the alteration or repair (Regulation 6, PUWER and Regulation 9 LOLER). This basically means a record of everything and anything regarding the machine, whether it be an inspection or repairs carried out. If a crawler crane above 10 tonnes is hired, the hire company must provide a report of examination and ensure that the crane is safe to use for the hirer. This report must be kept by the hirer until the crane has been returned. These duties must be strictly adhered to in order to guarantee that the plant or machinery remains safe. The records enable easy access to information about the known condition of the machine and identify what needs to be implemented to ensure it remains safe. This will help to foster a culture of thorough examination and ensure all the legal duties in relation to thorough examination are fulfilled.

4. Safety and Regulations

A ‘lifting operation’ is any operation concerned with the lifting or lowering of a load. This includes any movement of the load whether or not it is suspended. The load includes anything which is to be moved, including items which are attached to the load such as lifting accessories or persons. A ‘load’ is a very broad term. It can range from something with a dynamic gravitational effect such as a bungee jumper or a window cleaner to a more traditional static load. Window cleaning and exterior building maintenance carried out on modern buildings often involves working from a cradle or a similar item. This damaged, broken, or overfilled cradle is, from a mechanical point of view, similar to an unduly heavy load or an abnormal load. This type of work comes under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER). These situations may involve complex risks, and it may be appropriate to hold a risk assessment specifically to address health and safety issues under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

Accidents involving lifting equipment and accessories for lifting are prevalent in the construction industry. The information below provides guidance on preventing such accidents. The information is relevant to lifting operations in general but is focused on preventing those involving lifting equipment and accessories for lifting that are used to carry persons. (This includes a basket which may be used to carry out work such as painting at, or at an elevated level from floor.)

It is essential that the crane operator is aware of the health and safety implications of crawler crane operation. There are health and safety guidelines that must be adhered to while operating a crane. They are important for the safety of the operator and any other persons who are in the vicinity of the machine. It is a legal requirement for the operator to be aware of and understand what these guidelines are.

4.1. Health and Safety Guidelines

The provision of sufficient information, instruction, and supervision is absolutely essential to anyone working with lifting operations, and all involved personnel must acquire the knowledge of duties involved. This will help to avoid misunderstandings which have often resulted in near miss incidents, and it is a legal requirement that all personnel must work under these factors to avoid compromising their own health and safety or that of others. If a situation is deemed too hazardous and there is no way to provide a safer working method, an operator must have the right to refuse/delay the lift, and their decision cannot be seen as an act of insubordination when it has been made with a reasonable belief in the health and safety risks involved.

Management and the contractor are the building blocks to ensuring that accidents can be successfully prevented. An operator will work closely with the appointed person who will have the role of further assessing the lift and the procedures involved. This is a key measure to preventing accidents as many lifting operations have become victim to rushing the job and not following safety protocols. A successful lift operation will allow for more productivity due to less time lost by the need for redoing/repairing work caused by accidents. A further prevention measure can be seen where extra procedures are written by the appointed person; these can be related to complex lifts that have a high element of risk and must be methodical in order to prevent accidents. Thus, planning and procedures can reduce risk and avoid the need for trial and error.

It is important to note that unsafe acts, unsafe conditions, and faults in management are the three major causes of accidents. By increasing knowledge and taking action where improvements are needed, these causes can be effectively controlled. Any knowledgeable operators will have an understanding of the standard operation and type of the crane they are using; this is key to preventing unsafe acts. A CPCS cardholder should be fully competent in the various duties expected of their role, and a contractor must ensure that they have an adequate match of skill to the requirements of the job. The conditions of the crane and site are important; improvements to increase productivity can result in conditions that are too unsafe to work. This can be related to the type of crane being too large for the job and ground conditions. The most common unsafe condition is exhibited by cranes tipping or moving while carrying a load; these kinds of accidents are most often due to using the wrong crane for the job and uneven ground conditions. An operator cannot always have control over the conditions of the job; it is then up to the management to ensure they are not too hazardous and remain suitable to continue work. An operator must check their machine for any faults before work, and the machine must have received adequate maintenance and inspection.

Health and safety is a vital element of any occupation, especially one that involves potential risks and hazards. As all construction sites require the use of cranes, this particular job has its own risks due to the type and size of cranes used. By understanding and following the correct health and safety guidelines, the risks involved can be significantly decreased.

4.2. Legal Requirements

The legal requirements for a crawler crane are varied. Some duties are voluntary, others are required by statute and some relate to the operation of the crane. Building plans often specify the use of cranes on a specific site, and written permission should be obtained from the client. Most construction sites are subject to notification as temporary worksites. Any employer undertaking construction work must notify the work to the relevant enforcing authority. The contract lifting of plant has become a specialised field with the introduction of regulations specific to lifting operations. The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) requires lifting operations to be properly planned, supervised and carried out in a safe manner. All lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised, and carried out in a safe manner. This includes the selection of suitable equipment. All of this would be more relevant to a contractor providing a lifting service, although it is possible that a self-employed plant owner operator could be contracted to lift plant as part of a wider job.

4.3. Accident Prevention

Select the correct crane for the operation. The crane selected should be suitable for the task intended. Wrong selection of an item of lifting equipment may result in the task being difficult or dangerous to perform. For example, using a mobile crane to lift loads inside a building may be difficult due to limited access and lead to the risk of overloading and tipping of the crane.

Always plan the lift. The lift should be planned by a competent person who has had adequate training and has sufficient experience in the lifting operation involved. The person planning the lift should appreciate the significance of the factors included in the assessment of the lifting operations and should consider the implementation of the hierarchy of control measures.

All accidents are preventable. Prevention lies in the cooperation of all who are involved in the lifting operation. To prevent accidents, the following points should be adhered to.