New Crane Operator Certification

Most everyone is aware the new OSHA crane operator certification requirement has finally taken effect on 10-Nov-2018 after 10 years of postponement. While OSHA has given some examples of who is affected, there is still a lot of questions as everyone learns how to come into compliance with the new certification and what type of cranes and applications fall under the new rule. OSHA is considering a proposed rule change that would further affect training. This information bulletin attempts to clarify the common questions we get asked at Auto Crane.

Q: Does the new OSHA crane rule affect me and my employees?

A: OSHA regulation, 29 CFR Part 1926 (2010) – Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Certification, affects operators using cranes with a 2,001 lb and higher lift capacity used in construction. The rule essentially divides the work into two categories: A) construction or B) not construction (i.e. maintenance). The example list below generalizes the types of work and which category it likely falls into. NOTE: OSHA is the final authority and the only opinion that matters.


  • Energy – installing oil, gas and electrical equipment
  • Propane – installing and moving tanks
  • Rental – installing power generation equipment
  • Construction – precast concrete walls, HVAC and installed equipment into place including holding material in place for constructing a new site or building

General Industry (Not Construction)

  • Equipment – repairing or maintaining equipment on a construction site
    • NOTE: Building or assembling new equipment may be considered “construction”
  • Propane – replacing or removing tanks

 OSHA provides further clarification of maintenance versus construction with this interpretation.


Q: What cranes are affected?

A: All cranes with a capacity of 2,001 lb and higher which are used for “construction” must be used by operators that are certified. The EC-2 (Econoton) and EC-2x (2003) are rated at 2,000 lb and are not subject to the new rule.

Q: Can I de-rate my crane?

A: OSHA does not allow a crane to be de-rated. Auto Crane does offer re-rating kits for the EHC-3.2 (3203EH) and EHC-4 (4004EH). Please contact our Customer Service team to inquire about these kits.

Q: Where can I get certified and what is involved for a service crane operator?

A: National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), Crane Institute of America (CIA), Crane Institute Certification (CIC) and others have service truck specific training.

Q: How much does the operator certification cost and how long is it good for?

A: Approximately $250 to $1,000 for the course itself and takes 1 to 4 days. The certification is good for 5 years.

Q: What is involved in the certification?

A: NCCCO has 28 categories of certifications and one specifically for service truck crane operators. Other agencies have different categories. They all require the operator to manuever a test load through through a maze of pylons without knocking balls off.

OSHA has mandated that employers must pay the cost for operators to become certified, but OSHA is rethinking this.

NOTE: Training is not part of the certification process. Operators have to already be trained to operate the equipment. OSHA already requires crane operators to be trained.

Q: What is the proposed rule that would further impact operator certfication and training?

A: A 21-May-2018 proposed rule to the 29 CFR Part 1926 – Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualification to require comprehensive training and remove certification by capacity from the certification requirements in order to reduce additional certification. An operator would be deemed certified to lower capacity cranes by being certified for a larger crane category. The proposed rule would require employers to evaluate potential operators for their ability to safely operate equipment and document the evaluation.


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Last Update: January 23, 2019  

January 23, 2019   1242   webmaster    Information Bulletins    
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