What Does A Tower Crane Operator Do

A tower crane operator is trained to operate tower cranes that are designed to lift and unload heavy equipment and loads. However, that is not as easy as it seems. An individual has to train and acquire several certifications to be authorized for operating a tower crane for construction companies and crane rentals. So, let’s take a look into a day of a typical tower crane operator.

Typical Day

A typical working day of a tower crane operator usually starts early during the day. The reason being that the weather conditions at that time are mostly calm and smooth. It is also the first thing for a tower crane operator to consider and notice. Operating a tower crane is mostly dependent on the weather condition. The extreme the conditions, the riskier it is to operate the crane.

Upon reaching the site, the operator wears the protective gear and takes a look around the machine to ensure there are no leaks or damages. All the crane operating-related tasks are schedule-driven. This allows the project managers as well as the crane operators to track their progress. On a smooth day, everything runs according to the schedule. However, if there happens to be a delay of even an hour, the entire schedule is put off.

Running The Crane

Prior to sitting in the single cabin, the tower crane operator discusses the goals of the day and is always in contact with his colleagues through the radio. One thing that most tower crane operators do not like is isolation. Most crane operators take some time off to do some physical work as sitting alone in the cabin takes a toll on their mental health even though they are trained for it. And then there is the need to visit the washroom. Climbing up and down multiple times a day can be tough.

On a typical day, an average tower crane operator can load and shift hundreds of items and if the production mode is in full swing, the operator does not even get a single minute to rest or take a break. The entire focus and attention is on the stick that lifts and unloads the loads. Since tower cranes are expensive and huge, you cannot cramp the entire site by renting multiple cranes. This makes the operators take advantage and call the shots. But in that case, everyone’s job is affected.


When operating a tower crane, safety is the number one priority of every operator. This is a fact that cannot be ignored. You are operating a thousand tons worth of machine that can easily cause serious casualties. Therefore, an operator has to constantly keep an eye out for the surroundings and the people that are working as well.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of being a tower crane operator is that you can keep an eye out for everything from above. If, in case of a hazard, you can inform the people below, which they might not even notice. The key lies in showcasing confidence. If your colleagues on the ground do not trust your abilities, they will stay away from the loads even if their job involves handling them.

Aptitude And Training

As mentioned earlier, being a tower crane operator is not an easy job. You have to undergo rigorous training and certifications to be able to perform. An ideal tower crane operator should be able to perform well under stress and pressure.

At the construction site, you will have your colleagues, as well as the project managers, hurling at you and that might cause you to lose your cool. However, you need to realize that everyone is on the same team. The best way to deal with people in such situations is to take your time and handle the situation face to face in a mature and adult way.

Finally, tower crane operators need to update and equip themselves with new skills. The world is changing rapidly and you need to stand out. Most tower crane operators train to develop skills. However, you should train your personality as well. It goes a long way when it comes to earning potential.

Final Word

With construction taking place in every part of the world, tower crane operators are high in demand. From lifting and shifting heavy loads to being able to work under stress, tower crane operators do a lot more as it might seem. If you’re looking for crane operator, check with crane services VA if they provide operators with cranes.