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Practical Exam - Exam Outline

The following is an outline of the practical testing procedure, as provided to candidates at the time of testing.

View the NCCCO's Practical Exam Outline

The following sections describe the specific tasks you will be performing when taking the practical examination. It is important that you understand these instructions. If there is anything you do not understand, please request clarification from the Examiner.

The Four Tasks are:

Task 1: Place Overhaul Ball in Stop Circle

Task 2: Follow Hand Signals

Task 3: Place Overhaul Ball in Barrels

Task 4: Negotiate Zigzag Corridor With Test Weight

There is also a Pre-Test Briefing, a Pre-Test Familiarization Period, and a Pre-Task Familiarization Period (prior to the zigzag task) with a load. You will be required to complete all phases of the test in sequence.

You must report to the test site at the scheduled time. You are required to bring personal protective equipment to wear during the test including as a minimum: hard hat, work boots, and suitable work clothing.

The Test Site Coordinator is responsible for setting the testing schedule. If you are familiar with the operation of the test crane, you may elect to test first to allow other candidates time to review the operator's manuals and load charts. Otherwise, selection shall be by random drawing or by assignment of the Test Site Coordinator.

During the practical examination, you are under the direction of the Examiner and must follow the Examiner's directions at all times.

Once you have completed all of the tests you are taking, you must leave the testing area. Only personnel involved in the administration of the test are allowed in the test area.

For Task 1, Task 3 and Task 4 an "optimum" time limit has been set. If the task is completed within this time period, you receive no time penalty.

Once you exceed this time limit, you will lose points on a gradual basis. If you take twice as long as the optimum time, you will have lost all the points allotted to that particular task. The "optimum" time for each task is stated as part of the task descriptions.

While you are waiting to take your test you will have sufficient time to read this description of the tasks be performed and review the operator's manuals and load charts for the crane(s) you will operate. In addition, you will be informed of the make and model the crane, the boom length and the weight of the test load. You will also watch a short video showing all the tasks you will be required to perform during the examination.

Note that:

The crane's LMI system (if the crane is so equipped) has been correctly programmed and will not interfere with the proper operation of the crane. The crane has been set up and leveled. A spirit level is available if you wish to verify level. None of the target points or barrels has been placed at a radius that exceeds the crane's rated capacity. On telescopic boom cranes, the boom length has been pre-set. You will NOT be permitted to telescope at any time. All hand signals used throughout the test will in accordance with ASME B30.5. Circumventing the Course

"Circumventing the course" on the CCO Mobile Crane Practical Exam is defined as when the load:

leaves the Zigzag Corridor and passes more than one pole without touching them before re-entering the corridor; or "leapfrogs" from one leg of the Zigzag Corridor to another with the chain off the ground; or passes more than four (4) poles consecutively with the chain off the ground, inside or outside of the corridor. The Examiner has the authority to stop the exam at anytime if he feels that the candidate is attempting to circumvent any task.

If at any time during the Pre-Test Familiarization Period or during the test, you commit an "unsafe" act, you will be disqualified from continuing with the test. An "unsafe" act includes the following:

Dropping the ball or Test Weight (on ground, in barrel, etc.); Two blocking of the crane; Uncontrolled or reckless operation; Failure to respond to a "Stop" signal; Any action that in the judgment of the Examiner could endanger personnel or equipment at the test site. The Examiner has the authority to stop the test any time for reasons of safety. Please ask the Examiner if you have questions.

If you are disqualified due to an unsafe act, your case will be reviewed by IAI and CCO, and you will be notified as to your eligibility for rescheduling your practical test.

Prior to entering the cab, the Examiner will ask you for a government issued photo identification such as driver's license.

The Examiner will ask if you have read the Candidate Information and Instructions and will answer any questions you may have. He will review with you the weather conditions and ask you to sign indicating you understand the instructions for the test, and agree with the Examiner's assessment of the weather conditions.

The Examiner will use an anemometer to check the wind speed and record weather conditions on your score sheet.

The Examiner has the responsibility to determine if weather conditions/equipment problems are such that a test needs to be suspended. If the test is interrupted due to weather conditions/equipment problems, the procedure for restarting will be as follows:

You will resume the test at the beginning of the task you were performing at the time of the interruption, except for Task 4, when you will go back to the beginning of either Task 4a or 4b, as appropriate. You will also be entitled to a Pre-Test or Pre- Task Familiarization period before resuming the test. If you resume the test on a different machine, you will have the option of starting the entire test over from the beginning. If the testing is delayed to a different day, the test must be restarted from the beginning.

You will be allowed 15 minutes to familiarize yourself with the crane and to examine anything on the crane which you feel is necessary to operate it comfortably. You will be allowed to "get the feel" of the controls and run the crane through its functions with the exclusion of telescoping. The brakes and other devices have been set according to the crane manufacturer's recommendations.

  • You may not interfere with the test course, lift the Test Weight, or "shadow" the zigzag corridor or the barrels.
  • You must finish the Pre-test Familiarization Period with the ball under control in the Start Circle within the 15 minute period.
  • The Examiner will notify you when there are 10, 5 and 1 minute(s) remaining.
  • If you are ready in less than 15 minutes, you may indicate this to the Examiner.
  • If, at the end of the Pre-Test Familiarization Period, you feel you are not ready to take the examination, you should notify the Examiner. You will have, in effect, disqualified yourself from taking the examination at this time, and you will be required to sign to that effect on the Candidate Score Sheet.
  • Optimum Time - 1 minute and 30 seconds.

    At the Examiner's indication to start (at which point timing will begin) raise the ball and chain at least 10 ft. off the ground to clear all obstacles and personnel. Bring it from its starting position in the Start Circle to the Stop Circle.

    Once the ball reaches the Stop Circle place it there such that the chain suspended from the hook makes contact with the ground inside the circle and remains there.

    The Examiner will give you a stop signal once the ball and chain are under control.

    Points will be deducted for the following:

  • Dragging or contact of chain outside of the circle.
  • Hook or ball touching ground either inside or outside of the circle.
  • Hook or ball contacting any part of the course or crane.
  • This task is not timed.

    At the Examiner's indication to start, bring the ball and chain from the Stop Circle to the Designated Area. You will be asked to respond to three standard B30.5 hand signals given by the Examiner.

    The Examiner's signals will be:

  • Lower the boom and raise the load, and stop;
  • Swing, and stop;
  • Lower the load slowly, and stop.
  • The Examiner may give the signals in any sequence.

    At the Examiner's indication that this task is concluded, return the overhaul ball to the Start Circle.

    The Examiner or Proctor will remove the chain at this time.

    Optimum Time:

  • Small Telescopic Crane - three and one-half (3.5) minutes.
  • Large Telescopic Crane - three and one-half (3.5) minutes.
  • Lattice Boom Crane - four (4) minutes.
  • At the Examiner's indication to start (at which point timing will begin), bring the overhaul ball from the Start Circle and place it into Barrel #1. (If you knock over Barrel #1, at the Examiner's indication, proceed to try and put the ball in Barrel #2.)

    The Examiner will determine when the horizontal white line painted around the center of the ball has dropped below the rim of Barrel #1, and will so indicate to you.

    At the Examiner's indication, move the ball from Barrel #1 to Barrel #2.

    The Examiner will determine when the horizontal white line painted around the center of the ball has dropped below the rim of the barrel. Hold the ball in Barrel #2 until instructed by the Examiner to remove it.

    Timing shall stop when the ball is completely clear of Barrel #2 and the Examiner has given you a stop signal.

    Points will be deducted for the following:

  • Moving barrel (2 ins. or more)
  • Knocking over barrel
  • Hook or ball touching ground
  • This part of the Test is not scored.

    At the Examiner's indication, bring the overhaul ball over the Test Weight located in the Test Weight Circle. The load will be attached to the crane's hook by the Examiner or Proctor.

    You are allowed to bring the Test Weight to the designated area where you can get the feel of the load, test the brake, etc. before beginning the zigzag corridor task.

    You may not swing the load outside of the designated area or shadow the zigzag course.

    You will be allowed a maximum of five (5) minutes for this Pre-Task Familiarization, by the end of which period, you must have placed the Test Weight on the ground in the Test Weight Circle with the rigging taut.

    The Examiner will notify you when there is one (1) minute remaining.

    Optimum Time:

  • Small Telescopic Crane - four (4) minutes each direction.
  • Lattice Boom Crane - three (3) minutes each direction.
  • Large Telescopic Crane - three (3) minutes each direction.
  • This task is divided into two tasks 4A and 4B. 4A requires you to go through the corridor in a forward direction. 4B requires you to go through the corridor in a reverse direction. (This is the only task in which the time allowed differs depending on the crane type you are operating.)

    At the Examiner's direction to start (at which point timing will begin), lift the Test Weight into the air and swing, boom up or down, hoist up or down as you judge necessary to guide the load through the zigzag corridor without touching the ground with the Test Weight, or raising the Test Weight so high that the chain leaves the ground, or touching or knocking over any part of the PVC barrier. Points will be deducted for the following:

  • Knocking ball off pole
  • Moving pole base off line
  • Knocking pole over
  • Chain leaving ground
  • Load touching ground
  • Timing will stop when you have placed the Test Weight on the ground in the Stop Circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. Task is not complete until the load is placed completely within the outside perimeter of the circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. If the Examiner does not give you a stop signal, this will indicate the weight is not within the circle and the task continues to be timed.

    At this time the Examiner will reconstruct the corridor as necessary.

    At the direction of the Examiner, at which point timing will begin, lift the Test Weight from the Stop Circle and travel through the corridor in reverse fashion.

    Timing will stop when you have placed the Test Weight on the ground in the Test Weight circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. Task is not complete until the load is placed completely within the outside perimeter of the circle and the Examiner has given you a stop signal. If the Examiner does not give you a stop signal, this will indicate the weight is not within the circle and the task continues to be timed.

    The Proctor will then detach the Test Weight from the overhaul ball hook.

    At the Examiner's direction, swing the hook to the Start Circle and allow the Examiner to attach the chain in readiness for the next candidate. Remain in the cab until the Examiner gives you a clear indication that you may leave the cab.

    Set the swing brake and lock before leaving the cab.

    Once you have completed the practical examination:

    The Examiner will record your performance.

    The Examiner is not permitted to review your score sheet or discuss your performance on the test.

    Exam results will be mailed to you within approximately twelve (12) working days of International Assessment Institutes receipt of the score sheet.

    For tests on any other cranes you have made formal application to test on, return to the candidate briefing area.

    If you have completed all of your tests, you must leave the test site.