Driving tests

How do you hire and drive a truck loader crane?

7 questions to ask yourself before hiring a truck loader crane

  1. How much lifting capacity do you need?
  2. How long does the deck need to be to accommodate your load?
  3. Do you need the crane at the rear of the deck or just behind the cab?
  4. What gearbox can your driver drive (e.g. automatic or manual)
  5. Are your operators familiar with the type of crane (for example, HiAB vs Palfinger)
  6. Do you need any attachments, such as an auger or pallet forks
  7. Do your operators have the required qualifications (e.g. the hiring company may insist on a recent truck loader crane qualification and/or unit standards 16617 and 30072)
Controls are set out differently for different makes of truck loader crane. Ensure that you know what each control does before using it.

8 questions to ask the hiring company

  1. What are the fees per day and/or per kilometre?
  2. Can you extend the hire, if required, or is the return date strict?
  3. What are the pickup and drop-off times?
  4. What is the rated capacity of the crane?
  5. Is a pre-start checklist included?
  6. What are the contact numbers and procedures if the crane breaks down?
  7. What are the insurance requirements?
  8. Do they have the attachments you require?

When you pick up the truck loader crane

  • Allow time for an induction on the crane and truck if the operator is not familiar with those models
  • Bear in mind that certain times of day might be busy with other drivers picking up or dropping off gear
  • Did you bring your rigging gear? The crane comes with a hook, but most likely won’t come with slings or chains
  • Did you bring your load restraint gear – strops, chains, binders, etc
  • Check the whole truck for:
    • Existing damage (e.g. bent rope rails, dents to the bodywork, damage on the crane) – reject it if the damage would compromise your lift
    • User manuals are present
    • RUCs, CoF and crane inspection certificate are current
    • Fuel is topped up.

Where can you rent a truck loader crane?

TR Group has branches nationwide. They have a range of cranes from lines vehicles with augers to large flat decks with a mixture of Palfinger and HiAB cranes.
Elite Trucks has several flat deck trucks with HiAB cranes.

How do you drive a truck loader crane?

  • You will need a class 2 or class 4 licence (depending on the size of the truck).
  • It’s critically important that you know how to stow the crane so that your load is not overheight – you may have seen crashes on YouTube where an operator has left a crane up and it hits a bridge, traffic lights or street signs.
  • Care must be taken with how you load the flat deck so that you don’t overload axles. Check out our heavy vehicle load restraint course if you want to improve your truck loading skills.
  • You will need to keep a logbook. If your logbook skills are rusty, we have a logbook refresher course.
driver training courses

Darren is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the NZ Motoring Writers' Guild

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