Next Certificate Program Start: 07/29/2024  |  Next Associate Degree Program Start: 10/07/2024

Next Certificate Program Start: 06/06/2022  |  Next Associate Degree Program Start: 07/05/2022

Next Certificate Program Start: 07/29/2024  |  Next Associate Degree Program Start: 10/07/2024



Tower Crane Operator’s Handbook

Whenever you look at a tall building, know that a Tower crane was likely responsible for its construction. Although all cranes serve a similar purpose, Tower cranes are especially useful when you need to build tall structures and move heavy goods and materials.


As a Tower crane operator, it’s your responsibility to maneuver the machine carefully and effectively to complete tasks on top and to stay on schedule. But before you can become an operator, you need the proper Tower crane training and certification. Read on to learn more about Tower cranes and where you can get certified.

How Have They Changed Over the Years?

For the longest time, Tower cranes used hydraulic power. However, since the 1970s, most manufacturers have switched to electric. With electric power, Tower cranes become more energy efficient, although electric Tower cranes still use about 800 amps. Still, switching to electric came with more advanced mechanics, variable speeds, and hoisting winches.

Importance of Tower Cranes on Your Jobsite

Every piece of equipment and machinery on a construction site plays a vital role. Tower cranes can reach heights and lift materials where other cranes cannot. However, if your construction site was in an indoor setting, a Tower crane wouldn’t be of much use. These machines work best in open environments where they can reach and swing with fewer safety hazards to account for.

Some of the advantages of using a Tower crane include:

  • Having the highest loading and lifting capacity of any crane.
  • The ability to reach heights most cranes cannot
  • Incredibly stable even under heavy loads

Heavy Equipment School Locations

Established in 2006 with the goal to help students succeed, HEC offers programs across the country that prepare students for careers in heavy equipment and crane operation.

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Parts of a Tower Crane

Tower Crane Parts What is it?
Concrete Pad
To remain stable during operation, the base of the Tower crane is bolted to a large concrete pad. This pad is usually about 30 feet by 30 feet and weighs about 400,000 pounds.
The mast is the tower that can reach around 265 feet or higher.
Slewing Unit
The slewing is a mechanical component unit that sits atop the mast and enables the crane to rotate.
The long arm extending from the crane is called the jib.
Machinery Arm
Opposite the jib is the machinery arm, the shorter arm containing the counterweight that allows the cranes to balance their heavy loads.
Operator’s Cab
This is where you’ll see and operate from. Inside the cab are the controls and safety mechanisms.

Are Heavy Equipment Operators In Demand?

There are plenty of rewarding career paths in the heavy equipment industry for qualified operators. All you need to do is find a path.

How To Become a Heavy Equipment Operator

If you thought that a career with job security, job flexibility, and good pay didn’t exist, think again. A career as a heavy equipment operator promises just that.
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How Much Weight Can They Lift?

For how tall a Tower crane is, you’d expect it not to be able to carry that much weight. However, Tower cranes are the most powerful among all crane types. They can lift loads up to 18 metric tons. Imagine lifting that much weight around 230 feet in the air.

Effects of Wind On the Tower Crane—Why They Don’t Fall Over

You now know how powerful Tower cranes are and how they are rooted into a 400,000-pound concrete pad. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing that can go wrong. Gusts of wind can be a huge problem, especially with heavy loads being moved around. It only takes about 20 mph winds to delay a lift.

Where Can You Attend Tower Crane Certification Training?

Are you ready to start an in-demand career in heavy equipment operation? Then HEC has programs for you. Get hands-on training and practical experience from knowledgeable instructors.


Our Tower crane program can be completed in as little as two weeks. That means you’ll have the basic skills most employers are looking for, plus certification. Learn more about our program and enroll today.


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