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NCCCO Mobile Crane Practice Test For Certification

Heavy Equipment Operator Training- NCCCO Rigger Training- Total Equipment Training


Effective November 2010, OSHA requires a signal person be present …

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Refresher training is required once every three years!



“Only trained persons shall operate aerial lifts” – OSHA 1910.67(c)



Total Equipment Training offers NCCCO Mobile Crane Certification training and test prep for both the written and practical exams. We provide training on-site using your equipment which your operators are familiar with. On-site training saves time and money.

Welcome to your FREE NCCCO MOBILE CRANE PRACTICE TESTS. Additional practice tests and study materials are available for testing.



Am I Prepared for NCCCO Crane Operator Certification?

Crane Pre-Certification Quiz

Welcome to the PTS Prep & Test program Crane Pre-Certification Quiz. The PTS Prep & Test program is a four-day refresher course designed for experienced crane operators (500 hours per year) who are seeking first time NCCCO certification.
The purpose of this quiz is to provide PTS with an objective assessment of whether or not the Prep & Test candidate possesses adequate knowledge required to successfully complete the Prep & Test program. 
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Written Exam Sample Questions

These sample questions are intended to convey something of the style and content of the National Operator Certification Program examination developed and administered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators(CCO). They are not actual test questions, nor do they attempt to address all of the areas of knowledge tested on the CCO certification examination. Response to these questions is not necessarily an indication of performance on the CCO examinations.

1. What action does a signal person intend the operator to perform if he extends his arm at shoulder height, makes a fist with his hand, and sticks his thumb up?

a. Boom down
b. Swing
c. Boom up
d. Telescope out

2. Within what percentage of level does a telescopic boom crane have to be for the gross ratings in the load chart to remain valid?

a. 1%
b. 2%
c. 5%
d. It doesn’t matter so long as the outriggers are fully extended and set

3. The load line of the crane you’re operating comes into contact with an energized power line. There’s no sign of any other danger, such as fire. In such a situation, you should:

a. Climb down carefully from the crane cab
b. Jump down, feet together
c. Stay in the cab until the lines are de-energized
d. Get as far away from the crane as possible

4. You’re setting your crane up in a confined area and you cannot fully extend your fourth outrigger. Your crane does not have a load chart for intermediate extension working. In such a situation you should use the capacities in the:

a. on-outriggers load chart
b. on-rubber load chart
c. on-outriggers load chart while being careful not to swing the load over the short outrigger
d. on-outriggers load chart, after shortening all outriggers to the same length as the fourth (short) outrigger

5. According to the B30.5 mobile crane standard, how many randomly distributed broken wires in rotation-resistant rope are cause for considering replacement of the rope?

a. 1 broken wire in 6 rope diameters
b. 2 broken wires in 30 rope diameters
c. 3 broken wires in one strand in one lay
d. 2 broken wires in 6 rope diameters

6. Unless the manufacturer states otherwise, the net capacity of a crane on main boom is the capacity listed in the load chart:

a. minus the weight of the rigging and all attachments
b. plus the weight of the rigging and all attachments
c. minus the weight of the rigging and all attachments not in use
d. minus the weight of the rigging alone

7. Unless the operator takes account of boom deflection, when lifted off the ground, a properly rigged load may:

a. swing out away from the crane
b. swing in towards the crane
c. raise absolutely vertically
d. shift in its rigging

8. Which is the most common cause of death to crane operators?

a. Electrocution
b. Falls from the crane getting on and off
c. Crane turnover
d. Fire

9. According to the B30.5 mobile crane standard, it’s OK for an operator to leave the cab of a crane with the engine running so long as:

a. the operator keeps the crane in view and restricts access to the area around the crane
b. the operator has at least four years experience
c. the crane is equipped with a fire extinguisher
d. it’s never OK

10. An operator should respond to a “stop” signal from:

a. appointed signal person only
b. project manager only
c. superintendent only
d. anyone

11. Unless the manufacturer states otherwise, truck cranes generally have no lifting capacity over which area?

a. the side
b. the rear
c. the front
d. the outriggers

12. “Working radius” is defined as the distance from the:

a. base of the boom to the center of the load
b. front of the crane to the center of gravity of the load
c. center of rotation of the crane to the center of the load
d. center of rotation of the crane to the center of gravity of the load

13. If a bold line is shown on a load chart, the capacities below the line:

a. are based on the structural strength of the crane
b. must not be used
c. are based on the stability of the crane
d. should only be used if the crane is set up on outriggers

14. Rough terrain crane capacities are generally greater over the:

a. front
b. rear
c. right side
d. left side
15. According to federal requirements, under what conditions is it OK for a person to ride the headache ball?

a. when there is no other way to gain access
b. when the lift has been approved by an engineer
c. when other means would be more dangerous
d. it is never OK

16. On duty cycle operations, such as skipping concrete, most manufacturers require a crane’s load chart capacity to be reduced by:

a. 10%.
b. 15%.
c. 20%.
d. 30%.

17. Boom length is measured from the:

a. base of the boom to the center of the boom tip sheave.
b. boom hinge pins to the boom tip.
c. boom hinge pins to the center of the boom tip sheave.
d. base of the boom to the boom tip.

18. Using the preferred method of installing wire rope from a reel onto a hoist drum, the rope runs from the:

a. top of the reel to the bottom of the drum.
b. bottom of the reel to the top of the drum.
c. top of the reel to the top of the drum.
d. There is no preferred method.

19. Truck crane capacities are usually greater over the:

a. front.
b. rear.
c. front right outrigger.
d. side.

20. A truck crane is set up on outriggers. The part of the load chart governed by stability is based on what percentage of the crane’s capacity?

a. 85%
b. 100%
c. 70%
d. 75%

21. According to OSHA, accessible areas of the operating crane must always be barricaded within:

a. the swing radius of the crane
b. the carbody or chassis
c. the swing radius of the rear of the rotating superstructure
d. the distance between the carbody or chassis and the boom tip

22. What is the OSHA regulation governing cranes in construction?

a. 1910.180
b. 1926.550
c. 1926.556
d. 1910.184

23. A crack in the windshield of a crane cab is OK so long as:

a. it causes no visible distortion that would interfere with safe operations
b. it is less than 6 inches long
c. the windshield is replaced on the next annual inspection
d. it is never OK

24. OSHA permits hoisting of personnel by crane so long as:

a. the prevailing wind speed is less than 35 mph
b. there is no less hazardous or practicable way
c. all personnel have CPR training
d. no aerial work platform is available

25. A crane is set up with 3 of its 4 outriggers fully extended and the fourth retracted. Unless the manufacturer states otherwise, the capacity of the crane in this configuration will be found in the:

a. on-outrigger chart
b. on-rubber chart
c. on-outrigger chart minus 20%
d. on-rubber chart plus 20%

26. When lifting personnel, the total weight of the loaded personnel platform must not exceed what percentage of the rated capacity of the crane?

a. 75%
b. 50%
c. 85%
d. 45%

27. Side loading of crane booms is permitted:

a. when the operator says it’s OK.
b. so long as no jib is installed.
c. only when the outriggers are fully extended.
d. only with freely suspended loads.

28. If the operator makes two audible signals when moving a crane, he/she intends to:

a. stop.
b. back up.
c. go ahead.
d. stop (emergency).

29. If a crane’s load moment indicator (LMI) malfunctions, the operator should:

a. cease crane operations and report the condition to the supervisor.
b. turn it off and continue as if the LMI were not installed.
c. make mathematical allowances for any error.
d. attempt to repair the fault.

30. Blocking (cribbing) may be placed under outrigger beams:

a. when beams cannot be extended all the way out.
b. to increase capacity.
c. to improve stability.
d. never.

31. Timber blocking placed under the tips of the tracks on a crawler crane will:

a. increase the permitted capacity of the crane
b. make the crane more stable
c. reduce the capacity of the crane
d. make the crane less stable

32. If a load test is done on a repaired crane, the load must not exceed what percentage of the manufacturer’s crane rating?

a. 100%
b. 110%
c. 75%
d. 85%

33. When handling boom sections, the best place for slings to be attached is:

a. at the pin connection points at the ends of the top chords
b. at the lattice members
c. anywhere on the top chords
d. at the pin connection points at the ends of the bottom chords

34. The tipping axis of a crawler crane:

a. is always at the centerline of the idler or sprocket
b. depends if the idler or sprocket are in line or offset from the track rollers
c. is through the centerline of the crane cab
d. is through the boom butt section

35. Materials placed under overhead energized power lines should:

a. be dragged out
b. lifted as normal
c. not be lifted by crane
d. handled with extra care

36. The hand signal depicted is instructing the operator to:

a. boom up
b. boom down
c. telescope in
d. hoist up

37. When working at ground floor level near a cellar wall, the crane’s outrigger pads or tracks should be placed:

a. as close as possible to the wall
b. at least as far back as the depth of the wall below ground
c. at a distance at least half the depth of the cellar wall below ground
d. anywhere, since the wall is unaffected by the weight of the crane

38. When setting a crane up on outriggers, the wheels of the crane should:

a. just touch the ground
b. be as high as possible off the ground
c. be just high enough off the ground to relieve the tires of crane weight
d. stay firmly on the ground to support the crane

39. If you move a crawler crane from soft ground to harder ground, ground bearing pressure will:

a. increase
b. decrease by a third
c. remain the same
d. decrease by half

40. Rotation-resistant rope can be used with a swivel:

a. always
b. never
c. if the rope manufacturer approves
d. if the operator decides it’s OK

41. On pick and carry operations, you should:

a. keep the boom as short as possible
b. keep the load as high above the ground as possible
c. ensure the load is as far from the carrier/carbody as possible
d. use maximum boom length

42. On a crawler crane, ground bearing pressure is greatest:

a. over the right side
b. over the end
c. over the corner
d. over the left side

43. When preparing to hoist a light load, the hook should be positioned:

a. slightly to the side you’re planning to swing to
b. slightly to the side opposite you plan to swing to
c. directly above the load’s center of gravity
d. above the edge of the load closest to the crane

44. According to ASME B30.5, when working around power lines of more than 750kV, how much clearance is generally required from any part of the crane and its load?

a. 35 ft.
b. 30 ft.
c. 45 ft.
d. 25 ft.

45. You plan to pick a load you are told weighs 36,500 lbs. Line pull on the crane you are operating is 9,000 lbs. How many parts of line will you need?

a. 3
b. 4
c. 5
d. 6

46. If a jib is erected but not being used to lift the load, you should make a deduction from the gross capacities listed in the load chart based on:

a. the actual weight of the jib
b. the effective weight of the jib
c. nothing, since the jib is not in use
d. the difference between the crane’s actual weight and its effective weight

47. When the boom length of the crane falls between the lengths listed in the load chart, you should use the capacity listed for:

a. the next longest boom length
b. the next shortest boom length
c. a length estimated between the lengths in the chart
d. the next longest or the next shortest boom length, whichever is the lower capacity

48. It’s OK to temporarily bypass a crane’s overload warning system:

a. when a supervisor tells you to
b. when the load to be lifted exceeds the capacity in the chart
c. never
d. during assembly/disassembly operations

49. On a crawler crane, the part of the load chart governed by stability is based on what percentage of its capacity?

a. 85%
b. 100%
c. 70%
d. 75%

50. As you boom down, the leverage of the load on the crane will:

a. increase
b. decrease
c. stay the same
d. depends on the weight of the load being lifted


Operating large pieces of machinery – like cranes – requires a lot of practice and training. This is why the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) requires that operators pass a crane operation certification test. An NCCCO certification is required for various types of machinery, including (but not limited to):

  • Mobile crane
  • Service truck crane
  • Tower crane
  • Overhead crane
  • Articulating crane

During the exam, operators are tested on their knowledge of crane operations, machinery & parts, and safety regulations during a written, multiple-choice exam. Candidates must then pass a practical exam where they will complete various tasks with the crane. 

Once they have passed both exams, operators will receive certification from NCCCO which is valid for up to five years. This type of certification is required for operations of cranes above a 2,000 lb. capacity for construction purposes. 

Taking the crane operation certification test can be an overwhelming process. There is a lot to learn and remember during the exams – you must complete and pass each exam within one year of each other to receive certification. 

If you are considering pursuing a career as a crane operator, you need to be as prepared as possible for the certification exams. 

Here are some tips to help you get ready to earn your crane operator certification.

Try a Test Exam Sample 

The written core exam portion for NCCCO crane operation tests has 90 multiple-choice questions. This is broken up into four sections, called domains. 

Domain 1 is focused on on-site safety rules and hazards, such as ground stability, supporting materials, and potential site hazards. Domain 2 focuses on operations including inspection requirements, personnel safety, signals, and emergency procedures. Domain 3 is all about technical knowledge, including federal and industry regulations. Domain 4 is focused on manufacturers’ load charts which ensures that operators know how to use load charts and calculate important numbers, such as load limit capacity. 

There are additional specialty exams for add-on certifications, including:

  • Lattice boom crawler cranes
  • Lattice boom truck cranes
  • Telescopic boom cranes – swing cab
  • Telescopic boom cranes – fixed cab

Specialty exams have 25 multiple-choice questions and have a time limit of 60 minutes. 

Thankfully, you can practice these exams ahead of time by checking out example exams online or referring to a crane operator training guide for guidance on what areas to study. This will help you be as prepared as possible to answer the questions. However, understand that these practice questions will not be exact matches of what is used for the NCCCO test.

Answer Every Question 

There are some test-taking strategies you should know about before you take the crane operation certification exam. You must receive a score of at least 70% on the written exam to pass. This score is a scaled score – not the number of correct answers. This means that the number is based on the average scores from all administrations of the exam.

It is highly recommended that you answer every single question during the written exam. You will not be penalized for wrong answers, and you have a decent chance of selecting the correct one since the questions are multiple-choice.  

Note: you will have a time limit to complete your test, too. If you come across a question that you aren’t sure of, leave it and come back. The test administrator will notify you when there are ten minutes remaining for the exam. Do your best to answer the questions you know first then review the others later on.

Be Familiar with Load Charts 

Another tip to help you prepare and pass the NCCCO crane operation certification exam is to study and be familiar with applicable load charts. There will be several questions regarding load chart problems which take quite a bit of practice and knowledge to solve. Additionally, understanding load charts are a crucial part of being a crane operator – so be sure that you grasp this concept.

NCCCO does have a load chart manual available to help prepare you for the exam. Make sure to study this manual thoroughly so you know what to expect. 


Focus on the Crane Operator Course Materials

It is extremely beneficial to enroll in a crane operation course to receive hands-on training rather than trying to learn all of the information on your own. During crane operator school, you will learn all of the basic requirements for the operation which will give you the best preparation for the exam. 

Some training courses, such as mobile crane and tower crane operator training, can be completed in as little as ten days. Crane operation programs provide a mix of hands-on learning with machinery as well as classroom-based learning. 

After you complete your crane operation course, be sure to review the materials provided as well as any notes you have taken before the exam. This will serve as a great refresher and help you recall facts and information during the test.

Practice and Build Experience 

The practical exam portion will determine how well you can physically operate the crane. This requires many hours of practice before the exam to pass, as the practical exam portion is quite extensive. 

The Mobile Practical Exam consists of six parts:

  1. Pre-operational inspection
  2. Task 1: Placing chain in stop circle
  3. Task 2: Following hand signals
  4. Task 3: Placing the ball in barrels
  5. Task 4: Negotiating zigzag corridor with test weight
  6. Task 5: Equipment shut down and securing procedures

All of these tasks also have time limits for completion and points are deducted if you exceed them.

Since NCCCO provides information on exactly what to expect during this portion of the test, it makes it a little bit easier to prepare. Be sure that you have practice runs for all of the test portions with a certified crane operator to make sure you know how to complete each part correctly.


Becoming an NCCCO certified crane operator is a major accomplishment – but the process of getting there is certainly not easy. There are a lot of facts, figures, rules, and regulations to memorize, not to mention the task of learning how to safely operate large, heavy machinery. 

The best step you can take to increase your chances of passing the exam is to enroll in a reputable crane operation course.  At Colorado Crane Operator School, we have helped thousands of operators achieve their dreams and improve their skills tremendously through exceptional training. 

We offer a wide variety of courses related to crane operations, as well as workshops and training classes for specialized operations. If you are interested in enrolling in our next crane operator program or want to learn more, please contact our team at Colorado Crane Operator School today. 


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