Crane News

Common Hand Signals for Mobile Crane Operators

At Stampede Crane and Rigging, we realize that not everyone at the jobsites we go to is fully trained in mobile crane operation and safety. For this reason, our mobile crane operators are all experienced and educated on all aspects of material handling and mobile crane procedures, including all of the common hand signals for mobile crane operators.

Crane Operation Hand Signals

In some circumstances, radio communication between a crew and crane operator is not an option. It is important to know the common signals for crane operation to ensure that it is still possible to properly operate the mobile crane. Some of the basic hand signals to use when working with a crane operator include:

Emergency Stop and Regular Stop

One of the most important signals is the emergency stop in case anything is wrong with the operation. Extend both arms horizontally from the body with palms facing down, and swing your arms back and forth. To pause or simply stop with less urgency, perform the same motion with one arm.

Hoist the Crane’s Load

To indicate to the operator to raise the load using the hoist, extend your arm and bend it at the elbow, with your index finger pointed upward. Move your hand in a small horizontal circle.

Lower the Crane’s Load

If the load needs to be lowered in place, point your forefinger downward with your arm extended toward the ground and move your hand in small circles.

Raise the Boom

When the boom needs to be raised, extend your arm horizontally from your body and give the thumbs-up sign.

Lower the Boom

In a similar fashion to the signal for raising the boom, extend your arm horizontally and give the thumbs-down signal to lower the boom.

Swing the Boom

If the load needs to move side to side while remaining at its current height, extend your arm outward horizontally and point in the direction that the boom needs to swing.

Extend the Boom

If the load needs to move farther away from the crane, lower your elbows to your waist and extend your forearms at a right angle so that your hands extend forward. Point both thumbs outwards, away from your body. This will indicate to the operator to extend the boom.

Proceed Slowly

If any action needs to be done slowly and carefully, place your hand above the hand that is performing the action signal.

Dog Everything

This action lets the operator know that all operations are to be stopped temporarily or permanently. To indicate this, clasp both hands together in front of your body at waist level.

If you would like to find out more about the common hand signals for mobile crane operators, or if you would like to learn about any of the mobile crane services from Stampede Crane and Rigging, please contact us at the location nearest you to talk to any of our educated staff or fill out a contact form on our website and we will get back to you.