A vehicle loading crane (VLC) is a crane mounted on a vehicle for the purpose of loading and unloading that vehicle.
With the introduction of larger capacity VLCs and proportional control (the ability to operate multiple crane functions simultaneously), they are also used for more traditional crane operations where the load is lifted:
- from the vehicle to an elevated area at a workplace, for example, lifting packs of timber from the vehicle directly to a building floor
- both to and from locations remote from the vehicle on which the crane is mounted
- into place and held while it is connected to a structure e.g. installing a sign.
Note: While vehicle loading cranes can be used for the above operations, the level of safety provided by the lifting set-up should not be less than when a mobile crane is used.
Operator competency and licensing
VLC operators must be trained and competent in operating the crane. Training should cover the controls, instruments, working load limits, load charts, safe working procedures for slinging and lifting and any operating limitations of each type of crane they operate.
A person must hold a high risk work (HRW) licence to operate a vehicle loading crane that has a capacity of 10 metre tonnes or more. This can be a:
- Vehicle Loading Crane HRW Licence or
- one of the four slewing mobile crane HRW licences (Slewing Mobile Crane - with a capacity up to 20 tonnes; Slewing Mobile Crane - capacity up to 60 tonnes; Slewing Mobile Crane - capacity up to 100 tonnes and Slewing Mobile Crane - capacity over 100 tonnes).
A crane has a capacity of 10 metre tonnes if at any position on the crane's load chart, the radius (in metres) multiplied by the load (in tonnes) is equal to or greater than 10.
A person with a vehicle loading crane HRW licence is able to apply load estimation and slinging techniques when operating the VLC under regular circumstances.
A licensed dogger is required if:
- The VLC is being used to position loads in elevated or remote positions or
- The operator is operating the crane under a slewing mobile crane licence