What is a Crane Licence?
If you require the use of a crane situated on a public highway, you will require the permission of the local council under the Highways Act 1980, section 169.
If the crane is to be situated on private land it does not need a licence.
Members of the public can hire the use of cranes from crane operating companies. It is the responsibility of the crane operating company to obtain a crane licence.
If you are a crane operator the company you work for should have a crane licence.
Applicants should be the person who ensures the conditions of the licence are met. The company applying for the licence must have – and maintain – public liability insurance of £5 million and the crane operator must be accredited.
To drive any kind of crane on the road the operator will need a drivers licence. The type of mobile crane you can drive on the road is dictated by its weight.
To drive a mobile crane weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes a Category C1 Driving Licence is required and a Category C Licence if the crane is over 7.5 tonnes.
The applicant must also ensure the following:
The safety of the general public is the first consideration at all times
Public liability insurance that covers the public highway is obtained
The equipment is attended at all times and removed from the highway when not in use
The working area is sufficiently coned and barriered off to protect pedestrians
The holder of the crane licence must inform local residents and businesses in advance of any works due to being carried out
Access is available at all times for vehicles and pedestrians (except where a road closure is in force)
Please Note - Inspections are carried out periodically both in and out of normal working hours. Licence holders found not to be complying with the conditions of any licence will be reported for possible legal action.
You need to follow strict guidelines when using mobile cranes on a road.
Cranes always need to be banked.
Avoid overhead wires and cables.
Structure needs to be lit up at night.
You must not obstruct the visibility of junctions, road signs, traffic lights or street furniture (example, lamp posts).
Provide a 1.2m pedestrian walkway at all times.
You must remove cranes on the day the licence expires.
You are responsible for any damage to the road.
You cannot obstruct any access to premises, unless you have the owner's permission.
How to apply for a Crane Licence
If you intend to use a crane on the public highway in the UK you will need to apply to the local council for a crane licence. This licence is divided into two categories.
Applications can be made to the relevant council and a fee will be payable. There is no standard fee for this and it will vary from council to council. To operate a crane, you will need a driver licence (C1 or C LGV).
For more information on driving licences please click HERE.
You'll need the following to apply for a crane licence:
Public liability insurance certificate (minimum of £10 million)
Site plan (to scale) of the crane's position and over-sail area with dimensions
Copy of the risk assessment
Copy of the method statement.
To become a crane driver, you will need:
Valid Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) card
College qualification in plant operations - this can be done through on-the-job training
Category C1 or C LGV licence
What is a CPCS Card?
The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) provides skills cards for the plant sector of the construction industry.