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.
We make getting your crane licence a simple, stress-free process ✅
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. 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)
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).
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.