What Do Hoist and Winch Operators Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Job Description

Job Description

Hoist and Winch Operators operate or tend hoists or winches to lift and pull loads using power-operated cable equipment. They also move levers, pedals, and throttles to stop, start, and regulate speeds of hoist or winch drums in response to hand, bell, buzzer, telephone, loud-speaker, or whistle signals, or by observing dial indicators or cable marks.

Other tasks include:

  • Apply hand or foot brakes and move levers to lock hoists or winches.
  • Start engines of hoists or winches and use levers and pedals to wind or unwind cable on drums.
  • Observe equipment gauges and indicators and hand signals of other workers to verify load positions or depths.
  • Operate compressed air, diesel, electric, gasoline, or steam-driven hoists or winches to control movement of cableways, cages, derricks, draglines, loaders, railcars, or skips.
  • Oil winch drums so that cables will wind smoothly.
  • Move or reposition hoists, winches, loads and materials, manually or using equipment and machines such as trucks, cars, and hand trucks.

We asked Hoist and Winch Operators how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

61%

How meaningful is this job

47%


61% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Hoist and Winch Operators start engines of hoists or winches and use levers and pedals to wind or unwind cable on drums. They signal and assist other workers loading or unloading materials.

A typical day for a Hoist and Winch Operator will also include:

  • Move levers, pedals, and throttles to stop, start, and regulate speeds of hoist or winch drums in response to hand, bell, buzzer, telephone, loud-speaker, or whistle signals, or by observing dial indicators or cable marks.
  • Apply hand or foot brakes and move levers to lock hoists or winches.
  • Tend auxiliary equipment, such as jacks, slings, cables, or stop blocks, to facilitate moving items or materials for further processing.
  • Move or reposition hoists, winches, loads and materials, manually or using equipment and machines such as trucks, cars, and hand trucks.
  • Select loads or materials according to weight and size specifications.

We asked some Hoist and Winch Operators a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 11% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 86% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 91% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 3% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 5% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 85% said yes


Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Hoist and Winch Operators also attach, fasten, and disconnect cables or lines to loads, materials, and equipment, using hand tools. They may also oil winch drums so that cables will wind smoothly.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Hoist and Winch Operators Signal and assist other workers loading or unloading materials. They might also Climb ladders to position and set up vehicle-mounted derricks.

In addition, they Tend auxiliary equipment, such as jacks, slings, cables, or stop blocks, to facilitate moving items or materials for further processing.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Move or reposition hoists, winches, loads and materials, manually or using equipment and machines such as trucks, cars, and hand trucks.

To some Hoist and Winch Operators, it is also their responsibility to Apply hand or foot brakes and move levers to lock hoists or winches.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Hoist and Winch Operator, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Hoist and Winch Operators work in an office-style work environment?

Never
87%


Once a year
7%


Do Hoist and Winch Operators work outdoors?

Every day
48%


Never
47%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Entrepreneurs

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



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Related to Hoist and Winch Operators Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/transportation-and-material-moving/material-moving-machine-operators.htm
http://www.werc.org/
http://www.iuoe.org/
http://www.nccco.org/



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