Crane Hand Signals You Should Know

If you have recently rented a crane for your business, then you are well aware of the fact that safety is of utmost importance. Because of this, hand signals during operation are important. Oftentimes, in warehouses or on construction sites, loud machinery and equipment make it incredibly hard to communicate with others verbally, while the large structure of the crane can make it difficult to see. Keep reading to learn a few of the different hand signals that can assist in keeping everyone safe when operating a crane.

Emergency Stop

In order to signal an emergency stop, you will want to extend both of your arms with your palms facing downward. At the same time, you will want to wave your arms back and forth. Usually, this signal is performed when there is an obstacle in front of you that makes it unsafe to continue operating the crane.


In order to signal a regular stop, you will perform the same action as an emergency stop except with only one arm instead of both of your arms. This particular signal is used when you need to move the crane around a certain area while performing tasks.


In order to signal to raise or hoist a load, you will want to raise your forearm vertically while also pointing your forefinger upward and moving your hand in a circle. This is a signal that is used in a warehouse environment frequently because goods are commonly transported around the building. However, it is a signal that can be used outdoors on a construction site as well.


In order to signal to lower a load, you will do the exact opposite of the hoist signal. In other words, you will extend your arm toward the ground, point your finger, and move your hand in a circular motion.

Raise or Lower the Boom

In some cases, cranes come equipped with booms, which are long arms that help with the lifting. In order to raise a boom, you will need to extend your arm in a horizontal fashion, close your fist, and give a thumbs up. In order to lower a boom, you will provide the same exact gesture, except you will give a thumbs down.

Stop Everything

In order to give a signal to bring all activity to a halt, you will clasp both of your hands together at your waist. This lets everyone on the job site — not just the operator of the crane — know that they need to stop working.

When you go to rent a crane from a crane service, these are some of the more important hand signals that you need to be familiar with. For more information, talk to the crane service.