National Commission for the
Certification of Crane Operators
Committed to Quality, Integrity, and Fairness in Testing since 1995


Dedicated Pile Driver Operator

Written Exam - Exam Outline

The Written examination portion of the CCO Dedicated Pile Driver Operator certification program tests the following knowledge areas relating to the operation of dedicated pile driving rigs:

Domain 1: Site Examination/Machine Arrival
(Approximately 14% of the test)

Domain 2: Setup/Inspection/Pre-Operation
(Approximately 29% of the test)

Domain 3: Operation/Pile Engagement
(Approximately 45% of the test)

Domain 4: Maintenance
(Approximately 8% of the test)

Domain 5: Disassembly and Transportation
(Approximately 5% of the test)


(Approximately 14% of the test)

  1. Know how to identify obstacles and hazards
    1. Below surface (e.g., voids, tanks, loose fill)
    2. On surface (e.g., retaining walls, excavations, depressions)
  2. Know proper use of supporting materials (e.g., natural materials, man-made materials)
  3. Know how to determine and ensure proper clearance to energized power lines
  4. Know the travel limitations for the machine


(Approximately 29% of the test)

  1. Know how to set up the equipment
  2. Know inspection requirements
  3. Know what inspection documentation is required
  4. Know when and who to notify regarding inspection deficiencies
  5. Know how to confirm operations aids and safety devices are functioning properly
  6. Know what information can be found in the operator’s manual
  7. Know the proper regulations for signals
  8. Know how to verify that the hammer or other attachments have been properly installed
  9. Know the removal criteria for wire rope
  10. Know how to stage piles


(Approximately 45% of the test)

  1. Know alternative measures if operational aids fail
  2. Understand conditions that affect capacity
  3. Knowledge of the proper selection and application of rigging equipment
  4. Know how to verify the pile head is properly positioned, secured, and/or captured
  5. Know how to ensure the pile installation and orientation is correct
  6. Know how to position the rig and pile for safe operations
  7. Know how to ensure non-essential personnel are prevented access to restricted areas
  8. Know how to begin pile driving operations
  9. Know which situations or conditions may cause unexpected pile movement
  10. Know how to determine when the pile has reached the required depth
  11. Know how to read and utilize the equipment load charts
  12. Know pile driving terms and nomenclature
  13. Know the manufacturer’s limitations for the hammer
  14. Know general rules, regulations, and safety standards for operation


(Approximately 8% of the test)

  1. Know how to perform maintenance on the equipment, including:
    1. Lubrication
    2. Fluid levels
  2. Know how to document maintenance activities
  3. Know how to inspect the hammer and lead system for wear or damage
  4. Know how to inspect the hydraulic hoses and connections


(Approximately 5% of the test)

  1. Know how to stow or store the hammer
  2. Know how to retract the equipment components
  3. Know the manufacturer instructions for disassembly and transportation