In order to increase your technical knowledge, you would do well to investigate the free online course sponsored by Caterpillar. The online Learning Management System, called Technicians for Africa, is informative and comprehensive and extremely valuable to those wanting to start a career as a technician, or for existing technicians who want to improve their skill set.
The 18 module course, accessible from a computer, tablet or smart phone, with a good internet connection, will demystify the world of tools and technical machinery.
The fifth module of the course is all about identifying and using lifting devices correctly. As with all equipment and machinery, it is vital to understand what they do, how they work and how to operate them before you attempt to use them yourself. While all of the most commonly used lifting devices will be discussed in the course material, here is a brief introduction to five types of lifting devices manufactured by Caterpillar, used in the mining and construction industries.
- Mobile lifting crane
- Coming in three sizes for different loads, this has a telescopic boom extension for additional reach.
- It has a 2 speed hydraulic hand pump for fast boom travel.
- A steering dolly for easy manoeuvrability.
- Electric chain hoists
- This has a heavy-duty motor, with completely enclosed workings.
- It is compact for low headroom and has good safety features (a friction clutch designed to stop the hoist when overloaded).
- Spreader bar assembly
- This is used with a double sling chain to lift the cab vertically by the attach points, to eliminate side loading.
- Load leveller
- The carriage on the main support beam is moved by turning the lead screw, which permits fine adjustment of the tilt angle of the component being lifted.
- Load levelling assembly is used to lift, load and position heavy loads, especially with overhead lifting devices.
- Tools used in conjunction with the above: adjustable lifting bars, load positioners, fabric slings, shackles, chokers.
- The fabric sling is used where a steel sling could damage the component.
- Shackles are used to attach hooks, links, chains or other lifting systems to the fabric sling.
The course will also highlight the safety hazards of working with lifting devices, such as using the incorrect sling, incorrect fixation of cranes, or of using cranes in high winds, exceeding weight limits, or even contact with overhead cables. Working with lifting devices is no joke, so it is very important to be properly trained.
The online course can offer you a lot of opportunity in your career
Increase your knowledge and access niche training material in the mining and construction industries, by signing up for the Technicians for Africa course. By completing the course, in anything from 3 to 6 months, you will learn the basics of electricity, hydraulics, drivetrains and more. This could be the pathway to a great career.