Crane chaser (dogger)

What they do

Crane chasers, often referred to as doggers attach and direct the movements of loads handled by cranes when the crane operator may be unable to see the load or its destination. They check the size, shape and weight of loads to plan the safest way to attach and move them, while ensuring that loads do not exceed the lifting capacity of the crane. Once a load is safely attached to the crane, doggers use hand signals, whistles or two-way radios to communicate with crane operators to guide the load and warn of people and other obstacles that may cross its path. Doggers are also responsible for inspecting slings, chains, ropes, cables, hooks and other lifting equipment for signs of wear and damage, such as cracks, tears and rust.

Working conditions

The majority of doggers in Western Australia work on large construction projects in the Perth metropolitan region, however opportunities exist throughout the state. While most doggers work outdoors on construction sites, some may also work on ships and docks, in factories or at mine sites. Construction sites can be potentially hazardous work environments, requiring strict safety procedures to be followed to minimise risks. Depending on the specific work site, doggers may sometimes be required to work evenings and weekends.

Tools and technologies

Doggers may use chains, ropes, slings, cables, clamps and/or hooks to attach loads to cranes. They may need to know how to tie a range of knots, in order to securely fasten a load without causing damage to or weakening ropes or straps. In some cases they also use padding to cover sharp corners and edges of a load. Two-way radios are often used to communicate with crane operators, especially when the operator is unable to see the load or its destination. Doggers must also wear protective clothing, which may include hard hats, protective boots, safety glasses, ear protection and high visibility clothing.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a crane chaser you usually need to gain a qualification in dogging.

Short courses to gain a license to perform in dogging are available at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you

You can also undertake a traineeship in mobile crane operations (level 3). The traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a crane chaser in Western Australia, you must obtain a High Risk Work Licence from WorkSafe.

Crane chasers working in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Training Card (commonly known as a "White Card"). In WA, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by WorkSafe.