Whether you are a contractor looking to renew your Massachusetts hoisting license, or you are just starting to obtain the many licenses you will need to land more work, you will undoubtedly run into the following two questions:
- Who needs a Massachusetts hoisting license?
- How do you obtain a MA hoisting license?
Starting with the first question, let’s talk about who needs a hoisting license.
Who is Required to Have a MA Hoisting License
There is plenty of confusion and false information circulating over when it's required to hold a MA Hoisting License. Here is some clarification...
"Hoisting Machinery" as defined within MA state regulations (seen below), it states "higher than ten feet, and either the capability of lifting loads greater than 500 pounds or the capacity of the bucket exceeds 1/4 cubic yards". HOWEVER ... This statement is meant as a residual clause; a catch-all to cover any remaining equipment not specified in the aformentioned sentence. The aformentioned sentence specifically declares "excavators, backhoes, front end loaders, uniloaders, skid loader, skid steer loaders, compact loaders or similar devices, lattice cranes, derricks, cranes with or without wire rope; all fork lifts, powered industrial lift trucks, overhead hoists (underhung), overhead cranes, underhung cranes, monorail cranes, lifting devices, cableways, powered platforms". If you are operating any of the equipment stated in this sentence, you MUST hold a valid hoisting license.
Additionally, it does NOT matter what type of attachment you have on the machine, it still requires a license. Previously, the Hoisting FAQ section stated that certain attachments nullified the need for a hoisting license if the attachment was not capable of holding a load. These FAQs are now considered Null & Void by the DPL. So regardless of what you are doing, if the machine is specified or described in the Hoisting Machinery definition, you must have a license to be at the operator controls while the machine is running.
520 CMR 6.01(2):
Myths About Who Needs to Hold a MA Hoisting License
In some cases, you might falsely believe that the hoisting machinery you’re operating doesn’t require a license.
- Private Property: You might assume you do not need a license in your own yard. The reality is that you are required to hold a hoisting license—even to operate on private property.
- Supervised: Another misconception is that a hoisting license is not necessary if you are operating equipment in the presence of someone else who has a hoisting license. MA requirements are clear: No matter who else holds a license, the moment you operate hoisting machinery, you need one of your own. Each person needs to carry this license, and you need to renew it on time.
- Common Misunderstanding: People commonly believe that all three of the following criteria have to be true in order for the equipment you operate to require a MA Hoisting License:
- Hoisting more than 500 pounds
- Lifting loads more than 10 feet
- Hoisting loads that are larger than a ¼ cubic yard
The information laid out above under "Knowing When to Get a Hoisting License" explains in full detail that all specified equipment, regardless of how it's being used, requires a license if you are in the driver's seat with the machine turned on.
How You Can Get a Hoisting License in Massachusetts
For those who need to carry a hoisting license in Massachusetts, the next natural question is, how do I obtain one? The Massachusetts government has dictated the following in regards to obtaining licensure:
“To obtain a license, hoisting operators must be 18 years old, complete an application, and successfully pass an exam covering all working parts of the hoisting machinery, safe operating practices, hand signals, and inspection procedures.”
The exam is difficult, so it’s a good idea to enroll in a course that prepares you for the examination.
If you are wondering how you can get a hoisting license in Massachusetts, our At Leisure team is here to help. We offer both initial licensure courses and renewal options. Our courses can be completed at your leisure, allowing you to work towards the licenses you need in your own time. Contact us to learn more about how our courses work or register for an account to begin earning your hoisting license today.