Crane Driver Training

Building expertise in crane operation

Our comprehensive training programmes combine hands-on training in our state-of-the-art Vortex Crane Simulator with guidance from world class experts.

Put your candidates through their paces, set new operators up with the right skills, and help your experienced crane operators hone their technique. The Vortex Crane Simulator allows crane operators to train in a safe environment, reducing the risk to people or assets.

Training modules include options for pre-employment assessment during the recruitment process, core training for new drivers, and proficiency development for existing drivers.

An individual assessment report is provided for each participant following all of our training modules. Benchmarks are derived from extensive data collected over a number of pre-defined simulator exercises, and standardised training and assessment processes provide an objective comparison across candidates and trainees.

Operator assessment, training and development modules

Right person, first time
Get the right person for the job. Our experienced and qualified personnel will guide your crane operator candidates through a set of realistic simulator-based scenarios, building a comprehensive picture of their natural ability and future potential. You’ll get the best fit for the role, with no risk to people, plant or infrastructure.

Assessment process
Participants begin with a structured introduction to the mobile harbour crane using our Vortex Crane Simulator. This involves developing a basic understanding of machine controls and movement of cargo in a simulated port environment. Following induction and training, participants are tested on a series of simulation exercises designed to assess their ability to perform basic operations.

Operations permitting, participants also observe an actual mobile harbour crane working a vessel, both from a remote observation position and from inside the cab.

Candidate assessment report
A tailored report will be provided for each participant, assessing their likely potential as a mobile harbour crane operator.

This is a one-day course.

Build a strong foundation
This module is designed for new trainees, providing a structured introduction to the Gottwald mobile harbour crane and development of basic crane operation skills. Training is undertaken in the Vortex Crane Simulator and supervised by our qualified and experienced trainers.

Training and assessment process

Simulator induction
Trainees complete induction and training in basic crane operation, followed by a series of instructed and self-paced simulation scenarios. Qualified instructors review and coach trainees as they work through realistic vessel exchange scenarios.

Training at own port operation
Once 40 simulator hours have been logged, trainees return to their own port to carry out crane driving tasks under supervision of their own port’s experienced personnel.

Simulator follow up
After a month of ‘on the job’ experience, trainees return to Napier Port. Here they receive further instruction and time in simulator scenarios, focusing on feedback from their time ‘on the job’, as well as instructor-observed skill gaps.


  • Total simulator time for this activity is 80 hours
  • Package is two ten-day sessions on the simulator
  • Maximum two trainees per package

Expanding expertise in experienced operators
Targeted at developing the proficiency of existing crane operators, participants run through a series of instructional sessions with our qualified and experienced instructors, as well as ‘real life’ simulator scenarios.

Training and assessment process
Upon completion of the prescribed period of induction and training, participants carry out a series of simulation exercises designed to assess their ability to perform specific operations with the mobile harbour crane – this establishes their baseline performance.

A series of instructed and self-paced simulation scenarios are delivered, following which another series of exercises is conducted for assessment and comparison to the baseline results.

Within the constraints of vessel windows and exchange times, candidates will have the opportunity to experience and learn from the Napier Port mobile harbour crane operation, both from a remote observation position, and from inside the cab of an crane.


  • Total simulator time for this activity is 40 hours
  • Ten working days on the simulator
  • Maximum two trainees per package

Find out more

If you’d like to learn more about our crane training programmes, click below to download a brochure or contact our team via