DRO corner image3

Subscribe

Subscribe to our e-newsletter mailing list to keep up with NCCCO news and industry headlines.

CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS

Drill Rig Operator

Practical Exams

The following is an outline of the practical testing procedure, as provided to candidates at the time of testing.

There are two practical exams available under the CCO Drill Rig Operator certification program:

CANDIDATE INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS

The following sections describe the specific tasks you will be performing when taking the Practical Examinations. It is important that you understand these instructions. If there is anything you do not understand, please request clarification from the Examiner.

FOUNDATION DRILL RIG OPERATOR PRACTICAL EXAM

TASKS

The Foundation Drill Rig Operator Practical Exam tasks are:

There is also a Pre-Test Briefing, a Drill Rig Walk Around, and a Pre-Operation Familiarization Period. You will be required to complete all phases of the test in sequence.

You must report to the Test Site at the scheduled time. All candidates shall comply with Test Site requirements concerning personal protective equipment (PPE), which at a minimum shall meet federal OSHA requirements.

The Test Site Coordinator is responsible for setting the testing schedule. If you are familiar with the operation of the test drill rig, you may elect to test first to allow other candidates time to review the operator’s manuals and load charts. Otherwise, selection shall be by random drawing or by assignment of the Test Site Coordinator.

During the Practical Examination, you are under the direction of the Examiner and must follow the Examiner’s directions at all times.

Once you have completed all of the tests you are taking, you must leave the testing area. Only personnel involved in the administration of the test are allowed in the test area.

TIME LIMITS

For some tasks optimum time limits have been set. If the task is completed within this time period, you receive no time penalty. Other tasks are untimed, as noted below.

Once you exceed this time limit, however, you will lose points on a gradual basis. If you take twice as long as the optimum time, you will have lost all the points allotted to that particular task. The optimum time for each task is stated as part of the task descriptions. At two times the optimum time the Examiner may end the task and move on to the next task.

PRE-TEST BRIEFING

While candidates are waiting to take their tests, they will have sufficient time to read this description of the tasks to be performed and review the operator’s manual for the rig(s) they will operate. In addition, they will be informed of the make and model of the foundation drill rig. They will also watch a short presentation showing all the tasks they will be required to perform during the examination.

Note that:

  • The drill rig has been set up and leveled. A spirit level is available to verify that the rig is level.
  • None of the target points has been placed at a radius that exceeds the dedicated drill rig’s rated capacity.
  • All signals used throughout the test will be in accordance with the Standard Method hand signals.

UNSAFE ACT

If at any time during the test, you commit an unsafe act, you will be disqualified from continuing with the test. Unsafe acts include but are not limited to the following:

  • Lowering mast without instruction to do so
  • Traveling with tracks
  • Uncontrolled or reckless operation sufficient to cause safety concern to personnel or equipment
  • Failure to respond to “stop” signal
  • Contacting obstruction with test pipe

The Examiner has the authority to stop the test at any time for reasons of safety. Please ask the Examiner if you have any questions.

If you are disqualified due to an unsafe act, you will not be permitted to test on any equipment until the next day.

CANDIDATE ID AND SIGNATURE

Prior to beginning the examination, the Examiner will ask you for a photo identification, such as a driver’s license.

The Examiner will ask you if you have read the Candidate Information and Instructions and will answer any questions you may have. The Examiner will review the weather conditions and ask the candidates to sign indicating that they understand the instructions for the test and that they agree with the Examiner’s assessment of the weather conditions.

WEATHER CONDITIONS AND EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS

The Examiner will use an anemometer to check the wind speed and then will record the weather conditions on the score sheet.

The Examiner has the responsibility to determine if weather conditions or equipment problems are such that a test needs to be suspended. If the test is interrupted due to weather conditions or equipment problems, the procedure for restarting is as follows:

  • You will resume the test at the beginning of the task you were performing at the time of the interruption.
  • You will be entitled to a Pre-Operation Familiarization period before resuming the test.
  • If testing resumes on a different machine, you must start the test over from the beginning. The first score sheet will be marked as “VOID” with an explanation and returned to NCCCO.
  • If the testing is delayed to a different day, the test must be restarted from the beginning.

DRILL RIG WALK AROUND

  • Before you begin operations, you are allowed a couple of minutes to walk around the drill rig to ensure proper setup.

TASK 1: PRE-OPERATIONAL INSPECTION

Untimed

  • You will be asked to identify the five items on the drill rig that are part of the pre-operational inspection.
  • One at a time, you will describe how you would conduct the inspection and what deficiencies you would look for.
  • You have approximately one minute per item.
  • Points will be deducted for each incorrectly identified inspection item.

TASK 2: SITE SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Maximum time: 3 minutes

  • At the Examiner’s indication to start, at which point timing will begin, use the available materials to identify the exclusion zone around the equipment you will be using.
  • You will have three minutes to complete this task.
  • Timing will end when you indicate to the Examiner when you are done.
  • When you have finished setting up the exclusion zone, you will be asked to describe the safety measures you would implement around an exposed hole.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:
    • Cones not placed beyond swing radius
    • Cones not placed completely around hazard area
    • Not correctly describing exposed hole safety measures

TASK 3: OPERATIONAL CONROLS IDENTIFICATION

Untimed

  • The Examiner will describe six functions of the drill rig. One at a time, you will be asked to identify which control performs that function.
  • You will have approximately one minute per item.
  • Points will be deducted for stating incorrect function and/or direction.

PRE-OPERATION FAMILIARIZATION PERIOD

  • You will be allowed up to 15 minutes to get comfortable with operating the drill rig.
  • You may run the rig through its functions, except for tracking or traveling the machine, or lowering the mast down to its storage position.
  • You may not interfere with the test course.
  • If you are ready before the 15-minute time limit is reached, please indicate this to the Examiner.
  • The Examiner will let you know when you have five and one minute(s) remaining.
  • If at any point you feel like you are not ready to test, you should notify the Examiner. You will have, in effect, disqualified yourself from taking the examination at this time, and you will be required to sign to that effect on the Candidate Score Sheet.

TASK 4: PIPE PICKUP AND PLACEMENT

Optimum time: 4:30 minutes

  • You will be instructed to bring the hook over top of the pipe attachment point and lower the hook so that it can be attached. Then the Examiner will attach the pipe to the hoist line when you indicate you are ready to make the connection. You will then make the rigging taut.
  • When the Examiner gives you a start signal, timing will begin. Raise the Pipe out of the Corridor and high enough to avoid obstructions. Swing the pipe over to Barrel #1 and lower the pipe until the line on the pipe is below the barrel rim.
  • The Examiner will give you a stop signal, a hoist signal, and a swing signal indicating you may go to Barrel #2.
  • Once the pipe has been lowered into Barrel #2 past the horizontal line, the Examiner will give you a stop signal, a hoist signal, and a stop signal.
  • Avoid contacting the ground or any part of the course or rig with the pipe.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:
    • Dragging pipe tip or touching ground outside of corridor
    • Tool contacting any part of the rig
    • Pipe contacting any part of the rig
    • Moving barrels two inches or more
    • Knocking over barrels
    • Knocking over poles
    • Moving pole bases off line
    • Knocking balls off poles

TASK 5: PIPE LAYDOWN

Optimum time: 2:45 minutes

  • At the Examiner’s indication to start, at which point timing will begin, raise the pipe above all obstructions, and then swing it back over to the Corridor.
  • Set the tip of the pipe down inside the 4 ft. x 3 ft. box and then lay the pipe back down in between the pole barriers.
  • Once the pipe has been set down fully inside the Corridor, the Examiner will give you a stop signal. If the pipe has not been set down fully inside the corridor, timing continues.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:
    • Dragging pipe tip or touching ground outside of corridor
    • Pipe not set inside target box
    • Pipe contacting any part of the rig
    • Moving barrels two inches or more
    • Knocking over barrels
    • Knocking over poles
    • Moving pole bases off line
    • Knocking balls off poles

TASK 6A: TOOL POSITIONING

Untimed

  • You will be instructed to swing the tool in between the starting point and the drilling spot, and partially extend it.
  • The Examiner will signal you to adjust the boom or tool position with a series of voice commands. This part is not timed.
  • For each voice command the Examiner provides, you will adjust the position of the boom or tool accordingly.
  • Points will be deducted for incorrect movements of tool.

TASK 6B: DRILLING

Optimum time: 2:30 minutes

  • The Examiner will instruct you place the tool plumb on the ground at the start position.
  • At the Examiner’s indication to start, at which point timing will begin, swing the tool from the starting point to drilling location.
  • Once centered over the casing, proceed with drilling a hole with two passes not to exceed 5 ft. total below grade.
  • As necessary, you may dump the dirt in the dump-off area.
  • Once you’ve completed two passes and dumped off the dirt from the tool, swing the tool back to the starting point and place the tip of the auger on the ground.
  • Once the tool is set on the ground in the starting position, the Examiner will give you a stop signal. If the tool is not set on the ground, timing continues.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:
    • Dragging tool on the ground
    • Banging tool into the mast
    • Dropping tool on the ground
    • Tool hitting side of casing (while swinging)
    • Contacting rig with tool
    • Fouling hoist line
    • Overloading tool
    • Circumvention (clean tool)

TASK 7: SAFE SHUTDOWN AND SECURING PROCEDURES

Untimed

  • Before leaving the operator station, you will be required to apply safe shutdown procedures to the drill rig in preparation for the next candidate.
  • Once the drill rig is shut down, you will leave the operator station and describe to the
    Examiner the procedures you would follow to secure the machine at the end of the work day.
  • Points will be deducted for improperly securing the equipment or improperly describing how to secure it.

POST-TEST PROCEDURES

Once you have completed the Practical Examination:

  • The Examiner will record your performance.
  • The Examiner is not permitted to review your score sheet or discuss your performance on the test.
  • Exam results will be mailed to you within approximately twelve business days of NCCCO’s receipt of the score sheets from the Examiner.
  • If you have made formal applications to test on any other equipment, return to the candidate briefing area.
  • If you have completed all of your tests, you must leave the test site.

PRACTICAL SCORE REPORTING

All candidates receive a score report of their performance. Examination results are mailed to candidates approximately 12 business days after the receipt of Practical Examination score sheets by NCCCO.

Both the Practical Examination and the scoring system have been validated and verified by NCCCO’s pilot testing program. A score of 75 represents the minimum passing score for the Foundation Drill Rig Operator Practical Examination.

ANCHOR/MICROPILE DRILL RIG OPERATOR PRACTICAL EXAM

TASKS

The Anchor/Micropile Drill Rig Operator Practical Exam tasks are:

There is also a Pre-Test Briefing, a Drill Rig Walk Around, and a Pre-Operation Familiarization Period. You will be required to complete all phases of the test in sequence.

You must report to the Test Site at the scheduled time. All candidates shall comply with Test Site requirements concerning personal protective equipment (PPE), which at a minimum shall meet federal OSHA requirements.

The Test Site Coordinator is responsible for setting the testing schedule. If you are familiar with the operation of the test drill rig, you may elect to test first to allow other candidates time to review the operator’s manuals and load charts. Otherwise, selection shall be by random drawing or by assignment of the Test Site Coordinator.

During the Practical Examination, you are under the direction of the Examiner and must follow the Examiner’s directions at all times.

Once you have completed all of the tests you are taking, you must leave the testing area. Only personnel involved in the administration of the test are allowed in the test area.

TIME LIMITS

For some tasks optimum time limits have been set. If the task is completed within this time period, you receive no time penalty. Other tasks are untimed, as noted below.

Once you exceed this time limit, however, you will lose points on a gradual basis. If you take twice as long as the optimum time, you will have lost all the points allotted to that particular task. The optimum time for each task is stated as part of the task descriptions. At two times the optimum time the Examiner may end the task and move on to the next task.

PRE-TEST BRIEFING

While candidates are waiting to take their tests, they will have sufficient time to read this description of the tasks to be performed and review the operator’s manual for the rig(s) they will operate. In addition, they will be informed of the make and model of the foundation drill rig. They will also watch a short presentation showing all the tasks they will be required to perform during the examination.

Note that:

  • The drill rig has been set up and leveled. A spirit level is available to verify that the rig is level.
  • None of the target points has been placed at a radius that exceeds the dedicated drill rig’s rated capacity.
  • All signals used throughout the test will be in accordance with the Standard Method hand signals.

UNSAFE ACT

If at any time during the test, you commit an unsafe act, you will be disqualified from continuing with the test. Unsafe acts include but are not limited to the following:

  • Uncontrolled or reckless operation sufficient to cause safety concern to personnel or equipment
  • Failure to respond to “stop” signal
  • Contacting obstructions outside of working or starting areas

The Examiner has the authority to stop the test at any time for reasons of safety. Please ask the Examiner if you have any questions.

If you are disqualified due to an unsafe act, you will not be permitted to test on any equipment until the next day.

CANDIDATE ID AND SIGNATURE

Prior to beginning the examination, the Examiner will ask you for a photo identification, such as a driver’s license.

The Examiner will ask you if you have read the Candidate Information and Instructions and will answer any questions you may have. The Examiner will review the weather conditions and ask the candidates to sign indicating that they understand the instructions for the test and that they agree with the Examiner’s assessment of the weather conditions.

WEATHER CONDITIONS AND EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS

The Examiner will use an anemometer to check the wind speed and then will record the weather conditions on the score sheet.

The Examiner has the responsibility to determine if weather conditions or equipment problems are such that a test needs to be suspended. If the test is interrupted due to weather conditions or equipment problems, the procedure for restarting is as follows:

  • You will resume the test at the beginning of the task you were performing at the time of the interruption.
  • You will be entitled to a Pre-Operation Familiarization period before resuming the test.
  • If testing resumes on a different machine, you must start the test over from the beginning. The first score sheet will be marked as “VOID” with an explanation and returned to NCCCO.
  • If the testing is delayed to a different day, the test must be restarted from the beginning.

DRILL RIG WALK AROUND

  • Before you begin operations, you are allowed a couple of minutes to walk around the drill rig to ensure proper setup.

TASK 1: PRE-OPERATIONAL INSPECTION

Untimed

  • You will be asked to identify the five items on the drill rig that are part of the pre-operational inspection.
  • One at a time, you will describe how you would conduct the inspection and what deficiencies you would look for.
  • You have approximately one minute per item.
  • Points will be deducted for each incorrectly identified inspection item.

PRE-OPERATION FAMILIARIZATION PERIOD

  • You will be allowed up to 15 minutes to get comfortable with operating the drill rig.
  • You may run the rig through its functions, except for tracking or traveling the machine, or lowering the mast down to its storage position.
  • You may not interfere with the test course.
  • If you are ready before the 15-minute time limit is reached, please indicate this to the Examiner.
  • The Examiner will let you know when you have five and one minute(s) remaining.
  • If at any point you feel like you are not ready to test, you should notify the Examiner. You will have, in effect, disqualified yourself from taking the examination at this time, and you will be required to sign to that effect on the Candidate Score Sheet.

TASK 2: FORWARD TRAVEL

Optimum time: 2:30 minutes

  • When the Examiner gives you a start signal, timing will begin. While keeping the mast in the travel position, travel the rig out of the starting area and bring it over to the drilling steel frame located at the end of the course.
  • Except for the control panel, no part of the rig should leave the marked boundaries of the course.
  • Avoid contacting any of the obstructions around the starting area or inside the course.
  • Once the lowest part of the mast has crossed the marked line 4 ft. from the drilling steel frame, the Examiner will give you a stop signal. If the mast has not completely crossed the marked line, timing continues.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:
    • Contacting barrel
    • Dragging mast on ground
    • Any part of rig traveling outside Working Area
    • Traveling with outriggers down
    • Knocking over poles
    • Moving pole bases off line
    • Knocking balls off poles

TASK 3: VERTICAL DRILL STEEL JOINT

Optimum time: 6:30 minutes

  • When the Examiner gives you a start signal, timing will begin. Raise the mast to a vertical position, approach the vertically placed drilling steel, and “shoulder it up.”
  • Once fully connected, lift the drilling steel out of its holder.
  • Avoid knocking or moving the drilling steel frame.
  • Once the drilling steel has been completely lifted out of its holder, the Examiner will give you a stop signal. If the drilling steel is not completely outside of its holder, timing continues.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:
    • Knocking tennis ball off pole
    • Dragging mast on ground
    • Not making full drill steel connection

TASK 4: ANGLED DRILL STEEL PLACEMENT

Optimum time: 10:30 minutes
  • When the Examiner gives you a start signal, timing will begin. Position the drill steel in the holder angled at 30 degrees.
  • Once placed inside the holder, unthread the rod.
  • Avoid knocking or moving the drilling steel frame.
  • Once the drilling steel has been completely unthreaded, the Examiner will give you a stop signal. If the drilling steel has not be completely unthreaded, timing continues.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:
    • Knocking tennis ball off pole
    • Dragging mast on ground
    • Dropping steel on disconnect

TASK 5: VERTICAL DRILL STEEL PLACEMENT

Optimum time: 8:00 minutes

  • When the Examiner gives you a start signal, timing will begin. Re-engage the rod in the holder angled at 30 degrees and “shoulder it up.”
  • Once fully connected, remove the drilling steel from the angled holder and set it back in the original vertical holder.
  • Avoid knocking or moving the drilling steel frame.
  • Once the drilling steel has been placed down fully inside the vertical holder, I will give you a stop signal. If the drilling steel is not placed fully down inside the vertical holder, timing continues.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:
    • Knocking tennis ball off pole
    • Dragging mast on ground
    • Not making full drill steel connection

MULTI-TASK DEDUCTIONS

  • Points will be deducted for the following if the following occurs during Tasks 2-5:
    • Drilling steel frame moved 2 in. or more but less than 6 in.
    • Drilling steel frame moved 6 in. or more

TASK 6: REVERSE TRAVEL

Optimum time: 4:30 minutes

  • Prior to the start of this task, you will be asked to unthread the drilling steel.
  • When the Examiner gives you a start signal, timing will begin. Lower the mast to a horizontal position for traveling.
  • Once the mast has been lowered, begin traveling backwards and place the rig back inside the starting area bordered by the pole barriers.
  • Avoid contacting any of the obstructions around the starting area or inside the course.
  • Once the rig’s tracks are fully within the area, the Examiner will give you a stop signal. If the rig’s tracks are not fully within the area, timing continues.
  • Points will be deducted for the following:
    • Contacting barrel
    • Dragging mast on the ground
    • Mast not properly lowered before travel
    • Traveling with outriggers down
    • Any part of rig traveling outside the working area
    • Knocking over poles
    • Moving pole bases off line
    • Knocking balls off poles

TASK 7: SAFE SHUTDOWN AND SECURING PROCEDURES

Untimed

  • Before leaving the operator station, you will be required to apply safe shutdown procedures to the drill rig in preparation for the next candidate.
  • Once the drill rig is shut down, you will leave the operator station and describe to the
    Examiner the procedures you would follow to secure the machine at the end of the work day.
  • Points will be deducted for improperly securing the equipment or improperly describing how to secure it.

POST-TEST PROCEDURES

Once you have completed the Practical Examination:

  • The Examiner will record your performance.
  • The Examiner is not permitted to review your score sheet or discuss your performance on the test.
  • Exam results will be mailed to you within approximately twelve business days of NCCCO’s receipt of the score sheets from the Examiner.
  • If you have made formal applications to test on any other equipment, return to the candidate briefing area.
  • If you have completed all of your tests, you must leave the test site.

PRACTICAL SCORE REPORTING

All candidates receive a score report of their performance. Examination results are mailed to candidates approximately 12 business days after the receipt of Practical Examination score sheets by NCCCO.

Both the Practical Examination and the scoring system have been validated and verified by NCCCO’s pilot testing program. A score of 72 represents the minimum passing score for the Anchor/Micropile Drill Rig Operator Practical Examination.