Crane & Rigging Workshop unites industry members

01 November 2018

The SC&RA Crane & Rigging Workshop, held September 26-28 in Louisville, KY, brought together owners, operators, safety directors and operations managers from the industry’s foremost crane-owning and crane-service companies, OEMs and related suppliers. Workshop sessions spotlighted safety, regulatory and consensus standards, training, equipment maintenance, as well as current issues affecting the industry.

Lead photo (2)

The SC&RA Crane & Rigging Workshop in Louisville culminated in a plant tour at the Link-Belt Cranes factory in nearby Lexington, KY.

Mixed into the attendance tally of 639 were 134 first-timers and 41 internationals representing nine different countries. The Exhibit Center continued its 15-year streak of selling out at 90 booths.

Highlights and headlines

Bill Smith, executive vice president of NBIS, kicked off the Workshop with the Opening Session that highlighted practical ways to protect your company against lawsuits. Smith coined modern lawsuits as the new “lottery,” and his comprehensive presentation provided informative graphics and unforgettable videos that “brought it home” for many industry professionals in the room.

Troy Pierce, vice president, HSE, TNT Crane & Rigging, delivered Bridging the Gap Between Compliance & Choice, where he used SC&RA’s new Severe Weather Guidelines as an example in explaining best practices for managers who want to introduce new practices and rules to employees, and what it takes to change behaviors from compliance to choice.

Mike Moreland, manager, special hauling permits, Ohio DOT; Chris Nelson, special transportation manager, NBIS; and Steven Todd, SC&RA vice president, transportation; presented Mobile Cranes on the Move: Using New OS/OW Rules to Your Advantage, which underscored how one permitting mistake while moving a crane can cost a company millions of dollars. Among many talking points, the trio pointed out how to take advantage of a recent federal government ruling on mobile cranes to maximize time and budget.

An additional group presentation involved a panel of lifting experts: Tony Fastuca, vice president, sales and marketing, ASC Python America (moderator); Brooks Nunley, technical sales and key account manager, Cortland Company (speaker); and Dennis Sherman, technical sales manager-crane, Samson Rope Technologies (speaker). The panel covered the effects of bending on synthetic fiber ropes and slings, and how they differ from steel wire and round slings. Sherman and Nunley also addressed reduction factors and bending fatigue properties of fiber ropes in various lifting applications.

Positive feedback

Some 134 first-timers attended the Workshop. ACT asked a couple of attendees to share their experience.

“I was really pleased with my first SC&RA participatory experience,” said Tadano America’s Michele Olsen. “From the initial greeting to end-of-conference instruction, it helped me to see what an asset SC&RA is to our industry. Nothing takes the place of face-to-face conversations. I gained new perspective from the leadership and keynote speakers, as well as met several new vendors who I believe will assist Tadano in further market growth strategy.”

Bechtel Equipment’s Monty Chisolm was impressed with the willingness of leaders to take on new subjects and act on what was discussed.

“A taskforce was formed to look into defining the process of bullrigging and take steps needed to improve the safety and craftmanship in this area of our business,” he said. “Also, I enjoyed the presentation on synthetic rope slings and rope. It was well presented and very informative.”

First Timers

Liebherr’s Ana Cabiedes-Uranga, Terex’s Stephanie Wood and Scale and Control’s Savanna Francis were first time attendees.

Compelling keynote

Anne Mahlum, owner/CEO, [solidcore], provided a compelling Keynote Session, The Road to Change, discussing her personal story as well as her work with Back on My Feet, a nonprofit organization combatting homelessness through the power of running. Mahlum uncovered how we all need the same things in life to grow and succeed: to be noticed, to be appreciated and to be valued and to be cared for. She demonstrated how altering the way we see ourselves and our circumstances is at the core of change that allows us to move out of our comfort zones and create significant adjustments in our lives.

The Workshop’s Breakout Sessions addressed important industry topics including: Tackle Any Job with Better Tool Management; The Hazards of Service Providers; Calculating Sling Angles and Hardware Selection; An Attorney’s Point of View: Playing Offense With OSHA; and Engineered Lift Plans from A to Z.

Two added highlights that put the final polish on the Workshop were the SC&RA Leadership Forum and the Link-Belt Cranes factory tour.

The Leadership Forum represents a popular and impactful initiative through SC&RA. The program is designed to help fast-track the best and brightest young minds to the next levels of professional and Association leadership. Accepted applicants meet throughout the day via group work and networking, and are matched with a mentor to learn from various industry veterans about workplace trends and industry issues.

Leadership Forum

Some 15 young professional participated in the Leadership Forum.

Bookending the week, the Link-Belt tour gave attendees a rare chance to explore the 770,000-square-foot Link-Belt plant, where they witnessed firsthand everything it takes to assemble a Link-Belt crane. Machining centers, assembly, lattice and formed boom bays, final paint and much more were customary stops along the way.

Plus, attendees got to see an impressive presentation of Link-Belt’s product line, including the roll out of a new crawler crane, a new telescopic crawler crane, a new rough terrain crane and, most notable, the new Link-Belt 175|AT all terrain crane.

The 2019 SC&RA Crane & Rigging Workshop is set for September 18-20 at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel, in Glendale, AZ.


NCCCO’s Graham Brent and Leavitt Cranes’ Thom Sicklesteel on OSHA’s Proposed Rulemaking on Crane Operator Certification and Employer Evaluation:

  • While we may not yet know the exact content of the OSHA crane operator rule, we do know we have one and that, whether it comes in November, in May 2019, or sometime in between, it is coming. 
  • If you are certified, rest easy; your certification will remain good. If you are not, don’t delay. There will likely be a rush to comply and you don’t want to be among those who can no longer operate a crane for want of a certification card.

Tackle Any Job with Better Tool Management, by Lifting Gear Hire’s Tom Beasley and Patrick Clark:

  • Research, implement and utilize technology to track and keep your equipment in peak performance.
  • Use technology to track and record, keep maintenance schedules and certification/ testing records.
  • If technology is not in your budget or practical, make sure to find a quality source that can achieve the above tasks. Tour their facilities and audit their processes to ensure you understand what services you are paying for

The Hazards of Service Providers, by Jim Wiethorn, Ph.D., Haag Engineering, and Fernanda Leite, Ph.D., University of Texas:

  • To have a successful lift, service providers must understand multiple parties are often working together for the first time.
  • ASME B30 played a critical part in identifying and detailing the duties for all parties to accomplish a safe lift.
  • Service providers must rely on a pre-lift meeting to identify and confirm which party/crew member is filling each role as defined by ASME B30. Critical to that meeting is the identification of the person directing the lift, the Lift Director.



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