Crane Institute of America hosted the final regional qualifier event for the 2014-15 Crane Operator & Rigger Skills Competition in Louisville, Kentucky at the Papa John’s Cardinal Center, Green Lot C. The event was held Monday, September 28 where two lucky operators advanced to the Championship and a chance to win $10,000.
Although the spirit of competition was in the air with a chance at $10,000, the skills required to be successful are just as important to operators working in the industry. The regional event consisted of barrel dunk, slalom, pipe and rigging challenges.
One contestant, Mitchell Cornelius from Birmingham, Alabama, started as a crane operator about 15 years ago. Cornelius doesn’t operate cranes on a daily basis working for Crane U, but you wouldn’t know it as he walked away with the top score and $300! When asked how crane operation today differs from ten to twenty years ago, Cornelius replied, “Obviously the technology has changed, but safety is the big one. It’s a major departure from the lax approach safety has since in the past.” He added, “I mean, safety was pretty much looked down upon back in the day. They’d call you a wimp if they saw you wearing gloves while tag lining or doing something by the books. It’s just how it was.”
Also displaying a strong performance, winning $200 and advancing to the Championship was Randy Warner from Building Crafts, Inc. Warner started his career on the Florida coast at 19 years old and now resides near Cincinnati, Ohio. He responded to the question, ‘What is the most rewarding part of your job’ with, “What I find to be rewarding is going home at the end of every day knowing that is was a safe day for everyone on the...