Crane Hot Line Recognizes Top Trainers of 2016 | Construction News

With the crane operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction final rule going into effect in November 2017, quality crane training is more important than ever.

Technology-based training tools, like computer-based simulators and virtual reality, aid the process, but the real heroes are the men and women who bring the classroom to life.

Each year, Crane Hot Line recognizes industry trainers for having a positive impact on students, the work environment, or the industry. They do this through the use of innovative training techniques or hands-on instruction, by encouraging peer or corporate accountability, and/or through quantitative or anecdotal evidence that shows successful training.

In 2016, the Corporate Top Trainer Award went to Ralf Notheis, manager – Crane Academy, Bigfoot Crane Co. Inc., Abbotsford, British Columbia. He represents Corporate Trainers who work for companies such as suppliers, dealers, contractors or rental companies, and provide crane and rigging training to their customers and/or employees.

Corporate Top Trainer - Ralf Notheis
With more than two decades of experience in the heavy equipment industry, Ralf Notheis has the knowledge and personality to take a complicated subject and relate it to a group of trainees, no matter what course they are studying. His background, which includes positions at Canada’s largest crane rental companies, has given him the practical experience and technical expertise that are highly sought after in crane and rigging training. Ralf creates his own teaching materials using real-life scenarios to make the material relevant. His theory content covers everything from correct maintenance procedures to always being early so that mistakes are not made while rushing to make up lost time. To date, not one of Ralf’s students has been involved in a serious incident.

Professional Top Trainer - Matt Schmitt
Matt Schmitt, Instructor - Overton Safety Training Inc., Aloha, Ore., was recognized as the 2016 Professional Top Trainer. Schmitt represents Professional Trainers working for companies that are primarily engaged in training activities.

Communicating a complex technical subject in a simplified manner has gotten Matt Schmitt far in his training career. His knowledge of technical lifting combined with his unique style of teaching has enabled him to bring clarity to a group of students who may not have passed a difficult certification process without expert instruction. Matt was tasked with bringing up to speed crane operators who must comply with Chicago city rules and regulations. Many students have a primary language other than English, and their background is in material delivery with limited education on other types of equipment. Using some of Overton Safety Training’s base materials, Matt worked with the operators to develop a training program that improved their previous training and testing by more than 200%.

Six other trainers received Honorable Mention recognition. Far more than a conciliatory prize, these individuals are excellent trainers, worthy of recognition.

Corporate Honorable Mention

Chris Smith, Director of Training and Corporate Service Manager, Morrow Equipment Co.
Don Horn, Senior Technical Trainer, Link-Belt Construction Equipment
Larry Petkovsek, Lifting Specialist, Mazzella Lifting Technologies

Professional Honorable Mention

Amanda Jordan, Vice President of Operations, American International Crane Bureau (AICB)
Don Childers, Owner, Nationwide Equipment Training
Jesse Garcia, Instructor/Inspector, Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau (CICB)