First Regional Crane Operator Skills Competition Names Winners

First Regional Crane Operator Skills Competition Names Winners
First Regional Crane Operator Skills Competition Names Winners
First Regional Crane Operator Skills Competition Names Winners
First Regional Crane Operator Skills Competition Names Winners
First Regional Crane Operator Skills Competition Names Winners

Last week, two crane operators secured positions in the MCM Events & CIC Crane Operator Rodeo National Championship after competing in the first Regional Qualifying Rodeo. The New England event, hosted by Cranes 101 and Wood’s CRW, marks the first Regional Qualifier of the 2013-2014 season. Nine other crane operator skills competitions are scheduled to take place before the National Championship is held next March at ConExpo 2014 in Las Vegas, Nev.


Dave Sandel of Sandel Cranes received the high score during the skills competition, while Tyler Mayo of BGM Inc. earned the second place spot. Both operators ran the National 1400 boom truck—a crane model that Mayo said he operates regularly at his company. The other crane available for the competition was a Link-Belt RTC 8065 rough-terrain crane. Both cranes were supplied by co-host Wood’s CRW.


In addition to Sandel and Mayo, operators from Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, and New York participated in the multi-state event. Ron Krupke of Paul’s Crane Service, Springfield, Mass., was a returning winner from the 2012 competition. He reported that courses and cranes were comparable to the 2012 regional event he participated in at Empire Crane’s facility in 2012. Empire will hold the next Regional Qualifying Rodeo on July 19.


The skills competition was made up of three components, and operators were timed and graded by Crane Institute Certification examiners on their precision. The boom length remained fixed throughout the test.


During the first portion of the test, operators lowered the crane’s headache ball into two of four barrels. Points were added if the ball touched the barrel, knocked the barrel over, or moved it out of place. In this competition, the lower the score, the better. The second part of the test required operators to lift a drum full of water and weave it through a designated course of barrels without disturbing any of the barrels or lifting a chain fixed to the bottom of the drum off the ground. The final test was to lift a cylinder from a horizontal position to a vertical standing position and lower the PVC pipe back down horizontally in the other direction without moving it out of the designated area or touching the cones surrounding the pipe.


Frank Donahue, a 40-year crane industry veteran who participated in the event, said: “The course was what I expected, but I didn’t expect the pole. It added difficulty to the course.” 


First place winner Sandel added: “The course was up there in difficulty; it was not too easy. It was 100% true to life—just like steel erection.


Awareness of professional crane operation

Jennifer Sturm, operations manager for Cranes 101, said it was important for the company to host a regional crane operator skills competition. “All you hear about are accidents, and crane operation is so much more than that,” she said. Jay Sturm, president of Cranes 101, said the company’s participation was to help bring awareness to the field of crane operation as a profession.


Cranes 101 began offering CIC nationally accredited crane operator certification last summer and has trained more than 200 people in less than one year. It also offers operator training for signalpersons, riggers, overhead crane operators, forklift operators, aerial lift operators, OSHA 10 and OSHA 30, and more.


Co-host Wood’s CRW Corp. supplied the facility and equipment for use during the skills competition. The three-location sales, service, and rental company offers Link-Belt, National Crane, Shuttlelift, Tadano, and Maeda cranes, as well as Genie, Merlo, and Terex material- and personnel-handling equipment.


Future skills competitions

The Crane Operator Regional Qualifying Events continue to take place in various locations in the United States and Canada, and more are scheduled for August, October, and November. Crane operators can compete at facilities near Syracuse, N.Y., Chicago, and Edmonton, Alberta in July and August. Register online at


Regional Qualifier Dates

Syracuse, N.Y.
July 18, 2013
Held and sponsored by Empire Crane


August 9, 2013
Held and sponsored by Imperial Crane


Lindale, Alberta
August 24, 2013
Held and sponsored by Kolo Safety Inc.


Woodland, Wash.
October 5, 2013
Held and sponsored by ITI


San Diego
October 9, 2013
Held and sponsored by San Diego AGC


October 18, 2013
Held and sponsored by Webber, co-sponsored by HIIG


Sanford, Fla.
November 9, 2013
Held and sponsored by Crane Institute of America and Florida Crane Owners’ Council


Corpus Christi, Texas
November 22, 2013
Held and sponsored by B-C Equipment Sales and Laguna Crane Services


Las Vegas, Nev.
March 4, 2014
Held at ConExpo/Con-Agg



Lift & Access is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.