Crane industry veteran Scotty Gaut has recently launched a new company that specializes in crane inspections. Crane U, based in Birmingham, Ala., focuses on tower crane and mobile crane inspections in the Southeast United States. Additionally, the company offers Magnaflux hook inspections, fleet management software, safety decals, DOT inspections, consulting, expert witnessing, and online training.
Gaut's experience operating a broad range of cranes from 4 to 400 tons at Steel City Crane and CraneWorks since the mid-1980s, as well as his positions in management at CraneWorks over the last six years, has provided him with the insight to offer a variety of services to help crane companies. For example, Crane U has a contract to sell Senarc Systems software including Visual Dispatch, which allows crane companies to set up forms for every type of equipment to track inspections and preventive maintenance. "There are a lot of Mom and Pop crane companies that are still using the marker board in the dispatch office," Gaut said. Visual Dispatch can help streamline those operations.
But it was Gaut's 83-year-old uncle who influenced him to step out on his own and start the company on May 1. His uncle has been in the crane industry for 60 years and has been inspecting cranes for 15 years. "A few weeks ago, we went to inspect two tower cranes in Montgomery, Ala., and he climbed one and I climbed [the other]," Gaut said. "He is a pretty amazing guy."
In addition to crane inspections and non-destructive hook testing, Crane U will soon offer online training to prep operators for the NCCCO crane operator certification. Gaut said he also plans to sell crane safety decals through his website, www.craneU.com, which will be up and running a few weeks.