US infrastructure improvement is a huge and hot topic, and the big question is whether Federal, state
and local entities are ready to spend the significant dollars needed to repair and replace failing bridges, dams, roads and utilities. Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer at the Associated General Contractors of America, will address this topic at the Opening Session of the SC&RA Crane & Rigging Workshop, being held from 19 to 22 September at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel, Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
In a presentation titled The Future of America’s Infrastructure, Sandherr will discuss the expensive facelift that the nation’s aging infrastructure needs. Sandherr will talk about how the Trump Administration is tackling this challenge and how the government’s plans will impact the economy and more specifically the crane and rigging sector.
Even the American Society of Engineers grades US infrastructure as a D+, and estimates that it will take US$4.6 trillion in the next 10 years to get US infrastructure up to par. In fact, some economists claim infrastructure spending is the key to wiping out poverty, creating economic growth and increasing employment. Sandherr’s presentation is one among many don’t-miss events and activities on the packed schedule of this year’s Workshop.
Another important industry topic to be addressed at the Workshop is electronic logging devices (ELDs). In December 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) published its final rule mandating the adoption and use of ELDs by all drivers, including mobile crane operators.
Chris Nelson, ISE Fleet Services vice president will make his presentation titled, ELDs – Not Just a Trucking Issue, It Applies to Cranes Too. Attendees will learn the basics of the ELD mandate, how the rule applies to crane companies, the grandfather clause, the timeline for compliance, the pros and cons of ELDs, AOBRD versus an ELD and what questions to ask when researching an ELD vendor.
Rigging gear trends and issues are another subject of interest that will be covered at this year’s Workshop.
Tony Fastuca, ASC/Python America vice president, will moderate a panel titled, Wire Rope Challenges for Crawler Cranes. This session features four industry experts who will share their insight on the behaviour of wire rope when used on all types of crawler cranes and provide guidelines for inspection, repair or replacement. Panelists include: Justin Brown, product manager at Unirope Limited; Roman Priedl, senior sales manager at Tuefelberger; and Dave Sleightholm, manager of customer technical support at Bridon Bekaert.
Below the Hook Lifting – Slings and Hardware is another rigging topic that will be presented by Tim Klein, director of engineered fabrications at WireCo WorldGroup. He will discuss common types of slings and hardware, sling selection and inspection and safe use. Klein will cover the rigger’s responsibilities regarding lift planning and execution as well as safety. He will also discuss and provide the requirements set forth by ASME and OSHA for slings and riggers.
Another compelling session will be Unbreakable: The Dewey Bozella Story. Dewey Bozella, the 2011 Arthur Ashe Courage Award winner, will take participants through his journey of incarceration and his dreams of professional boxing that helped him to identify seven key life aspects that shaped his perspectives, relationships and opportunities. The audience will learn how he harnessed the aspects of fear, commitment, persistence, forgiveness, determination, hope and faith to never give up and become the inspirational boxer, philanthropist, mentor and motivating man he is today.
Workshop breakout sessions are centred on pertinent and timely trends and concerns of the crane and rigging industry.
- Don Mahnke, president at Hydra-Slide, will present Unbreakable Laws: Physics of a Move, a session about why loads rotate, shift and swing; load stability and how to understand control mobility; internal and external forces and restraint and choosing the most economical equipment for a job.
- Zack Parnell, president and CEO at Industrial Training International, will discuss the evolution of technology, the growth of the skilled labour gap, alongside the growth of automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The title of his presentation is Virtual & Augmented Reality and the Future of Work on all Media.
- Is Your Lift Director Qualified? asks Hank Dutton, senior technical specialist, construction risk control at Travelers. He will answer this question and discuss the role of the lift director, plus the key skills, requirements and attributes necessary for this important role.
- Joe Penland, president at Quality Mat, will explore risk mitigation and the history of crane matting then and now, as well as the path forward in engineering and standards for safety, strength and stability in the crane matting industry.
- Is Your Company Prepared for Litigation? This important discussion will be moderated by Fred Marcinak, attorney at Smith Moore Leatherwood. Panelists include Bill Smith, executive vice president at Nations Builders Insurance Services; Matt Stone, attorney at Smith Moore Leatherwood; and Jim Wiethorn, principal engineer and chairman at his company Haag Engineering.
Networking and more
The Exhibit Center will bring together 90 of the industry’s top manufacturers, software and training providers, insurance representatives and media. It gives exhibitors the opportunity to meet customers and attendees the chance to experience the latest in services, software, technology and equipment. A buffet lunch will be provided.
In case you missed the presentations at the Annual Conference in April, or if you want to see the winning jobs again, don’t miss the 2017 Rigging Jobs of the Year presentation. These projects exemplify best safety practices, ingenuity, specialized engineering and in some instances defying common misconceptions. Companies that will present their winning jobs are Fagioli, Emmert International and Barnhart.