Apex Specialized Rigging and Moving

SC&RA is developing a comprehensive set of training modules to address concerns related to repeat carrier permit violations, bridge hits and more

As SC&RA and its membership enter the year’s final quarter, Association and company leaders alike look toward a healthy list of priorities aligned for 2019, with many of the items on that list centred on advocacy.

Beth O’Quinn, SC&RA senior vice president, crane & rigging, and Steven Todd, SC&RA vice president, transportation, believe there’s a lot of room for optimism, excitement and success moving into next year, and membership advocacy is practically overflowing with things to talk about.

“Safety training is a continued priority moving into 2019 for us,” said Todd, “and how it relates to state DOTs expressing concern about repeat carrier permit violations, bridge hits, etc. We’re currently developing a comprehensive set of training modules to address those concerns and, when completed, they’ll find great use within the US and around the globe.”

In late March 2018 SC&RA announced its initiative, Uniform Permit Transport 2021 (UPT2021), to establish harmonisation between all 50 US states on overweight and oversize envelope vehicle configurations.

The initiative pertains only to those loads defined by the US Government as “nondivisible” – those which cannot be dismantled in less than eight hours, or if dismantled, would compromise the intended use of the vehicle or destroy the value of the load.

“UPT2021 has garnered widespread attention throughout our US members, and internationally,” Todd explained. “For example, we’ve shared it with ESTA [European Association of Abnormal Road Transport and Mobile Cranes] leadership. Ton [ESTA director Ton Klijn] and I have kept each other updated on what our associations are working on in terms of best practices and advocacy in this regard. We’ve also shared information on working with state DOTs at the national level to harmonise areas nationwide within the industry.”

A result of this relationship will be seen at the 2019 Specialized Transportation Symposium from 19 to 22 February in Houston, Texas, USA, where ESTA is sending two representatives to take part in the conference, as well as participate in a private meeting between Todd, representatives from the New Zealand Heavy Haulage Association, and various other industry and international association leaders.

“Ton has reciprocated by inviting me to ESTA’s specialized transportation meetings – at Bauma next year,” said Todd. “So yes, ESTA and SC&RA, along with New Zealand Heavy Haulage, and others, are continuing to step up our game in terms of interaction.”

In addition, Todd has been spending more time in Canada. “For the third straight year, we’ll be presenting at the Canadian Provincial Ministry size and weight conference,” he noted. “We’ll also be performing a USA and Canada border industry-government coalition to further the ball down the field on harmonisation between USA and Canada border states.”

 

Hand in hand

UPT2021 also lands on the priority list for O’Quinn in recognising how non-divisible loads are an integral piece to day-to-day operations for both transportation and crane and rigging companies. “One of our goals moving into next year – as permitting victories are being realised – is to ensure our members recognise that the non-divisible load issue impacts the transportation of mobile cranes,” she said.

Other issues of focus for O’Quinn moving into 2019 highlight boom dollies and the weighing of cranes on portable scales. “The Crane Rental Association of Canada [CRAoC] began to address the boom dolly issue a couple years ago – focusing on increasing axle weights throughout their provinces,” she indicated. “SC&RA has been involved since the beginning and continues to participate with CRAC’s committee. With a focus on mitigating risks, SC&RA is currently developing best practices, which will be converted into training materials for the movement of mobile cranes with boom dollies.”

The training materials will include best practices in the form of a video and test questions. “It will also be on the agenda at the International Crane Stakeholders Assembly [ICSA] meeting this month. Regardless of where you are in the world, boom dollies are being used. We’ll use this opportunity to develop best practices for the industry to utilise worldwide.”

O’Quinn pointed out that there is a white paper being developed at ICSA regarding mobile cranes working on floating barges. “SC&RA is a chair of the committee addressing this issue, which highlights additional hazards and considerations that are associated with these operations. Another white paper under development is Hard Stands and Road Access at Wind Farms, chaired by Brandon Hitch, CEO, Crane Industry Council of Australia.”

O’Quinn added, “The yearly ICSA meetings allow users and manufacturers to collaborate on industry issues and how we can develop solutions that companies can utilise around the globe.”

Weighing of cranes on portable scales has also garnered attention as of late for O’Quinn. “We will be looking at this more closely through the end of the year and into next year,” she affirmed. “It’s something we will discuss with our counterparts this month to determine if this is an issue they are also dealing with – operators getting erroneous weights due to the incorrect setup of the portable scales specific to mobile cranes. Our goal is to educate industry and enforcement on their proper usage to ensure accurate weights.”

 

The place to be

Revisiting the momentum gained from SC&RA’s first-ever networking event with Mexican government transportation officials and specialized transportation, crane and rigging companies (January 2018) will be an added focus for Todd early in 2019.

“We had an extremely productive and rewarding event in Monterrey [Mexico] earlier this year,” he stressed. “All the officials I spoke with showed support for further automation, in co-ordination with local permitting. We’re currently examining the aftermath of their presidential election and administration change, and they tell me they need a little more time as the new administration fills key positions. So, we’re planning to revisit this promising relationship in January 2019.”

Todd sees such progress as an indication that SC&RA’s continued international outreach is taking root – with the 2019 Specialized Transportation Symposium serving as a perfect example.

“For two years, we’ve earmarked this Symposium with a theme of going more in-depth with international issues and panels,” he said. “To that point, we’ve already scheduled two panels that will delve very much into an international flavour – one which will include a couple of ESTA officials, an official from New Zealand and additional international members sitting on the panel.

“It’s one of our goals to broaden the international presence at the Symposium, and I believe even our most localised US members will have an interest in hearing how specialized transport operates around the world.”

O’Quinn reiterated that advocacy for SC&RA has always been front and centre and pointed to the workforce shortage as an additional point of focus in 2019. “Lift & Move USA is very strong here in the US but the worker shortage is real, and we’ve spoken to our counterparts at ICSA. They’re saying the same thing – across the globe. So we’re discussing those issues – as well as something we can work together on to help address and mitigate this ongoing reality.”

O’Quinn spotlighted the fact that, year after year, international attendance continues to grow at SC&RA’s events. “It shows our commitment to offering relevant programming to our members around the world, including the various advocacy issues we’re working on with our members and counterparts in Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia and other countries.”

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