Lifting Q&A

25 April 2008

Steve Freckmann General manager, Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental Inc, Milwaukee, US

Steve Freckmann General manager, Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental Inc, Milwaukee, US

How long have you been in the industry? 27 years What has been the most significant development in your time?

Crane computer or load moment indicators and their evolution. The operator must never forget, of course, that the LMI is only to be used as a safety aid

What is your favourite crane?

The Link-Belt HTC-8670 hydraulic truck crane. It has been virtually bullet proof and proven itself as a workhorse serving especially well in precast, steel, and HVAC

Is the crane industry safe?

It is light years ahead compared to 20 years ago. Computers have forced a generation of operators to learn more about their cranes than they might have if computers were not mandatory. Operator training is widely accepted, unlike years past when the philosophy was to “operate by the seat of your pants”. The CCO program has been instrumental in bringing a new awareness to the Industry

What disappoints in the industry?

The number of accidents, injuries, and deaths despite advances in safety. It surprises me each time I see a contractor or rental operator cutting corners on safety in an effort to save a “buck” or a few precious minutes

Where do you see the industry in 20 years?

The time has come for a national [US] operator's licence, with universal standards needed regardless of where you live. The licence would have no borders and yet the operator would be tracked similar to the Commercial Drivers' License (CDL) program. There would be NO room for unsafe operators in the industry.

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