Crane Operator Skills Championship contestant navigates a suspended barrel through the Barrel Slalom at a qualifying event for the 2014 championship.
The Crane Institute Certification (CIC) dialed up the level of competition in the fourth year of its Crane Operator Skills Championship with eight qualifying events in 2013. Sixteen qualifiers will converge on Conexpo-Con/Agg 2014 in Las Vegas in March to fight it out for title of best crane operator in North America.
CIC will hold a final qualifying round March 4 and 5 in Conexpo booth 2975, adjacent to the Gold Lot. Operators with the two best scores will also qualify to compete in the finals on the 6th and 7th. The 2012 champion is also invited to defend his title.
“Operators get a lot of criticism for the accidents that take place’” said CIC Executive Director Debbie Dickinson. “The Skills Championship gives them an opportunity to show that they are good crane operators – efficient, productive and safe.
“And it helps establish a benchmark for what employers should expect from crane operators on site.”
At the last Conexpo in 2011, when CIC and partner Maximum Capacity Media debuted the Crane Operator Skills Championship, there were hundreds of spectators gathered at the barriers around the event. There were no qualifying rounds at the time, and haven't been until this year, so expect unprecedented levels of competition in 2014.
Top finishers in the skills competition win prizes, but the notoriety of the CIC Crane Operator Skills Championship spreads invaluable positive recognition of crane-operating skills that’s not only good for their egos, but good for the construction profession.