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Crane Hot Line

Crane Hot Line Honors 2018's Top Trainers for Innovative Methods and Top-Notch Results

May 2, 2018 - Crane Hot Line magazine has named its Top Trainers for 2018.  

Winners of this year’s competition are AI Abel of Mazzella Companies in the Corporate category and William Elmore of Alaska Crane Consultants in the Professional category. 

The Corporate category is for trainers employed by a company whose principal business is not training, such as manufacturers, contractors, equipment rental companies, or equipment dealers. 

The Professional category is for trainers from companies whose principal business is training. 

This year's Honorable Mention (runner-up) awards went to Wayne Wille of Straightpoint in the Corporate category and Yannick Morin of Kraning in the Professional category. 

The program is endorsed by theAssociation of Crane & Rigging Professionals (ACRP) and supported by several sponsors, including Lifting Gear Hire (Platinum); Slingmax and Rigging Institute (Gold); Terex, Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau (CICB), Mazzella Companies, Morrow, and Altec Sentry (Silver); and American International Crane Bureau (AICB) (Bronze).

As Top Trainer Award recipients, Abel and Elmore will each receive complimentary registration and hotel accommodations for the 2018 ACRP General Assembly in Houston, May 15-18, where they will be presented trophies during an awards ceremony.  

Both will also receive scholarships thanks to funding from Top Trainer sponsors. 

"The crane and rigging industry is constantly evolving. The only way to keep up with innovation is through training," said Tom DeSoo, director for I and I Sling/Slingmax Rigging Solutions, and ACRP president. "I am pleased to congratulate Al Abel of Mazzella Companies and William Elmore of Alaska Crane Consultants on their Top Trainer achievements," DeSoo continued. 

Crane Hot Line editor Mike Larson added, "Trainers deliver far-reaching benefits that improve the bottom line of an entire job site. Properly trained workers do their jobs more safely. That reduces costs for lost time, damaged equipment, medical treatment, and insurance premiums." 

Larson also said, "Because well-done training delivers such important benefits, Crane Hot Line is honored to recognize outstanding individuals who do this vital work by holding the annual Top Trainer program." 

Now in its 11th year, the Top Trainer competition is held annually to recognize trainers in the lifting and rigging industry who excel at using innovative hands-on instruction, encourage peer or corporate accountability, demonstrate training success, and have a strong overall effect on students, the industry, or the environment. 

Entrants are nominated by peers, co-workers, or students.  

Al Abel, lifting specialist for Mazzella Companies, winner in the Corporate category, has been a perennial nominee ever since the first Top Trainer program eleven years ago. He is well liked by customers and peers. As one of his nominators says, "His knowledge of lifting applications and standards is the basis for presentations; however, his remarkable ability to present critical information in a very engaging manner is where he differentiates himself from other trainers. His level of experience in knowing and transferring this information in a memorable fashion is truly remarkable.  


William Elmore, who co-owns and is principal trainer at Alaska Crane Consultants, earned Top Trainer in the Professional category this year. He was nominated by Alaska Crane Consultants’ co-owner Teresa Elmore. She said, “Bill goes the extra mile to help his students become proficient in their knowledge of best crane, rigging, and signal person practices. He has a very welcoming personality and never meets a stranger. He can talk to anyone and soon have them responding in conversation." Bill Elmore has been involved with crane operating, rigging, training, and safety for 46 years, including 18 years in safety/training for cranes and rigging. 

Corporate Honorable Mention went to Straightpoint’s Wayne Wille, who has 18 years of experience in crane and rigging training. He is also a member of the National Association of Tower Erectors, the Associated Wire Rope Federation, and the International Society of Weighing and Measurement. Wille keeps students engaged by using many tactics, such as moving around the room, changing tone and emotion, and asking questions. He also brings a case full of products and props to help give students visual demonstrations and hands-on experience. 

Professional Honorable Mention went to Yannick Morin of Kraning, who has been in the crane and rigging industry for many years. After becoming a professional engineer, Morin redirected his knowledge to teach and train, as well as to become a speaker and expert witness. Morin’s nominator says students appreciate his training style because he adapts and teaches in a way that is measurable and customized. Also, he affects the broader industry by speaking at conferences and by participating on numerous committees in the crane and rigging industry, to help raise quality standards. 

For information about how to nominate a candidate for the 2019 Top Trainer competition, visit



Crane Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.