The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association’s 2023 Crane & Rigging Workshop certainly lived up to the standard of excellence that attendees have come to expect from this annual event.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was beautiful, the Omni Oklahoma City hotel was very nice, and the weather was surprisingly warm for the end of September, as the event took place from Sept. 26-28.
And, again as usual, it all seemed to be well organized and run smoothly and efficiently.
All of those things helped make the experience more pleasant, but more importantly, the agenda was once again strong and informative, with vital topics presented engagingly by industry experts.
They included four committee meetings, 12 educational sessions, 39 speakers, eight scheduled networking events, a tour of a Kito Crosby factory, and the usual unofficial networking connections that are so much a part of this industry.
In spite of a scheduling fluke that put it on the same three days as the Utility Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, and Breakbulk Americas in Houston, Texas, nearly 670 crane industry professionals attended.
Though not a record, it's a strong testament to the workshop’s ever-growing popularity and importance to those of us who work in or support the crane industry.
The attendees included 190 first-time attendees, 26 international attendees from nine countries, representatives from 14 companies that are new members, and representatives from 82 industry-leading suppliers who had displays at the exhibit center.
Four committees met during the workshop to discuss the industry’s key issues and the SC&RA’s initiatives designed to address them.
All of the committee meetings were open, so any workshop attendee could learn first-hand what the organization is working on in order to better the industry and benefit its members.
The four Crane & Rigging Group committees that met during the workshop were the Governing Committee, the Safety Education & Training Committee, the Labor Committee, and the Tower Crane Committee.
For example, at this workshop, committees discussed proposed new federal legislation pertaining to telehandlers when they’re used like cranes; a new regulation in New York City that requires tower cranes powered by internal combustion engines to have fire-suppression systems; the SC&RA’s development of guidelines for assembling and disassembling tower cranes; and progress the SC&RA’s Outrigger Mat Resource Task Force has made in developing guidelines for outrigger mats and ground support.
Plenty of Education
The 12 educational sessions covered a wide band of topics that ranged from methodical tower crane assembly to insurance, mental health, safety, new crane and rigging technology, leadership, lifting and rigging with chains, lift planning, certifying riggers and signal persons, wire rope inspection, and the winning jobs of the year.
All educational sessions were presented by industry experts, and many were panel discussions featuring four experts. All gave the audience the chance to ask questions.
Comments heard from attendees indicate that they thought the time they invested in the workshop was well spent.
One who was new to the industry and attending for the first time called it a great place to learn about the industry and start networking.
Another attendee said he was particularly impressed by what he learned at some of the committee meetings.
Perhaps the strongest indicator that attendees saw value in the workshop is that SC&RA says 93% of the attendees it polled said they are planning to attend next year’s workshop, Sept. 24-26, 2024, at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel in Glendale, Arizona.