Tuesday, May 17, 2011

An Interview With A Crane Inspector

When I go to a customer’s site I never look at myself as a salesman. I look at it more that I am a consultant to my customer. I try to show them the appropriate steps that they need to take to be compliant, safe, and proactive in with their crane maintenance. I try to see what their needs are and try to find the perfect fit for them. I never try to sell them something that they don’t need, nor do I push anything unless I have established a relationship with that customer, and it is a safety issue.

One issue I have faced as a salesman a few times is the fact that I am not always taken as serious as if I was an inspector or technician. Coming in as a salesman especially with someone that I have not developed a relationship with and try to convince them of what they need is not always the easiest thing to do. You get those looks like you’re just a sales guy trying to sell them something. Sometimes I feel like I could get more across to a customer when I was a technician.

At my work I am fortunate to have a lot of talent out in the field that I can rely on when I have questions regarding cranes, and various regulations on them. We have a very knowledgeable work force that is out their working on our customers cranes every single day. The training program we have in place is unsurpassed by any competitor. We have our own crane institute that is designed for all careers at our company from technician, to inspector, or manager to salesman. Barry Conway is one of those guys that I rely a lot. I know if a customer asks me something that I am not sure of, Barry is the first person that I call. I know he will either know the answer or at least know where to find the answer. He is a valuable asset to our organization and that is why I wanted to do my first interview with him. I know what my answers are to the following questions but I thought the answers were so much more valuable coming from someone who is on the cranes everyday and sees the programs that customers have implemented daily. So lets see what he has to say….

How Long have you been a crane inspector?
I have been an approved and licensed Cal OSHA crane inspector for 21 years and have worked in the crane industry for 26 years.

What do you like about your job?:

I enjoy the places I go, most are very interesting and I have met some very knowledgeable and interesting people along the way.

What is the biggest issue that you find that your customers are unaware of?:

A lot of my customers are unaware of the regulation from Cal OSHA regarding their equipment, the record keeping, the training of the operators, having a maintenance program in place. A lot of the break downs are due to improper operation by the employees. Proper training can reduce or even eliminate them.

What crane discrepancy do you find the most and why do you think that is?:

With new customers I find a lack of record keeping and a lack of proper maintenance of their equipment.. These are both OSHA requirements.

Is there any suggestions that you make to your customers on a regular basis?:

Yes, to start a maintenance program on their small units. There seems to be a misconception that maintenance and record keeping does not need to be performed on units of 6,000 lbs or less. That is not true.

Are there any regulation that you would like to implement or suggest to CAL-OSHA?:

I would like to see more stringent requirements for certifiers implemented. There are a lot of safety devices on cranes. An inspector needs to have a through understanding of how a crane operates and all of the safety devices that are incorporated in them. Some seem to not understand fully about them.

Any additional comments that you would like to make?

A good maintenance program, proper operator training can go a long way in reducing overall expenses and down time. Keeping spare parts on their shelf can reduce down time and reduce other cost by eliminating additional travel time. Brakes, wire ropes, even spare motors and VFD Drives, especially if the unit is a critical crane.

In closing I want to thank Barry for taking the time to answer my questions. It still amazes me that there is such a lack of record keeping with crane equipment. Close to 90% of all crane accidents are fatal. With statistics like that you don’t want to become part of those statistics. The only way to improve your chances is to take care of your equipment, record keeping, and training. It is our job to help companies’ fine tune their record keeping and keep on a strict maintenance schedule. Contact me today and I can help you with your crane needs.

1 comment:

  1. In your question, "Are there any regulation that you would like to implement or suggest to CAL-OSHA?" you misspelled thorough, Slapnuts!