Winter 2012

New England Crane School’s 2013 Winter/Spring Schedule

January 7 – 10
Operator certification class, Portland, ME

January 11
Signal/rigging class, Portland, ME

January 28 – 31
Operator certification class, Associated General Contractors of Vermont (AGCVT), Montpelier, VT

February 1
Signal/rigging class, AGCVT, Montpelier, VT

February 12
Signal/rigging class, Woods CRW Corp., Burlington, VT

February 13 – 16
Operator certification class, Woods CRW Corp., Burlington, VT

March 4 – 7
Operator certification class, AGCVT, Montpelier, VT

March 8
Signal/rigging class, AGCVT, Montpelier, VT

April 8 – 11
Operator certification class, Portland, ME

April 12
Signal/rigging class, Portland, ME

April 29 – May 2
Operator certification class, AGCVT, Montpelier, VT

May 3
Signal/rigging class, AGCVT, Montpelier, VT

For information or to register, visit or call 603-614-4331.

We will also be delivering classes and exams for the Maine and the NH/VT chapters of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). If you are a member of ABC, contact your chapter for schedule and price information.

Dispelling the CCO Myth

By Anna DeBattiste, owner, New England Crane School

If I had a dollar for every time a crane operator called me and said, “I need to get my CCO”…well, I’d be lying on a beach somewhere with a pink umbrella drink. 

CCO Cert CardA“CCO,” in case you’re not familiar with the acronym, refers to a National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) certification. And while the NCCCO has certainly been around the longest and has the strongest name recognition, they are not the only game in town.

When OSHA’s new crane regulations came out in 2010, they specified that crane operators must become certified or qualified by 2014, and the regs outlined four options:

  • To become qualified by the U.S. military
  • To become qualified by an audited employer program
  • To become qualified by a state licensing program that meets the “federal floor”
  • To become certified by a nationally accredited certification process

For most New Englanders who are not currently serving in the military, becoming certified by a nationally accredited testing process is the only feasible choice, and there are actually four nationally accredited certifications to choose from:

  • CIC (Crane Institute Certification)
  • NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research)
  • The International Union of Operating Engineers, if you are a union member

certification cardIn the eyes of OSHA, they are all the same.  Where they differ is in their testing process, each of which presents potential advantages and disadvantages depending on your situation.

When I first started New England Crane School with my brother in 2010, he already had an NCCCO operator certification. But he went out and did his homework, and we sent him to Florida to become a trainer and practical examiner for the CIC instead of becoming an NCCCO provider. And our current trainer, Frank Donahue, was an NCCCO examiner before he came to work for us and we sent him through the CIC’s program too. Why?  Because we found the CIC so much easier to work with.  The CIC does not require us to pre-register our test cranes, which means we can usually allow you to bring your own crane to test in during our public certification classes if you want to. Also, you only have to take one practical exam for a mobile crane cert with the CIC; as long as you take it on the largest course you need, it covers you for smaller capacity mobile cranes.  And by using the CIC’s large course practical exam, we can issue a lattice boom cert without actually getting our hands on a lattice boom test crane, which would be extremely expensive (you must take a lattice boom-specific written exam, however). 

If you keep up with industry news, you probably have also heard about the recent controversy over “type and capacity.” OSHA says that your certification card, in order to be valid in 2014, must list type and capacity on it. The CIC’s cards do list capacity, and the NCCCO’s cards don’t. We don’t know what the outcome of this will be, and we certainly expect that some sort of agreement will eventually be reached between OSHA and the NCCCO. Nonetheless, we’re pretty relieved to be working with a certification that already meets the standard right now.

So when you call me this season, don’t say, “I need to get my CCO.” Just say, “I need to get certified.”  I don’t really need to be lying on a beach with a pink umbrella drink anyway.

Customer Profile: Green Mountain Power to the Rescue

We’re always interested in what our customers are doing, but nothing grabbed our attention faster than the recent convoy of Green Mountain Power bucket trucks on their way to assist with power outages in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York in the wake of storm Sandy. New England Crane School recently certified 15 of GMP’s crane operators.

Sandy knocked out power to approximately 48,000 of GMP’s own customers, so of course that was the utility’s first priority. Crews worked through the night on the Monday and Tuesday after the storm, quickly restoring power by Wednesday and earning kudos from Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.

Text Box: Green Mountain Power Fast Facts Employees:	700 Customers:	247,000 Certified crane operators: 	15 Fleet includes: Pettibone 25, 12.5 ton Terex Telelect, 18 ton PM Model 32, 16.5 tonBy Thursday morning, November 1st, 70 GMP line workers and support staff were ready to mobilize for other power companies in need of help, representing about 30% of GMP’s available staff. The crew spent a total of 13 days on the road, setting up new poles, rebuilding overhead lines, reattaching services to houses, and replacing damaged transformers. They assisted in some of the most storm-affected areas, including Staten Island, finally returning home on November 13th.

Description: Godbout makes circuit breaker repairs in NJ.  Bob completed his operator certification with New England Crane School last May. 

Photo courtesy of Green Mountain Power.

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