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Indianapolis, IN, USA (HQ)

903 E. Ohio St., Indianapolis, IN 46202

Call: (317) 423-2325

info@acppubs.com

Training the Next Generation of Crane Technicians

Josh Garrington, Global Training Manager for Mobile Cranes at Manitowoc, configures the Crane Control System Rated Capacity Indicator display included in the hydraulic and electrical test benches used in the company’s crawler crane training.
Josh Garrington, Global Training Manager for Mobile Cranes at Manitowoc, configures the Crane Control System Rated Capacity Indicator display included in the hydraulic and electrical test benches used in the company’s crawler crane training.
Josh Garrington, Global Training Manager for Mobile Cranes at Manitowoc, stands next to a reconfigurable hydraulic and electric test bench used in the company’s crawler crane training program. In the photo, the system is configured as a 150-metric-ton model MLC150-1.
Josh Garrington, Global Training Manager for Mobile Cranes at Manitowoc, stands next to a reconfigurable hydraulic and electric test bench used in the company’s crawler crane training program. In the photo, the system is configured as a 150-metric-ton model MLC150-1.
Manitowoc's training courses support classroom learning with hands-on activities.
Manitowoc's training courses support classroom learning with hands-on activities.
Training helps address the declining number of crane technicians.
Training helps address the declining number of crane technicians.
In virtually every region of the world, demand for crane technicians far exceeds the supply — a problem that may continue or even worsen as a significant portion of the workforce edges closer to retirement age.

Conveniently, crane servicing has evolved into a career more closely aligned to the skills and strengths of a younger demographic.

“The role of a technician has rapidly changed over the past decade or so as computer systems have become increasingly prominent in cranes,” said Josh Garrington, Global Training Manager for Mobile Cranes at Manitowoc. “Today’s technicians must be as comfortable with a laptop as they are with a torque wrench — along with mechanical aptitude, they must also be able to utilize advanced technology systems. However, the most important attribute that a crane technician must have is a desire to solve problems.”

Worldwide Training
To address the declining number of skilled mechanics in this field, Manitowoc is actively involved in training over 1,500 future service technicians at its centers every year.

The company operates six technical training facilities — in Shady Grove, Pennsylvania; Manitowoc, Wisconsin; Wilhelmshaven in Germany; Sao Paulo in Brazil; Monterrey in Mexico; and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates — for the Grove, Manitowoc, and National Crane product lines.

Alternatively, one of Manitowoc’s 18 technical trainers can host sessions at a customer’s facility, job site, or nearest Manitowoc facility, tailoring each course to meet specific needs.

Learning by Doing
Manitowoc offers over 50 week-long training courses covering different product lines and control systems. The emphasis of each one is on practice, rather than theory, Garrington said.
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“We firmly believe that the best way to learn is by doing,” he explained. “Our core classes are all offered in person so we can support classroom learning with hands-on activities on one of our test benches, simulators, or an actual crane.”

To supplement those in-person activities, over 130 e-learning modules are also available via the online Technical Learning Center. Under 30 minutes long, these self-paced activities serve to reinforce critical topics covered in the instructor-led classes.

Those same instructors also provide online instruction in common maintenance processes and basic knowledge of features via the Garage Videos series on Manitowoc’s YouTube page.

“I find it very rewarding to actively participate in raising awareness of the crane industry with future potential technicians, whether they are in vocational school or secondary school,” Garrington said. “It is also a privilege to lead a team of supremely talented and passionate technical trainers, supporting them as our curriculum and training offerings are continuously updated. This allows us to evolve with Manitowoc’s changing product offerings as well as the changing needs of our customers and the modern labor market.”

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