Heavy Equipment Colleges of America (HEC) has purchased two Manitowoc MLC100-1 crawler cranes from H&E Equipment Services for its Stonecrest, Georgia and Oklahoma City locations.
Part of the school’s strategy is to have its students train on modern cranes that are equipped with the latest technology. It’s a timely move – with the introduction of a new infrastructure bill, Georgetown University estimates 1,624,000 jobs could be created in construction alone. New operators can be trained at HEC in six weeks and 83 percent of them are successfully placed.
HEC is the only Department of Education accredited crane operations school.
“The entire focus of our business is on bridging the skills gap in worker education and getting people into jobs,” said Bob Albano, President and CEO of HEC. “That means students can train with new equipment that will help them get the best experience. The MLC100-1 units are challenging and natural to learn. We have an instructor with 20 years of experience who says these units are much easier to teach as they can customize and refine the operation so students can get used to the operation. “
The MLC100-1 is a 110 tonne lattice boom crawler crane and has a 200 foot main boom. It has self-assembly capabilities and button-shaped wire rope connections for quick and easy assembly. A new large cab and improved accessibility increase comfort and ease of maintenance compared to the previous generation of crawler cranes.
About 60 percent of HEC students are veterans and the majority of the remaining students are millennials and younger. Albano says operating the Manitowoc CCS crane control system can be similar to operating the military equipment or playing the video games many of them grew up with. Many workers shy away from working class jobs because they think they are dirty or dangerous, which is not an accurate portrait of this industry in 2021.
“The inside of a Manitowoc MLC100-1 cabin is like a cockpit. It doesn’t pull levers and pulleys like it did at the beginning, ”said Albano. “The CCS uses computer screens and joysticks. All of our students are in a transition phase of their life and we know that many of them are at home. They are highly connected and very likely to be involved in technology. “