May 14, 2021
A Manitowoc MLC100-1 lattice boom crawler crane.
Heavy Equipment Colleges of America (HEC) has purchased two Manitowoc MLC100-1 crawler cranes from H&E Equipment Services for its locations in Stonecrest, Georgia and Oklahoma City.
It is part of the school’s strategy to have its students trained on modern cranes using 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 deployed successfully.
HEC is the only school for crane operations accredited by the Ministry of Education.
“The main focus of our business is addressing the skills gap in employee training and job placement,” said Bob Albano, President and CEO of HEC. “That means students can train with new equipment to get the best experience. The MLC100-1 devices are sophisticated and natural for learning. We have an instructor with 20 years of experience who says that these units are much easier to teach because they can tweak and tweak operations so that students can get used to how to use them. “
The MLC100-1 is a 110 tonne crawler crane with a lattice boom and a main boom of 200 feet. It has self-assembly capabilities and button-style wire rope terminations for quick and easy assembly. A new wide-body cab and improved accessibility have increased 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 video games that 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 people and are very likely to be involved in technology. “