Interview with Simon Harris, Crane Operator Red Seal Friction Lattice Level A
Cranesy: What do you love about cranes?
Simon Harris: It’s the daily challenge…
Never the same thing twice, there’s always something different to keep you dialed in.
Cranesy: How did you join into this sector?
Simon Harris:I sort of fell/progressed into it… I was the crane trainer for overhead bridge cranes in a paper mill.
The forestry sector is a slowing sector here in BC Canada.
I sought something different. Went to My local IUOE (Operating Engineers) and they encouraged a need for mobile operators. Started my apprenticeship within a month.
Cranesy: What’s your favorite memory about your work with cranes?
Simon Harris:Fondest memory of a crane I ran was the DB General. It’s a Clyde 52. A British made crane built in the 50’s for the US Navy to build battle ships. (Overkill everything)
Clyde names their cranes by the size of the Rotex. A Clyde 52 has a 52 foot diameter Rotex. Just a “big chunk of fudge…”
The Boom pins are 28 feet across. She’s a 750 ton lifter on a barge.
Put her on land and she’s a 1500 tonner. And of course, a conventional crane… (Friction)
Cranesy: How has your work with cranes inspired you in your life?
Simon Harris:Not sure if working in craning has inspired me in life. It has helped me enjoy some things in life. ie vacations etc.
Cranesy: Are you facing new challenges in this sector? Tell us about it.
Simon Harris:The biggest challenge faced in this sector here in BC Canada is having the proper trained new operators, operators coming into the industry now seem to be fast tracked to fill seats.
And as most operators know, “EVERYBODY without a ticket seems to think they can run a crane “no problem”.
Cranesy: Safety in workplace. Would you give some essential advices about how to protect yourself from potential injury?
Simon Harris:3 words… RIGHT TO REFUSE. KNOW what that means… Don’t be pressured, bullied, berated to put yourself in a situation you are not comfortable with or fully understand all the dynamics of in regards to a lift. Be professional. But be firm. Absolutely nothing wrong with revisiting concepts of a lift BEFORE things happen and may go array.
Cranesy: Would you recommend other young men to undertake this career?
Simon Harris:I’m not sure of the rest of North America, but I know here where I live there is a vast shortage of qualified operators.
It is a great and challenging career that I would recommend ANYONE to enquirer and pursue. My experience has also been the females make EXCELLENT operators.
They seem to be more diligent to the details, upkeep of equipment, and mandatory paper work. Just my personal opinion there.
Cranesy: What does HAPPINESS mean for you?
Simon Harris:Remember this motto: Work to live. Don’t live to work.
Family is always priority one. Whether you have one or are a part of one.
Use your career as a way to spend more quality and quantity time with family.