Cranes 101’s Digital Equipment Inspection Portal

Cranes 101’s portal is designed to enable companies to easily track and access equipment-inspection data
Cranes 101’s portal is designed to enable companies to easily track and access equipment-inspection data and more. All images courtesy of Cranes 101.

Jay Sturm, founder and president of Cranes 101, has been performing equipment inspections for more than 20 years. He wanted to find a way to make them easier to perform. While serving as an expert witness in court cases involving job-site accidents, he noticed two main problems kept recurring: Training and equipment inspections were lacking, as was documentation for both.

There is no requirement to document daily inspections. But if you end up in a lawsuit or a dispute with the insurance company, documented daily inspections could make or break the case against you. There is a saying among trainers, “If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen.”

A lack of training, or the lack of proof of training, doesn’t play well at all in a lawsuit, according to Sturm. Cranes 101 works hard to cover all of that with its customers. Because once you put a person in the air in a bucket truck, or you put a crane in the air, you have taken on a whole new level of liability.

Streamlining inspections

Sturm wanted to make the process easier for anyone responsible for performing and recording daily equipment inspections. His idea was a simple solution. Collect all the steps and information needed for the inspection of a piece of equipment and make that information accessible via a QR code. Snap a photo of the QR code, and all the information on that crane or piece of equipment is instantly available on your cell phone. You can walk through and record the entire inspection process right there. It couldn’t possibly be any easier, he says.

In the event of an incident, you have all the information you need at your fingertips. If you are a passerby and happen to click on the QR code, it will tell you what this piece of equipment is and when it was inspected. And if you own this piece of equipment, or if you’re managing it, you can log in and see the inspection history and any pending repairs, as well as its repair and maintenance history.

Cranes 101 offers this inspection portal as a one-stop shop for safety inspections. But the digital portal is also a training repository.

Training access and documentation

Through the software, the user has the ability to request training for their company, which is offered both online and in person. This system is great for small or larger companies.

Administrators who manage everything at larger companies, including tracking employee training, can see everybody’s information easily without digging through paper files. They can alert employees when their training is due by sending a link to the required training modules.

This training portal is also beneficial for the individual owners/operators who have one bucket truck and have to do everything themselves. Here’s where they can get it all done, both the required training and continuing ed, as well as the equipment inspections. This inspection and training outlet is useful for companies of any size.

Reducing causes of accidents

Testing modules in Cranes 101’s secure testing facility.
Testing modules in Cranes 101’s secure testing facility.

By focusing on training and inspections, Sturm and the team at Cranes 101 are hopeful they have cut out much of what degrades job safety. If people are trained properly, they’re going to be safer. If the equipment is inspected and maintained properly, it’s going to be safer. Encouraging training and inspections should drastically reduce the causes of crane and aerial-lift accidents.

All of the Cranes 101 inspection reports are based on industry standards such as OSHA, Z133.1 and ASME B.30. And they’re very comprehensive and specific. Every line item on an inspection report has a dropdown box with whichever applicable standards apply to that piece of machinery. For example, when you click on a fire-extinguisher line item or inspection standard, the software will tell you what kind of fire extinguisher is required for this piece of equipment.

Activity history page for a registered portal member.
Activity history page for a registered portal member.

If the business owner is out of the office and looking for their inspection and/or maintenance records, they can access them on their phone instead of waiting for someone in the office to send the records. This can be especially helpful for smaller companies with limited resources.

Many features for tree care companies

The Cranes 101 digital inspection portal offers a multitude of features for tree care companies’ information and record tracking. The biggest benefit, though, is that the entire system is so very easy to use.

“The QR code inspection labels will be going on every machine we inspect, so it’ll be for a laughably low price,” says Jay Sturm. “As for those who can access it and the information, as long as you have a login into our portal, you can add machines, ask us to come out for an inspection and do dailies.”

Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP, is staff arborist for the Tree Care Industry Association.
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