Like many other segments of the construction industry, crane companies have been hit hard by the recent decline in building. While prospects for these companies are looking up, work isn’t always found in the traditional large building projects. The crane’s versatility and wide variety of uses has been keeping crane companies busy in some unexpected ways.
Modern Technology Brings New Opportunities
A rough economy may have put a damper on demand for skyscrapers, but the nation’s need for energy continues to grow. An increase in the number of energy projects has been providing profitable work for many construction companies. Growing interest in eco-friendly renewable energy contributes strongly to this upturn.
Some crane companies find their current construction projects are coming from several different sectors, divided between construction of buildings, placement of infrastructure such as roads, and energy generation projects. In this last group, there are opportunities in both traditional and renewable energy projects, including:
- Wind turbines
- Geothermal power plants
- Oil and gas refineries
- Nuclear power plants
Adjustments Are Inevitable
These new construction opportunities aren’t without their challenges, however. Not all crane operators find it worthwhile to upgrade their skills to make the switch from building skyscrapers and roads to building power plants. This issue combined with ongoing loss of revenue and increasing tax burdens have convinced some skilled crane operators and technicians to abandon the industry altogether.
As a result, companies that have weathered the storm have been left with a shortage of talent. Some are looking at projects in other countries where experienced crane operators are easier to come by.
The growing complexity of crane regulations poses another obstacle. One of the biggest is the recent change in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations which now require certification for crane operators operating service trucks with a lifting capacity greater than 2,000 pounds. While these regulations don’t take full effect until late 2017, some fleet managers are preparing early by looking for certified operators.
To stay current on the building trends keeping crane companies and other construction experts profitable despite today’s economic challenges, contact us at Construction Monitor.
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