March 18, 2014 (Sanford, Fla.)—Both of the crane operators who were finalists in the Orlando-area Regional Qualifier held last fall earned two of the top three spots in the MCM & CIC Crane Operator Skills Championship, held March 6-7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Kenneth Bowyer of All Crane Rental of Florida and Thomas Cunningham of Sims Crane were sponsored at the Championship event by Florida Crane Owners Council, Crane Institute of America, and M&P Specialty Insurance. Bowyer and Cunningham competed against 17 other operators from the U.S. and Canada, who had previously qualified to compete in the finals.

Bowyer and Cunningham originally qualified for the Championship at a Central Florida regional event hosted by Crane Institute of America November 9, 2013, and sponsored by M&P Specialty Insurance and Florida Crane Owners’ Council.

“As Florida’s construction market recovers, demand for skilled workers is projected to outpace supply. Highly skilled operators like Kenneth Bowyer and Thomas Cunningham are truly an asset to their companies and the Florida construction economy. I’m proud to know Florida turns out such exceptional crane professionals,” said Jim Headley, Director of Crane Institute of America.

Bowyer, who was named Champion, exhibited superior load control and ability to smoothly and efficiently complete the load handling tasks while under pressure.  His score of 545.45 is a composite of his crane operation performance, successful completion of a crane simulator task, and demonstration of basic rigging knowledge. Bowyer received $2000, a custom belt buckle and leather jacket.

The title of Second Runner Up and $500 went to Cunningham, who specializes in taxi crane rental. He operates different types of cranes on a daily basis. He came in third with a score of 595.63.

“Employers that put a priority on using qualified crane operators go a long way toward reducing their overall risk. It’s refreshing to see operators who have worked hard to hone their skills receive recognition for their profession,” said Amy McElrath, Vice President of M&P Specialty Insurance, West Columbia, S.C.

About Crane Institute of America

For more than 25 years Crane Institute of America, Sanford, Fla., has offered training for operators, inspectors, safety managers, lift directors, and riggers and signalpersons working with aerial lifts, forklifts, boom trucks, mobile cranes, overhead cranes, and tower cranes. It is an authorized CIC written and practical exam testing site.

The Florida Crane Owners’ Council addresses the concerns of Florida crane owners by monitoring laws, regulations and standards for the safe and efficient future of the crane industry in the state of Florida. It has worked with the insurance industry to address liability, workers comp, and third party immunity issues and it lobbies the DOT and other government groups to develop legislation beneficial to the crane industry. FCOC promotes training and education for crane operators, riggers, and signalpersons, and the association offers scholarships to employees or children of member companies.

About M&P Specialty Insurance
M&P Specialty Insurance provides insurance and risk management services for the crane, rigging, steel erection and heavy hauling industries. M&P Specialty features proprietary insurance programs coupled with standard insurance programs to provide clients a complete array of insurance solutions. Having served the industry for over 20 years, M&P Specialty is committed to providing the highest level of service through expertise, knowledge and industry understanding.


Left to Right: Kenneth Bowyer, Jim Headley, Thomas Cunningham.