Forklift and Crane Operator Training

Mid-States own Ethan Hall, Jeremy Ceballos and Jeff Morris recently became certified forklift and crane operator trainers.

The three went through training in December and January with Wisconsin Lift Truck and Konecranes to become certified.  On Jan. 21, the trio conducted training for the Mid-States team.  Fifteen people participated in forklift training and 11 took crane training, to meet the needs of the plant.  Once Hall, Ceballos or Morris certify someone, the certification is effective for three years.  Those that have been certified will need to undergo a recertification class to stay current.

“People get rusty,” Hall said of the importance of the certification and training.  “People get complacent.  It’s normal when you’ve been doing it for a while.”

At the Jan. 21 training, the team divided up the training and each taught separate sections.  Training included about five classroom hours and two practical hours.  Those that took the class had to pass a written exam and a practical exam to become certified.

In addition to what was taught and learned in the class, Hall noted it was nice to get everyone together and see people so excited about learning something new, and sharing the knowledge they have gained on the job over the years.

Hall, Ceballos and Morris feel the weight of the responsibility of training.  Morris noted that there is definitely a pressure associated with training, as if a team member doesn’t understand something, it is on the trainers to do better.

As it was their first session, there were a couple learning experiences to be had.  For example, there was an individual who was struggling to pass the written test.  Upon talking to him, the trainers realized there was a language barrier. Once this individual was provided with a translator, he passed.  There was also one question on the exam that every person in the class missed.  The trainers looked at it and acknowledged it was a difficult question, but knew they needed to explain the concept in another way, to help people better understand it.

With the three certified as trainers, the goal is to put a schedule together for certification and re-certification, to help Mid-States stay ahead of expiration dates.  The three are responsible for the continuing certification of roughly 100 people and will provide both classroom and practical training for recertification.

Ceballos added it is beneficial to have the three of them teaching these classes, as they are also out on the floor, running cranes and forklifts as needed.  Plus, now that they have gone through training and have provided training, they are spotting things they didn’t before and can offer coaching right on the floor.

“It’s made us safer individuals working ourselves,” Hall said.