As a winner of the 2009 Crane Hot Line Top Trainer award in the Corporate Category, Mike Riggs was awarded a $1,250 scholarship, which he donated to another trainer for educational purposes. Riggs manages the Knoxville, Tenn., branch of I&I Sling Inc., and is the director of training for Slingmax Rigging Solutions, Aston, Pa. In this role, Riggs has often hired Harley Gist, owner of Construction Rigging Consultants, Black Canyon City, Ariz., to provide training to I&I/Slingmax customers on behalf of the company.
“We never fail to get positive feedback from our clients after Harley has been there,” said Riggs. “One customer told us that their riggers were so involved in the training Harley was providing that few took their breaks, preferring instead to work through them. Another customer shared that Harley emphasizes the safety of the rigger throughout the process, never allowing shortcuts and continually reinforcing the idea that if you can’t rig the load safely, don’t do it at all,” continued Riggs.
Unable to use the scholarship himself, Riggs passed it on to Gist, who in turn enrolled in a course to earn a mobile crane operator certification from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. The course was taught by one of the 2010 Top Trainers—John Augustine of Sylvan Enterprises, Kingston, Tenn.