Cranes and Lifting spoke to Jackson Arbuckle about his reasons for getting into the crane industry and what he likes about his job.
Jackson Arbuckle from Max Cranes was recently recognised as the CICA South Australian Trainee of the Year.
“I have just begun my fourth year in the crane industry having joined Max Cranes straight out of school aged 17. Before joining Max Cranes, I didn’t know much about construction or the crane industry. I wasn’t one of those kids that wanted to stop and watch a construction site.
“I saw the advertisement for the traineeship with Max Cranes. I thought why not, it would be something different, so I went for the interview and I was lucky enough to get the job,’ said Arbuckle.
Arbuckle goes on to confirm what his early impressions of the crane industry were.
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“The guys were very welcoming and despite the obvious age difference they made me feel comfortable from the beginning. They’ve been happy to teach me everything they know and having been around a lot longer than I have, it’s been really good of them to pass on all the information, their experience and knowledge to me,” Arbuckle said.
Attending TAFE has also been an important element of Jackson’s traineeship. He has been attending Training Hire and Construction Industry Training Centre (CITC) courses.
“I started these courses about six months into my traineeship. They first sent me out to get my Dogmans ticket and I’ve gradually worked towards more tickets including ‘Basic Rigging’, ‘Confined Space Training’ and ‘Working at Heights’. At the moment, I hold the Basic Rigger CN Ticket which is my Pick and Carry ticket.
“My first year was in the yard learning about the cranes and the business and since then I have been mainly out on site with jobs. A lot of these have been with the major steel manufacturer just across the road,” said Arbuckle.
Today, Arbuckle works on the different types of cranes based at the Whyalla Depot which start with a 20t Pick and Carry and go through to 200t slewing cranes.
“I really love the work. I enjoy working in a team environment and I enjoy learning from the older guys. All things considered, I can see myself staying in the industry for a long time and I’d probably like to make it my career. For now, I’m happy to be doing what I do, there’s still lots to learn but ultimately, I’d like to progress up and become an operator of the larger cranes, and Max Cranes have some large ones in its fleet,” said Arbuckle.
Jackson understands the reluctance of some crane companies to take on youngsters in a trainee program, but he thinks there are plenty of others like him that would thrive in the industry.
“Obviously it is a risk having young people around such large pieces of heavy machinery. You need that older group of fellas who can teach the young ones what to do and how to do it well. From my perspective, it’s about constantly being vigilant about safety and understanding what that machine could do if you take any risks,” he said.
“When I’m onsite, I’ve been taught to be constantly aware of the environment and the surrounds on site and understanding what’s going on. You’ve got to be on the ball all the time, you’ve got to look for things that could happen, not just things when they’ve happened. There’s a big difference.
“I’m really enjoying working with Max Cranes, they’ve been brilliant with me. I couldn’t be happier with the way they treat me. I’m pretty sure they are looking for more trainees, because they’ve been happy with how I’ve progressed,” said Arbuckle.