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‘Raising the Bar’ at the CICA Conference 2018

CICA provides an overview of the highlights from the CICA National Conference, held in Melbourne this past October.

Image Credit: Rix Ryan Photography.

“Raising the Bar” was the theme of the 2018 CICA National Conference held in Melbourne from 17 to 19 October 2018. Attended by over 510 participants, the conference was the biggest to date, and the first time the exhibition and crane display were together under the same roof. This made for an impressive combination, emphasizing the scale and size of the cranes and machinery.  The twenty-nine exhibitors provided attendees a chance to familiarise themselves with products, services and innovations on offer to help their businesses.

The stirring sound of a pipe band, delicious food and opportunity to catch up with friends and acquaintances set the scene for a tremendous Networking Dinner experience sponsored by Terex on the opening night.

Mark Wales gave the keynote address on his experiences in Afghanistan as a former Australian SAS Troop Commander and how they shaped his life. Overcoming depression, Mark discovered that the strategic skills he had learnt in service were transferable to life and business.  Mark’s insights on the importance of knowing the mission, the team and oneself provided valuable and empowering lessons to listeners.

The panels, presentations, technical and business workshops all provided valuable material and awareness on a vast range of issues that impact crane usage, safety, business efficiency and profitability.  Attendees were offered ideas and resources to assist them with navigating the challenges, legislative requirements and limitations that they face in their businesses.

Australian Crane and Machinery (ACM) were the platinum sponsors of the conference and used the opportunity to present their business vision and information on their Kobelco, Zoomlion and Humma Crane peroduct lines. Gold sponsors Nobles and UAA demonstrated how they provide products and services that increase productivity and business competence.

The sessions were broken up by delectable lunch offerings sponsored by Tadano (Thursday) and Manitowoc (Friday), which also provided time to connect with other delegates and to wander around the exhibition hall.

The Crane owners’ panel was a frank and open forum where participants were invited to ask questions of the panel – Danny Adair, Paul Roche, Malcolm Smith, Marcus Rigney and Greg Lee.  Facilitated by Nick Morris, this session examined the practices and preferences of the five panellists and how they overcome obstacles, accompanied with some banter and good humour.

The Crane manufacturers panel facilitated by John Gillespie consisted of: Norbert Dudek (Terex), Andreas Cremer (Manitowoc Cranes), Reinhold Breitenmoser (Liebherr), Rolf Sonntag (Tadano) and Bill Stramer (Link-Belt).  These manufacturing experts answered questions about manufacturing data, issues and the direction that crane manufacturing is heading.

The technical workshops included updates and discussions on:

Tyre Behaviour – a technical workshop on the behaviour of inflated crane tyres and all terrain crane tyre behaviour.

Grade 120 Chains – looked at the physics and chemistry behind Grade 120 lifting hardware which improves improved bending resistance, productivity and safety outcomes.

Wire Rope – Defining wire rope and the implications of its use.  This workshop also covered how to maintain and inspect ropes.

The business workshops were informative sessions that covered important matters such as:

IR agreements – the current developments and key issues for 2018/2019.

PPSR and PPSA Laws – reviewed recent legal cases and an overview of the legislation.

Code of Practice – clarified the current Safety Management System changes to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws that came into effect on 1 October 2018.

Insurance – covered insurance issues pertaining to the crane industry including employment practices liability and statutory liability and how to ensure adequate insurance cover.

Drug detection systems – information on how to meet Work, Health and Safety obligations, specifically identifying whether individuals are fit for duty.

John Silvester, the Walkley-award winning crime writer and columnist was the closing keynote speaker and had the audience enthralled with tales of his time as a crime reporter in Melbourne.  His conclusion that ‘crime does not pay’ came from witnessing lives defined by criminal activity and the consequences of choices made.

The Gala Masquerade dinner on Friday night was a spectacular evening of dynamic ‘The Greatest Showman’ themed entertainment, stunning venue and delicious food.  The awards and trophies presented, highlighted excellence in the crane industry and gave winners the well-deserved credit for their achievements.  This dinner was a fitting end to what had been a wonderful conference!

Feedback from the conference was extremely positive and work is already underway for the 2019 Conference which will be held in New South Wales.

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