Association News, Australia, C&L, CICA, Cranes & Lifting, Industry News

Strong CICA initiatives start the year

CICA President, Ben Pieyre.

CICA President, Ben Pieyre, discusses the initiatives taken on by the national crane association to keep the industry moving forward.

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As you are aware, CICA branch meetings and member events are well underway. Keep an eye on what’s going on by visiting the ‘Events’ tab on the CICA website (  CICA has also held two excellent learning events in February, the inaugural Cranes in Wind forum (to be covered in more detail in the April issue) and the CICA Lift Supervisor  Course.

Another tremendous initiative that I wanted to update you on was the recent trip to Europe undertaken by Australian road managers to explore crane manufacturing facilities. Road managers from all states were invited to attend, and Brandon Hitch, Damien Hense and I had the privilege of accompanying a delegation of road managers from Main Roads WA, the Department of State Growth (Tasmania), Transport for NSW, Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland) and Ausroads in December 2023.

The objective of the tour was to gain insights into the latest technologies, best practices and innovations in crane manufacturing, with a focus on how these advancements can be applied to the Australian road maintenance and management sector.

The tour covered key crane manufacturing facilities in Germany, namely Liebherr, Tadano and Manitowoc Grove, which are renowned for their expertise and excellence in crane production. The European crane manufacturing industry showcased cutting-edge technologies, including automation and advanced control systems during the production process. Remote monitoring and diagnostics capabilities were highlighted, enabling real-time performance tracking through the build and pre-delivery stages.

Lightweight materials and innovative design approaches were observed, contributing to increased load capacity without compromising on safety. Telescopic boom designs and modular components demonstrated greater flexibility in adapting cranes to diverse road and construction environments.

Australian road managers, in turn, were able to speak to crane manufacturers about the integration of HVAMS (Heavy Vehicle Access Management System) within their road management systems. Discussions revolved around data interoperability, communication standards and the role of artificial intelligence in optimising HVAM operations.

Other than the difficulty caused by snow and ice, the tour was a huge success. The opportunity to foster collaboration between Australian road management decision-makers and European crane manufacturers to leverage expertise and foster innovation provided valuable insights for all parties.

CICA would like to express our gratitude to the European crane manufacturers who generously hosted the delegation and shared their knowledge and expertise during the tour.


Another CICA initiative I want to bring to your attention is StartSafe. The CICA StartSafe app streamlines the process of collecting pre-start information, with instant data retention to a central location for crane owners to access. When a faulty item is recorded by the operator, the maintenance team is notified of the issue by email, which includes photo evidence of the fault. This also assists with gathering major inspection data. 


In 2024, I encourage you to consider the CICA Crane Traineeship. Operating cranes requires a unique skill set that goes beyond technical expertise—it demands precision, safety consciousness and a full understanding of the machinery. Crane traineeships have emerged as a crucial avenue for individuals aspiring to work in our industry, offering a comprehensive learning experience beyond the classroom.

Safety is paramount in the construction industry and crane traineeships place a significant emphasis on safety protocols, risk management and emergency procedures. This ensures that crane operators not only possess the technical skills to handle the machinery but also the knowledge to navigate complex and potentially hazardous work environments  safely.

Trainees get hands-on experience with various types of cranes, learning the nuances of each machine. This practical exposure is invaluable, allowing trainees to build confidence in their abilities and gain a real-world understanding of the challenges they may face on construction  sites.

We all have had to start somewhere, and unless the industry gets behind this initiative and is willing to train the next generation, we will find ourselves desperately short of suitable crane operators as our older workforce retires.

In 2024, CICA’s ongoing goal is to continue to support our members, so if you need any assistance – please get in touch. 


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