CICB utilizes CM Labs’ simulators to increase the quality of their crane operator training.

Success Story Summary

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The training team at CICB’s Houston Training Center, a career school for crane operators, riggers, inspectors, and lift directors, sought a safer, sustainable solution as part of the training improvement program for crane operators. They were looking to prevent operators from developing negative habits when using unrealistic simulation training, which could potentially cause dangerous problems when operating cranes.
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To enhance operator training programs and provide clients with more value, CICB invested in a state-of-the-art CM Labs simulator, integrated with crane training packs and an Instructor Operator Station (IOS).

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Why CM Labs

With its realistic and fully immersive training, including features like weather controls, random fault injection, and objective metrics, CM Labs’ simulation solution proved to be the perfect setting for familiarizing crane operators.

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By adding CM Lab simulator training to introductory-level courses and/or to refresh an operator’s skills as needed, CICB has reduced its crane operational and fuel costs. Students now enjoy additional seat time on the simulator, taking the necessary time to build confidence. Instructors gain more 1-on-1 time with trainees who experience a much smoother and safer transition to the real cranes. Additionally, the simulators allow operators to continue training when weather conditions restrict training outdoors.

Operating since 1969, CICB is one of the oldest and largest crane inspection and training companies in the United States. CICB has grown to serve clients globally, employing subject matter experts and training operators across the United States and abroad. For almost two decades, John O’Connor has dedicated his expertise to guiding operators towards success at CICB’s Houston Training Center.

For the last five years, CICB’s Houston location has integrated CM Labs simulation training into its program for crane operator trainees and for operators expanding their skills to include lattice boom training. These advanced simulators have proven to be a valuable resource for training operators, reducing the need for constant supervision, cutting down on equipment wear and tear, lowering fuel consumption, and training operators to higher safety standards.

High quality and proactive training is crucial for safer construction sites, especially considering that over 60% of accidents occur within an operator’s first year of work. Inexperienced operators are more vulnerable to incidents compared to their experienced counterparts.

"It can get tricky. They can boom up too fast, the load comes around, and it hits their outrigger. When that happens, the whole crane loses stability, and you’d be lucky to walk out alive. That’s why we train operators to the latest standards, so they are ready for the field."

John O'Connor's Photo - CICB Case Study

John O’Connor, Operations Manager
Houston Training Center
CM Labs customer since 2017

In a recent study, workers with less than one year of experience account for almost half of all workers’ compensation claims. The price of inexperience is high, but O’Connor firmly believes simulation training is a valuable tool for new operators to accelerate learning and build confidence gradually, rather than learning through trial and error.

Easing transition from theory to practice with simulation

CICB Operator on a CM Labs Simulator

Simulators help trainees run through basic controls and get familiar with the movement of the equipment. Without simulator training, CICB would need to dedicate an extra day to training operator trainees, using two live cranes exclusively. Not only does this make training newer operators more expensive, but this also prevents CICB’s outside cranes from being used for practice by more experienced operators, increasing costs even more.

Simulation is a key component to attracting next generation of operators

The CM Labs simulators have certainly drawn the attention of aspiring trainees – especially the younger generation. When O’Connor’s team provides a tour of their facility, people always ask to try the simulator. O’Connor mentions that the simulator is also a great complement to the classroom.

CICB Operator in front of mobile crane heavy equipment

Building critical skills with CM Labs’ realistic training

CICB Operators in front of crawler crane heavy equipment

CM Labs’ precision engineering practices ensure that the right approaches produce the right training and perhaps most importantly, avoid negative training. During a session, O’Connor skillfully manipulates the IOS, generating unexpected faults and tweaking the weather parameters. By adjusting the environment settings to simulate daylight, he teaches the importance of utilizing peripheral vision to align the shadows of the hook and block. “The CM Labs simulations are based on real-world equipment and situations. Our students will need that experience when working on the job site,” O’Connor explained.

Practicing good judgment is essential for the proper operation of cranes. Learning how the swing breaks with the outriggers and being able to hit reset is especially important. Given Houston’s windy conditions, O’Connor appreciates CM Labs’ realistic environmental and machine fault controls.

New Chapter

CICB recently expanded their simulator offerings by dedicating a separate lab space for signal person simulation, providing even more value for their clients. Impressed by all the value simulation has brought Houston students, CICB also recently invested in CM Labs solutions for the Orlando Training Center.

Mobile crane simulator training pack exercise - Lift steel beam
CM Labs' Mobile Crane Simulator Training Pack