Kelsey Binding is a crane operator apprentice for Ainscough Crane Hire. Based out of the Manchester depot, she is currently working as a slinger, which entails giving hand and/or radio signals to crane operators to ensure safety and efficient movement. Kelsey is at the beginning of her crane career and has her sights set on a heavy crane world record one day. This is her Ainscough story.
I began my apprenticeship just over four months ago, after applying and expecting to hear nothing back. After completing an interview and aptitude test, I was brought on within a week. Having little experience in the field, and being in a full-time job for Aviva Insurance as a customer consultant at the time, the opportunity came as a shock but has continued to remind me to always take a chance.
My interest in the sector started when I met my partner who works in the industry. Hearing from my partner what the job involves really got me interested and it inspired me to apply for the apprenticeship to get my foot in the door. Given that I had zero knowledge of cranes prior to meeting my partner, I’m really proud of how much I’ve learned and that I’m already putting it into practice.
It’s no secret that the world of cranes ‐ like all of construction – is very male-dominated. However, my experience has been brilliant – my colleagues have been encouraging and helpful every step of the way. As there are not so many women in crane operation, I think it’s important to shout about just how many roles there are in this sector, and how gender plays no role in your ability to get the job done.
My day usually entails being on‐site at projects of all shapes and sizes and slinging the crane operators, making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Giving the operator a perspective of the surroundings on the ground and instructions to land and sling loads is crucial in ensuring safety and efficiency. Whether it’s hand signing or radio signalling to the crane operators, constant communication is vital and also provides me with greater knowledge on the movement and mechanics of the vehicle.
Since starting at Ainscough, I’ve done a lot of work in the Heavy Cranes team, including a job with one which weighed up to 100 tonnes.
My goal is to achieve my crane ticket when I approach two years of experience, and in 10 years’ time, I hope to be specialising in operating heavy cranes, and maybe setting a world record!
Cranes aside, I’m also passionate about cars, visiting motor shows, and admiring modifications to vehicles in my free time. Photography is another hobby of mine, however, capturing cars can be much easier than the heavier and bigger cranes!
I’ve been extremely lucky to land myself this apprenticeship, especially as a newbie in the sector, but that’s exactly what these schemes are for, and I couldn’t think of a better introduction to cranes than being a part of Ainscough. The supportive and nurturing nature of the company and its Make the Safe Choice culture. Goals and accomplishments are taken seriously, and progress is encouraged throughout. I look forward to carving a long and enjoyable career out for myself here at Ainscough.