Who we are

Nationwide Crane Inspections, Operator Training & Safety Testing.

Welcome to Crane U. Not only do we offer the most expansive crane training available, we also offer affordable training and inspections of forklifts, aerial lifts, overhead crane, and more.

Onsite. Online. Train the Trainer.

Come to us or we’ll come to you! We offer a comprehensive, fully stocked training facility if you need it. Want to use your equipment? Perfect, we’ll meet you there. You choose the time, the place, and the method. We’ll deliver comprehensive training and certification that exceeds your every expectation.

Make your job easier. And your jobsite safer.

Let us improve your workplace and help your company stay in compliance by providing heavy equipment and safety training for your employees, and meticulous equipment inspections.

We know safety is
your #1 priority

Dependable training and inspections are critical to a safe workplace and to the success of your projects.

That’s why we are:

  • Nationwide
  • Available 24/7
  • Always prepared
  • Always on-time

At Crane U, we provide the most comprehensive, professional, and effective services to each of our customers — every day, every time, without exception.

The Gaut name has been synonymous with the crane industry for over 60 years. It all began with my uncle Jack Gaut, who just this year, celebrated his 84th birthday by climbing a 200-foot crane to perform an inspection. My father, both my brothers, and I have since followed in his footsteps. My personal knowledge base regarding cranes is a culmination of 28 years’ worth of real-world experiences. And while on-the-job training is invaluable, Iʼve often thought how helpful industry-specific classes would have been along the way. This thought process eventually led to the inception of Crane U.

Executive Team

At the very top of our Nationwide Crane Inspection, Training & Certification Company, you’ll find a lifetime of real-world crane experience, knowledge, and compassion for Crane Operators everywhere.

Scotty Gaut, President of Crane U

Scotty Gaut


Scotty Gaut has been a cornerstone of the crane industry for over 27 years. Gaut has extensive crane operation, inspection, and management experience, having worked for CraneWorks and Steel City Crane — crane rental companies serving energy, construction, and industrial markets — before opening Crane U in 2010. He has operated over 50 types of cranes from two to 800 tons, assisted crews with movement of the largest cranes in fleet, and organized erection and dismantling of lattice boom cranes.

Gaut holds the following certifications: Crane Operator Certification for Telescoping Boom Under 21 Tons, 21-75 Tons, Over 75 Tons, Lattice Boom Carrier and Lattice Boom Crawler, Crane Institute Certification (CIC); Rigger/Signal Person Certification, Crane Institute of America, Inc.; Magnetic Particle Testing Level 2 NDT Technician Certification, Worldspec Testing Services LTD.; Crane and Rigging Course Certification, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and Certified Practical Examiner, Crane Institute Certification (CIC).

He has served as an active member of Crane Institute Certification’s (CIC) Advisory Board since 2013. Most recently, Gaut was appointed as Co-Chairman of the CIC’s Multi-Purpose Equipment Committee and is an integral part of the annual meetings. Through the Multi-Purpose Equipment Program Development Committee, he assists in developing guidelines and setting standards to be used as a benchmark for operators of these unique pieces of equipment.

Also, in March 2014, he judged the Crane Operator Rodeo at the 2014 Con Expo Crane Operator Skills Championship in Las Vegas, NV.

Mitchell Conrelius, Crane U Safety Trainer & Crane Inspector

Mitchell Cornelius

Safety Trainer & Crane Inspector

Mitchell Cornelius has been working with cranes for well over a decade, having joined CraneWorks as a crane operator in 2002. He brought his extensive knowledge of cranes and their operation to Crane U when he joined the company in 2013.

Today, he is responsible for administering training courses in the safe operation of cranes, forklifts, aerial lifts, as well as fall protection and prevention. He provides training for Rigging/Signalperson qualification and administers hand signal practical exams. Mitchell also prepares existing crane operators for the certification’s written and practical exams.

Prior to joining Crane U, Mitchell was a Manager at CraneWorks in Mobile, and a Crane Operator at RPM in Birmingham. He holds multiple certifications, including mobile crane inspector, practical examiner, and crane operator for numerous crane types and sizes.

Scotty Gaut, Crane U Safety Trainer & Crane Inspector


Safety Trainer & Crane Inspector

Eric has worked with cranes for more than 20 years in positions ranging from oiler, to operator, to branch manager. He started his career in 1996 as a rigger with Reliable Rentals and most recently has served as a Project Manager for CraneWorks in Birmingham, Al.

During his tenure at CraneWorks, Eric planned critical lifts for Southern Company, Duke Energy, Brasfield and Gorrie, Gray Construction, the Army Corp of Engineers, and NASA. He was also the first runner-up in the 2015 Crane Operator and Rigger National Championship.

His current professional certifications include NCCO Operator, NCCO Rigger, and NCCO Practical Examiner. He is also OSHA 10 trained and a CIC Certified Rigger/Signalperson.

Eric brings his extensive industry experience as well as his love of the business to the CraneU team, where he will be responsible for heavy equipment training and inspections, as well as lift plans.

Nikol Gaut, VP of Sales - Crane U


VP of Sales

Nikol brings a vast range of experience to Crane U, from construction, to sales, to customer service. At Crane U, Nikol will leverage this valuable experience to facilitate growth, manage personnel, and enhance the company’s customer service capabilities.

Her exceptional organizational skills and familiarity with the crane and rigging industry enable her to provide excellent customer support to our customers nationwide.

Nikol graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Communications and Criminal Justice.

During her 20-year career, she has held training, sales, customer service, and management positions with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama and CraneWorks.

She is a Certified Rigger/Signalperson and also an authorized approved Trainer for AWP and Forklift Training.

Crane U Faculty


Trey Taylor has been working with cranes for almost 30 years.

Not only does he have 15 years of operator experience under his belt but also many years of managerial work.

He understands both sides of the job which is important for what we do.

Trey joined Crane U in 2019 as an Inspector and Trainer. He plays a huge role in making sure all of our customers are well taken care of.

He has inspected cranes, forklifts, MEWP’s, and qualified many operators to operate such equipment.

Prior to joining Crane U, Trey was a branch manager for a well-known crane rental company and a crane operator at Taylor Crane Rental & Rigging.

He is CIC and NCCCO certified and holds multiple qualifications including but not limited to inspector, evaluator, NDT Administrator, Practical Examiner.


Crane U FacultyDrew Woodrow has over 18 years in the construction industry including commercial, industrial, and marine construction.

This experience includes working as superintendent and project manager across multiple trades.

Projects included Laketown Wharf, Shores of Panama, and Tidewater in Panama City Beach, Florida, as well as Chalmette High School, Hammond Regional Hospital, and Coushatta Casino in Louisiana, just to name a few.

Drew worked in operations as a project manager on the MC-252 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response in the Gulf of Mexico, 2010-2011.

He joined the Crane U team full-time in 2017. His responsibilities with Crane U include training and safe operation of cranes, forklifts, mobile elevated work platforms, and other heavy equipment.

Drew holds the following certifications: Certified Crane Operator, OSHA 30, MSHA Part 46, IncidentCommand System 100, 200, 700, 800, SafeGulf, and Confined Space.


Crane U FacultyJohn Gaut has been in the crane business for over 30 years. He has been operating cranes for nearly 25 years while also doing years of managerial work.

He understands both sides of the job which is important for what we do. John joined Crane U in 2018 as an Inspector, Trainer, and one of our best Salesmen.

He is the head runner for our Nashville Branch. He has inspected cranes, forklifts, MEWP’s, and qualified many operators to operate such equipment.

Prior to joining Crane U, John was a branch manager at a well-known crane rental company for many years.

He is CIC and NCCCO certified and holds multiple qualifications including but not limited to inspector, evaluator, NDT Administrator, Practical Examiner.

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