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.
CSP, CUSA/ Vice President
Brian S. Hope has been a respected safety professional in general industry and construction (OSHA, MSHA, etc.) for more than 15 years. Prior to joining Crane U, he served as Corporate Safety Manager of Caldwell Tanks where he managed two production facilities and more than thirty steel, civil, and coatings construction crews simultaneously throughout the continental United States. He was also responsible for overseeing environmental clean ups and various other state, federal, and local safety, health and environmental compliance inspections and any resulting legal cases.
Hope joined Crane U in 2014 and specializes in customized environmental health and safety training, crane and rigging inspections, as well as designing and auditing customers’ safety programs. He is a seasoned instructor of the OSHA 10 & 30 Hour course, and also acts as a guest speaker at various professional conferences.
Currently, Hope is serving as an active member of Crane Institute Certification’s (CIC) Advisory Committee, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), ANSI B30.6 Committee, and the ANSI B30.7 Committee. He’s a former chairman of the Georgia Department of Labor Safety Award Committee and the Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association Safety Committee (STI/SPFA), member of the Crane and Derrick Committee (CDAC) Derrick Work Group and the Georgia Safety, Health & Environmental Conference Advisory Board. Additionally, he has played an integral role in Project Safe Georgia.
He is a certified Crane and Rigging Practical Examiner, Certified Crane Operator, Certified
Advanced Rigger/Signalperson, Firefighter II, and Haz-Mat Technician.
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.
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 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.
VP of Sales
Nikol brings a vast range of experience to Crane U, from construction, to sales, to customer service. At CraneU, 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.
Ken Gaut knows cranes. It’s just that simple. He’s been working with them since getting his first job at Steel City Cranes in 1970, where he assembled, disassembled, and operated all kinds of cranes. Today, he puts his extensive knowledge of cranes to use as a certified crane inspector for Crane U, a position he’s held for the past eight years.
Ken is a certified mobile crane operator and inspector — and is also trained in magnetic particle testing. He regularly travels nationwide to provide our customers with exceptional service and comprehensive inspections.