Bud Wilson

Bud Wilson


Bob Kesler

Bob Kesler

Training Manager

The Crane School has been preparing students for heavy equipment operating certifications for more than 17 years. We’ve never had a dissatisfied student! The key to our longtime success is our communication and teaching style. Learning how to operate a crane is not something that can be done just by reading a book. Instructor Bud Wilson has been a crane operator for many years and can communicate to his students using terminology that they can understand in ways that make learning much easier. Bud Wilson talks to students as a crane operator because our students are just that; crane operators.

In my 35+ years as a crane operator in many different environments, I have gained essential experience that I would like to share with other operators who may not have had the opportunity to attend Crane Safety training classes.

I have instructed operators throughout the U.S. and have enjoyed every class. To see the expression on a young or old operator’s face when they learn something new is very gratifying. My crane operating experience, coupled with the information learned through different training classes, gives me a very unique perspective on crane operation.

After teaching a class, someone will usually tell me that they enjoyed the class and talk about how much they have learned. I will never know if I have prevented accidents or not, but I would like to think that I have. Being an operator and an instructor is like second nature to me. I can teach operators on a professional level because I am an operator myself.

I have endorsed the CCO fully because of their rigid written test alongside a practical operating exam. I have been through the entire process of CCO certification and hold all four endorsements as well as being accredited as a Practical Examiner. When I took the CCO written exam for the first time, I realized that there were going to be a lot of operators who would have a hard time answering the questions.

When I first started in the construction business, I was a very young man. My father was a crane operator, and at that time there were not a lot of standards in the industry like there is today. It was a learn-as-you-go type of operation. My dad taught me to be ahead of the crane and its movements, and I believe that thought has carried me through many years of operation. I am very proud of the fact that throughout my operating years I have never had an accident. I would like for every operator, young and old, to have that same sense of pride in their job.

I have been preparing operators to pass the written exam for quite a few years. Before class, I’m sure that most of their thoughts were like mine regarding what they were going to learn. At the beginning of class, I have watched their attitudes change from “what am I going to learn?” to” I am amazed at what I have learned.” Without the preparation class, it is extremely difficult for an operator to pass the written exam.

For a real operator, the practical operating exam is what they do every day. An operator may get a little nervous when he’s being tested, but their experience will prevail, and the pass rate is very high.

The information that I share with operators in these training classes will carry with them for years to come. I met an elderly operator in one of my classes who told me something that I hadn’t given much thought before. We were talking about how training may be a little bit time consuming and costly when he told me “If you think training is expensive, try ignorance.”

As I leave my thoughts with you, I appreciate your time reading my information about why I think this type of training is extremely valuable.


A J “Bud” Wilson


35+ years as a crane operator with an accident-free work history

Trained and certified (hands-on and classroom) Operators for companies such as Duke Power, Mobile Oil, Martin Marietta and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Halliburton, SDGVE, Sempra Utilities, Boeing, Hawaiian Electric, Amron International

Possess extensive knowledge of OSHA & ANSI/ASME regulations governing lift equipment

Established reputation for the ability to communicate with operators

Talent for creating a stimulating, challenging, learning environment



Qualified under ASME B30.5 as a qualified person who, by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter and work.

National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators

Certified as a Practical Examiner

Certified by the NCCCO as a Crane Operator holding all Mobile Crane Certification Designations


2002 to Present, The Crane School, DeLand, FL President

Prepare Operators to take the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) – Written exam, including testing Operators with the practical operating exam.

Safety Classes on correct rigging procedures, job site considerations, power line awareness, the importance of proper record keeping, and other crane safety-related programs

1991-1993, The Crane School, Orlando, FL

1989-1990, Brasfield & Gorrie, Orlando, FL

Operator – 4000 Tower Set pre-cast and architectural stones, poured concrete, construction crane operations

1988-1989, David Jones Builders, Inc., Delray, FL

Operator – 50 Ton P&H R.T., 70 Ton Crawler

Placement of forms, steel, concrete, etc.

1987-1988, Reynolds Electrical & Engineering Co., Inc., Las Vegas, NV

Operations Superintendent & Operator – Test Site Facility Heavy Lifts with Manitowoc 4600 Series Two-Five, Ringers, 4600 Series Five Truck Crane, 3900 W.T. Truck Crane, 300 Ton Lima Truck Crane, 4600 Series Five Lampson front end attachment.

1981-1987, Adams Cranes (Crane Rental Service), Orlando, FL

Senior Operating Engineer – Manitowoc 4100 Series Two Tower Attachment (483-foot boom and tower), 4000 Manitowoc Tower, hook work. Hydro Cranes (Grove 18-125 Ton).

1980-1981, Peter Kiewit and Son’s Construction, St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant, Ft. Pierce, FL

Operating Engineer – Manitowoc 4600 Series Two, 4500, 4000, 90 Ton Lorain, Offshore pipe layer. Operated 86-ton hydraulic pipe trailer, pile driving.

1976-1980, Wilhoit Construction, Greenville, SC

Operator Superintendent – Heavy lifts with a variety of cranes. Traveled to various job sites.

1970-1976, Corbett Cranes (Crane Rental Company), Daytona Beach, FL

Operating Engineer – Pontaine stationary Tower Crane 160 feet of boom, 290-foot tower. Crawler cranes from 300 tons-40 tons, Hydro cranes from 75 tons-15 tons, Friction Riggs from 300 tons-30 tons. Hook work, concrete, and steel.

1968-1970, B. B. McCormick, Jacksonville, FL

Second Shift Superintendent – Six large draglines for the cooling canal at Turkey Point Nuclear plant. Sewer system pipe laying foreman, operator for draglines and pile driving.



U.S. Air Force – 1955-1959 – Aircraft Engine Mechanic – Honorable Discharge