While working in the insurance industry, I have worked with many start-up crane operations. Crane operators who strike out on their own have a high profitability rate and in my experience, are usually successful.
The crane operators I see that are the most successful all have a few things in common. First, and probably most important, is having work! The operators that start up and are hoping to have jobs typically don’t see the profits they were hoping for. The successful operators have a list of clients they have worked with while working for past companies that would be happy to hire them instead because of the relationships they’ve built.
The second one ties in with the first. The successful operators have experience in the field. This experience is two-fold. The obvious benefit of experience is being able to do your job well.
Cranes are a high-risk venture in that the damage that can be caused by one is extreme. If you are lifting an AC unit for a million-dollar home and happen to have an accident that destroys the building, you are looking at a large claim.
Lastly, successful crane operation startups have a good business servicing partner to help them do the things they aren’t as experienced with….like running a business!
Here at Alliance, we work to provide a full business service platform for our clients. We look to be true partners with our clients. Our offerings include insurance services, payroll, HR and benefits. Let’s look at how that translates into success for our crane operations startups.
Crane insurance is a highly specialized market. There are few carriers who will insure this class of business. Making sure you pick the right broker is very important. For our startups, we have a program that insures all the major risks. The general liability in the policy covers crane operations, as well as over the road auto liability coverage for your crane.
Instead of needing a separate policy to register or drive your crane, you get it all in one policy. It also includes sub-limits for rigger’s liability (also known as on-hook coverage) just in case you drop something. We package all of that with an inland marine policy that covers the physical damage on your crane and you are ready to start lifting.
Payroll might not be something a startup needs right away. You may be filing yourself as a 1099 or may not have any employees beyond yourself. If you do not fall under that category, payroll taxes, W-2’s, and other payroll concerns might seem overwhelming.
Here at Alliance, we have our own in-house payroll service. You have a single point of contact and don’t have to hit tons of buttons to get a real person on the phone. They can handle your payroll and you can choose between direct deposit or physical checks. They also make sure to handle the payroll taxes for you. If you have a worker’s compensation policy, they can help to ensure your payroll is properly calculated to avoid surprise audits at the end of the year.
HR & Benefits
HR and benefits are a key to any business that is looking to grow. The number one resource of any business is people, and to keep people you need to keep them happy. Getting the best talent over to your team requires that you offer benefits in the form of health insurance or a 401k.
We have benefits consultants that can help you move in the right direction. We also have HR consultants that work with our clients to make sure they have proper employee handbooks and other HR services if needed.
Some Final Tidbits
When looking to start your crane operation, insurance is typically the first thing you need to get to start working (or to buy that new crane). It’s important to have a few things handy:
1. A registered LLC with an FEIN
2. A current NCCCO Certificate (a copy this will be required to get a quote)
3. A resume showing your experience working with cranes. This doesn’t need to be fancy for the job interview, the insurance companies just need to know what kind of work you have done before!
4. A copy of a job ticket. This is important because they want to see that you have a scope of operations for each job.
5. Maintenance records for your crane. An ill kept crane is a liability. Insurance companies want to know that the crane they are insuring is operating how it’s supposed to.
If you are looking at starting your own crane operation, or if you weren’t but you are now that you’ve read this, give us a call here at Alliance, or fill out the form below and let us partner with you!