July 2015—Mike Carpenter has been in the sign business since 1986, and he’s worked for Lamar Advertising—the country’s largest outdoor advertising company—for the past 22 years. He’s currently foreman of a Lamar construction crew that installs and upgrades digital and traditional signs and billboards all over the southeast. As part of his daily work, Mike operates two boom trucks: a 28-ton Altec and a 23.5-ton Terex.
Mike enjoys the status and responsibility that being a CCO-certified crane operator brings. Because of his crane operating expertise and CCO certifications, Lamar has encouraged him to become an instructor and NCCCO Mobile Crane Operator Practical Examiner. In addition to his operator certification, he also holds Signalperson and Rigger Level I CCO certifications, and he has been accredited by NCCCO as a Practical Examiner for both programs. Having these CCO certifications and accreditations has opened doors at Lamar. Not only is he training Lamar crane operators to become CCO certified, he will soon start providing rigger and signalperson training to enable more Lamar employees to become CCO certified. Mike is always looking for opportunities to advance his career at Lamar and believes that earning additional CCO certifications such as Crane Inspector and Lift Director could help.
Mike feels strongly that obtaining his CCO crane operator certification has helped him do his job better. “I now have the knowledge and skills to perform my everyday tasks more safely,” he says, “and—thanks to my better understanding of load charts—I know the limitations of the equipment.” He can also make sure that everyone on location knows what is going to happen before the job begins and they know what hazards are involved. He views CCO certification as superior because it’s recognized and respected nationally, and believes that the industry would be safer if all companies require their operators be certified and follow a strict safety program. He encourages new operators to start by learning and understanding ANSI B30 standards and OSHA regulations, and then getting CCO certified as soon as possible.
Mike has lived in Florida for his whole life, so he did a lot of clean up and rebuilding of billboards after Hurricane Ivan. He currently lives on the water, where he can fish and tube with his children; he also enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and hunting white tail deer.