If you're seeing more tower cranes, it's because they take up less room in an urban environment, according to Greg Lalevee, head of Local 825, the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).
When you see one of these monsters lifting a giant steel girder that swings in the breeze like Godzilla's toothpick, you probably have the same thought I have:
What if this thing falls on my head?
Fortunately, the IUOE
spends $150 million a year on training.
"Operating a crane is like flying a plane on any given day," Lalevee
"You have to make sure it's maintained properly like an airplane.
, who comes from a family of crane operators-father and two brothers-started operating cranes in the 1980s and stopped when he
was hired by the union in 2000.
"When I was 10 years old, my father was working on a high school in our home town, and in the summertime, I went down and watched for a couple of hours," Lalevee
But being a legacy crane-operator-wannabe isn't enough.
"You have to have the desire and aptitude to do it," Lalevee