Photo by Nicholas Langhorne

NNS’ First Truck Crane In Service

Published November 30, 2021

Newport News Shipbuilding’s first truck crane is officially in service. The 100-ton crane has been in the shipyard for about a year as shipbuilders have been getting it certified for use and training for qualification.

Earlier this month, Jacqulyn Sheppard (X36) operated the crane to place a forklift in Dry Dock 2. “This is the first productive lift we’ve had with the crane, and hopefully it will help save a lot of money,” X36 Foreman Charles George said as he watched the evolution.

He said the crane will help service ships around the shipyard if other cranes are down for repairs. It also will perform “odd jobs” like placing items in dry docks or on top of buildings, helping to eliminate the need for truck crane rentals. “The boom can go out to 200 feet, so it can pretty much get anywhere in the shipyard,” George said.

Sheppard is currently the only female mobile crane operator at NNS. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I was in the military before, and I’ve operated cranes all over the place.”

She is still training on the truck crane – which she said is much more intricate than other mobile cranes – and was excited to make the first in-service lift. “This is intense training. It has been a long time coming,” she said. “It’s kind of cool. Women can operate the big stuff, too.”