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ARA Certified MEWP training provided on-site in Iowa

By Brock Huffstutler

March 14, 2023

Iowa MEWP sessionIowa equipment rental operators benefited from a live, hands-on session for the American Rental Association (ARA) Certified Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) Train-the-Trainer program at Star Equipment in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 25.

The ARA Certified MEWP Train-the-Trainer course qualifies graduates to train operators with instruction that satisfies OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirements and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) A92 standards.

The course includes online self-guided training through RentalU — ARA’s online education platform. Then, students are required to complete a 4-5 hour live, hands-on training session conducted by an ARA certified master trainer.

“The trainer [Josh Nickell, ARA vice president, equipment segment] was very knowledgeable and kept the training relaxed and interactive but serious. He focused on very important safety issues while keeping it easy to stay attentive,” says participant Brandon Tankersley, a rental driver with Star Equipment.

Tankersley says that what stuck in his mind the most following the training is that “as an operator, we get lax in our daily walk around and safety checks and it only takes a small keeper pin or loose bolt to have a fatal accident. The few minutes it takes to do the walk around can save your life or someone else’s.”

Joe Cox, rental manager, Capital City Equipment Co., Des Moines, Iowa, also gives high marks to the instructor and the training offered. “Josh was very knowledgeable and did a great job at making sure everyone was engaged and talked to us about real-life scenarios. The training for lift rental is a very crucial part. There is nothing more important than educating your team and customers for safety,” he says.

Tankersley suggests that the safety themes that were driven home during the training were of the greatest benefit to his operation. “Being able to train operators on MEWP equipment will lower risk of accidents and make renters more confident renting from our company because we have a knowledge- and safety-based rental team,” he says. “As an operator of various types of equipment of all sizes, training such as this is a very valuable asset. Not only does it remind you of MEWP safety, it brings all equipment safety back into focus.”

“Remington [Lawyer of Star Equipment] and the Star crew did a great job of hosting and supplying some very nice MEWP equipment,” Cox says of the hospitality and accommodations provided by the event’s host.

You can learn more about and get started with ARA Certified MEWP Train-the-Trainer at

ARA Certified also includes sales and service certification programs for those in the equipment rental industry. Learn more at