2020 sees Borger Crane Hire and Rigging Service celebrate 40 years in business. General manager, Shawn Borger, recently announced the business had greatly expanded its east coast footprint with the purchase of Kelly Green and Company.
Kelly Green and Company was first established by directors, Peter Green and Laurie Kelly in 1976 with a small mobile crane supporting of a small steel fabrication business. Ongoing growth has seen the crane hire business expand to operate 18 mobile cranes with depots in Maroochydore, Gympie and Miles. Servicing the whole of the Sunshine Coast, Gympie/Cooloola regions from Bribie Island to Maryborough and the surrounding Surat Basin area.
“We are extremely pleased with the acquisition of Kelly Green and Company. For more than 40 years, the business has earned an excellent reputation throughout the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast regions. We plan to build on this reputation and maintain the high standards of customer service Kelly Green and Company has established over this time,” said Borger Cranes GM, Shawn Borger.
“We are excited to establish a major footprint in Queensland and look forward to developing the business in industry sectors such as infrastructure, general construction, mining and resources in general. We already have a number of New South Wales clients who are also based in Queensland. This acquisition enables us to work with them on their pipelines of infrastructure and construction projects, as well as work in the utilities sector including water, gas and electricity,” he said.
Borger already has plans to grow the business as well as upgrading the crane fleet.
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“Obviously, we see the Queensland market as a growth opportunity, hence the acquisition. We plan to grow the business buy expanding activities into the Brisbane market whilst continuing to service the Gympie area which is a traditional strong hold for Kelly Green and Co. We’ll also add to and update the fleet,” he said.
“Currently, the Queensland fleet ranges from a 12t capacity Franna up to a brand-new Grove GMK 5150, 150t capacity all terrain. We have the advantage of being able to move cranes around from our various fleets based in Sydney and Newcastle which means we can cater to the demands of the Queensland market,” said Borger.
A constant updating of the fleet ensures Borger Cranes is keeping up with the latest technology enabling them to provide clients with safer, quality lifting solutions, says Borger.
“Updating the fleet is crucial to our business plan. We want every client to be confident that we have the right crane to solve their lifting solution. Recent upgrades to the fleet include a new Grove 150t capacity all terrain, another Franna AT40 which brings the total to three, and the recent purchase of the Liebherr LTM 1750 9.1, 750t capacity all terrain.
“The purchase of the Liebherr LTM 1750 9.1 is a direct result of the progression we are making within Borger Cranes. We are very excited to take delivery of the 750t capacity crane and the fact that it’s arrival coincides with our company celebrating 40 years in business.
“It has already been put to good use working on the Biala Wind Farm in Gurrundah and the Collector Wind Farm in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales as well as specialising on Super T bridge girder installations,” said Borger.
The 9-axle machine features the very latest mobile crane technology and includes Liebherr innovations such as VarioBase and ECOmode. With its Y telescopic boom guying and a very wide range of lattice jibs, the LTM 1750-9.1 has a large number of boom systems. These enable it to achieve hoist heights of up to 154m and radii of up to 112m. The luffing lattice jib can be assembled in 3.5m stages up to a total of 91m.
The story of Borger Cranes and Rigging Services started when 16 years old Jon Borger left the mid coast of New South Wales to find work in the ‘big smoke’.
“I decided to travel to Sydney to experience a major city and to search for work. I thought both would be a good experience. Three weeks after arriving in Sydney I applied for a builder’s labourers job on a building site. I was introduced to a great building company called Robert Walls and began work immediately. Soon after, I obtained my dogman ticket and began working on a Favco 350HT – High Tensile – tower crane as second dogman,” he said. Borger’s interest in cranes began here.
At the age 28, Borger was presented with an opportunity to purchase a P&H T250 truck crane and commenced trading as Borger Crane Hire and Rigging Services Pty Ltd on Friday, June 20th, 1980.
“In the early days of the crane industry, we were operating fairly basic technology, the industry was only small with a limited number of crane companies and there wasn’t a lot of work around. I started out with a P&H T250 truck crane which had a 23t capacity and a 38.5m boom and jib,” said Borger.Over the 40 years in the crane business, Borger has seen a number of ‘milestone events’.
“I would say one of the major achievements in business was our ability to navigate our way through some very difficult times including ‘the recession we had to have’ and the Global Financial Crisis. We had to work extremely hard to survive those economic times. People forget that interest rates were at 18.5 per cent back in the early 90s- money was expensive. You had to think very carefully before you bought a new crane, but we came out of those times stronger for the experience,” said Borger.
“From the family’s point of view, the major highlight has been to see Shawn and Nathan start in the business and to watch their personal growth match that of the company. To now see the third generation of the family involved and ‘learning the ropes’ is the most exciting vision I could have for the future of Borger Cranes.
“We have spent a lot of time working on and working in the business, and this wouldn’t be possible without the support of our wives. My wife Barbara was always there for me during the formative years of the business and Shawn’s wife Leigh, and Nathan’s wife Claire, have always backed the boys with their office skills and strong family support.
“I’ve also enjoyed seeing the number of staff we have welcomed to Borger Cranes over the years, how they have responded to the company culture and our training, and how many of them are still with us, some 20 years later,” he said.
The past 20 years has seen significant growth with large plant acquisitions and the continual employment of great people, says Borger.
“To be honest, it was always a dream of mine to see the business evolve to the size and the significance it is today. The success is a result of the passion and dedication shown by everyone involved and believing in what we do. I am very proud of everyone who has worked and still works for our family business.
“The level of technology involved in the cranes today has far exceeded my expectations, the size of the cranes and their lifting capacities is quite amazing. The crane manufacturers and the abilities of their research and development, engineering and manufacturing teams are to be commended for how far the technology in our industry has progressed,” said Borger.