The fresh new premises for Queensland Rigging Hire (QRH) herald an important moment in the company’s history. A site three times larger than its previous will allow it to keep up with the growth that has seen it succeed thus far.
Prior to launching the business in 2017, Ben Fitzgerald was the national sales manager for a lifting equipment wholesale company, and he had been in that role for three years.
“My wife Jess and I started the business in March 2017 and we went all in, we knew the industry and what we were doing had a place within it and this new site is the culmination of that hard work,” said Fitzgerald.
“We have a very extensive range of specialist rigging and lifting equipment that we know is the gear crane operators and riggers need.
“We are both extremely proud of how far we we have come. We have millions of dollars of high-quality rigging equipment and there are not many jobs we say no to,” he said.
QRH moved from its original premises on the Gold Coast to the new facility based in Archerfield, only 10 minutes from the Brisbane CBD, with the facility undergoing a full renovation of its offices, bathrooms, and showroom.
“We have put a lot of effort into making this new site a one stop shop, and making it a much easier experience to find exactly what you are looking for. A client can walk in, and we have a room set up with shackles, a room with clutches and rooms for load cells,” said Fitzgerald.
QRH has put plans in place to build a mezzanine within the warehouse that will allow them to install sandblasting facilities, painting stations, test benches, and mechanical maintenance equipment.
“We have been able to significantly increase our turnover in the new premises, as not only can we fit more equipment in, but we can pick multiple jobs at the same time and have them ready to go much quicker, said Fitzgerald.
“Cranes continue to grow in size, so it is important we keep up with the rigging that goes with them. We now have more space for much larger equipment, we can invest in bigger and better equipment,”
QRH has been growing its offering to the industry, recently purchasing a Maxibar 300 modular spreader bar. This spreader bar gives it much greater options for girder installations with a 300 tonne working load limit (WLL) out to 13m, and tapering down to 150t WLL at its maximum span of 26m. It was only in
the warehouse for a couple of weeks and it is straight out on its first job, assisting with some large precast structures for the Cross River Rail.
Maxirig and Modulift spreader bars in modular, telescopic, and combination variations are also kept on site, with all rigging gear associated with these present.
Delphi load cells are an important part of the QRH fleet, ranging in size from 2t through to 300t capacities in tension, and compression load cells with the capacity to weight equipment up to 600 tonnes.
“We have been dealing with Delphi Measurement since day one and it’s been one of the best decisions that we have made. They are local, their aftersales service and repairs is fast and efficient and they are really great people to work with,” said Fitzgerald.
“All of the Delphi Measurement equipment runs Mantracourt T24 software and we have the capabilities to data log, join multiple cells together when used at the same time, and work our centre of gravity measurements.
“The newer cells we have added to the fleet also have peak hold function. The simplicity of the load cell systems makes them user friendly and uncomplicated, which also makes them robust and long lasting.”
An exciting addition has been the 5t counterweight lifting beam that Fitzgerald believes will be an asset for the industry.
“We have teamed up with local engineering and fabrication companies to make this happen and feel like the product we have invested in is a good one size fits most approach. Based on years of research discussing our customers’ requirements, the industry has been desperate for a product like this.
“This lifting beam is a significant investment for us at QRH and unlike anything else in the hire market in Queensland, so we expect it to be extremely popular. The benefit of this lifting beam is to be able to position equipment underneath structures with a crane. This bar has offset positions of 2m, 2.5m and 3m offsets,” he said.
Crane outrigger pads are a vital part of any lift and often forgotten by rigging houses, QRH has invested in new pads due to the greater space at its current site.
“These have a capacity of 210t each and a ground coverage of 3.6 square metres, our customers have been asking for these for a long time,” said Fitzgerald.
With the rapid growth of the company, it is easy to forget what made the company a success, but QRH knows it must remain customer-focused.
“We like to operate under the motto that our job is to make your job easy. We make sure the customer gets what they want and we do the hard work,” said Fitzgerald.
“Just recently we were working with a crane hire company up in Gladstone and they needed a sling and its size was far greater than anything they had, so within 10 minutes we had it packed up and on the truck and within 24 hours they were able to complete that lift.
“We can have gear on a crane in Perth in 48 hours, gear in Gladstone in eight hours. We have a hot shot company just down the road that will pick up gear within the hour and get it to site.
“We love being to help those small to medium size crane and lifting companies compete against the bigger ones. They can take on bigger projects without having to outlay so much money to service the job.
“We understand the industry. We are open 24 hours, seven days a week. Sunday night at midnight we were working – the operators working night shift know they can call us if they need to.”
The company recently made the decision to invest in its second, much larger truck and, after 15 months of intense work, it has recently hired a second driver to keep up with demand.
“We also have a fleet of smaller utes as well as a Ram 1500, which we have a custom 6m flat deck trailer for that it tows on long drives when the truck isn’t available and we have to deliver equipment quickly to job sites,” Fitzgerald said.
The team at QRH continue to grow. With the recent arrival of new employees it has brought the team up to six people.
“We have recently made some staffing changes promoting our longest standing employee Trey Yee to operations manager. Trey started with us in 2019 as our first employee and he has done a wonderful job for us to fly the flag for QRH over the years and is proud to be a part of our organisation,” said Fitzgerald.
“Jeremy has been with us for 18 months in a warehouse and driver position and has recently been promoted to warehouse manager and we have just had a new driver come on board to assist with local deliveries.
“The newest addition to our team is Nigel Houslip. Nigel has been behind the scenes for us since the beginning, being a great long-time friend of ours.
“Nigel is at the top of his game in the HVAC industry and wanted a change to come on board for us our maintenance manager, specialising in the repairs and maintenance on our hoists and winches,” Fitzgerald said.
Houslip’s first job has been the commissioning of a pair of new JDN 20t air hoists with Juuko wireless 2.4Ghz remote controlled hoists. These hoists are the largest in the company’s growing air hoist fleet and, with the wireless controllers, they enable the operator to stand in a safe place away from the lift.
“It is our ambition to switch all of our hoists and winches to this wireless control system, which takes the safe operation of hoists and winches to a new level of safety not seen in the lifting equipment hire industry before in Australia,” said Fitzgerald.