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From cradle to the crane

CICA Member and General Cranes Services Managing Director Nick Bucciarelli speaks to Cranes and Lifting about his family’s lifelong passion for cranes.

Brothers Nick and Eric Bucciarelli have been around cranes their entire lives. Their grandfather had been a crane owner/operator since the early 1970s, their parents started the family crane business in 1989, and in 2011, the two brothers decided to join the business and diversify the company into what it is today.

They established the family owned company General Crane Services WA (GCSWA), which operates throughout the Perth metropolitan area and regional Western Australia. They provide crane, rigging, transport and logistics management for the mining, construction and infrastructure sectors across the state.

The Bucciarelli family grew up surrounded by cranes. Each weekend, the two boys would be out with their father, learning and working on them. Nick began his career in 2006, where he found himself working in a fleet control and operations role.

He remembers the exact date he was able to operate solo, on 3 September 2007.

“The first lift I did on my own was a to lift a pool, but I remember how excited I felt. I had always wanted to be a crane driver, and that was my first opportunity,” Nick Bucciarelli, Managing Director of General Crane Services WA explains.

He soon joined the family business in 2007, learning more about the industry and how it operates. In 2011, he would then start GCSWA with just a single 80T Terex Demag and a small team, handpicked for their dedication, passion and expertise within the industry.

Now, the company has a fleet of more than 20 cranes, ranging in size from 13T to 250T, with access to larger cranes to service heavy lift projects.

Bucciarelli said loyalty is the backbone of his business, not only to its customers, but to its staff and suppliers as well.

“We work in a very small industry, so it makes absolute sense to act with integrity and do the best we can for everyone,” he said.

“GCSWA has a long-standing relationship with crane manufacturer Terex Australia, with our fleet almost exclusively supplied by Terex Cranes. Terex and Demag have proven to be reliable, versatile and deliver a high return on investment.

“We are also very excited to be the first company to order and soon take delivery of the first Terex 40T pick and carry crane in West Australia. The technological offering of this machine will not only complement our fleet, but also enable us to service a broader range of markets and customers.”

The standout favourite crane in Bucciarelli’s fleet is the AC 220-5 Demag, due in part to its five-axle carrier and 78m long boom. These features have allowed GCSWA to utilise the crane in almost every application in the Perth metro area or in remote regional locations.

Measuring in at 14.52m long and 3m wide, the crane can fit into areas where others might not. It is also equipped with the IC-1 Plus control system, which calculates the crane’s lifting capacity for every position of the boom subject to the slewing angle of the superstructure.

Reliability is important for GCSWA and not just when it comes to cranes. Bucciarelli explains that when running a privately-owned business there’s not much time to switch off, so it’s important to have a trusted team.

“There’s a lot of stress running a privately-owned business, so it’s good to know that whenever I’m away from the office, it remains in capable hands” he said.

“Our father has been a great source of help and expertise from his three decades in the cranes industry. His strong work ethic and dedication to customers is what inspired us to exceed and has been critical to helping us get through the challenges which the business brings.”

When Nick started his own business with his brother, he was quick to become a member of the Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA) and now sits as the Vice Chairman for the executive committee of CICA WA.

“Our family has been involved with CICA since it started, and I’m happy to continue this relationship with them. We’re passionate about the cranes industry and wanted to be part of making sure it continues to support the industry our family is a part of for years to come,” Bucciarelli said.

That feeling of growth is one of the best parts of the job, according to Bucciarelli. Seeing his family brand and business grow from strength to strength has been a rewarding experience for him over the years.

The driving force behind going into business with his brother was to continue building while diversifying the family brand and support loyal customers in a greater capacity.

“When we win a major project, we not only want to meet or customers expectations, we want to exceed them, those are the best moments,” he said.

“We’re hoping to see continued growth in our business as we head into 2019 and maintain the strong family and business reputation we have.”

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