Founder of Lift Plan Australia Guy McGowan has worked in the crane industry since his early twenties. With a raft of industry experience, knowledge and connections behind him, he’s decided to bring his innovative, customised solutions to the lifting industry through meticulous planning.
Lifting is a hazardous game.
Lifting is also a legally complex game.
Logistically, and administratively, it can be a nightmare for crane hire and Tier One companies to work through the necessary planning phase to perform a safe, efficient lift. Thankfully, balancing the physics, engineering, legalities and administration of performing a lift can be outsourced – but it needs to be outsourced well.
Enter Lift Plan Australia.
Starting as a crane operator and rigger across various companies over 25 years ago, Guy began working on the technical aspects of lifting in 2004 as a Supervisor at Boom Logistics, learning the intricacies of lift planning from some of the legends of lifting in Western Australia. Guy worked with the ASX-listed crane services company for six years advancing his technical knowledge. He has also worked at Sarens as a Depot Manager and as the Heavy Lift Superintendent at Tutt Bryant Group, before undertaking a degree in Project Management in 2019.
“Since that time, I’ve been working across a range of different crane companies, preparing their lift plans – which is something that I love to do,” he says. “After working for a range of different people and businesses, I decided that I wanted to start my own consulting practice and make that service widely available across all industries.”
Lift Plan Australia operates out of Western Australia, boasting international affiliates and a range of industry connections that provide customers with unparalleled access to different, customised lifting solutions.
“We have a strategic partnership with Lowther Rolton based in Texas USA, who are a world-class lifting engineering company. Lowther Rolton can provide specialised expertise when it comes to logistics and engineering for the largest project challenges, including third-party assurance, structural design and modularisation aspects,” explains Guy.
“Sourcing the equipment is a feature of our work at LPA. I have longstanding relationships with materials and lifting equipment suppliers,” he says.
“Our range of industry connections is beneficial to our customers because it means they get access to instant supply and problem solving from third parties should it be needed.”
As an independent contractor, Lift Plan Australia strives to ensure customers’ projects are delivered efficiently and effectively, minimising any associated costs and maximising productivity.
Lift Plan Australia’s services include the assessment of a lifting operation, the planning of a safe system of work when conducting lifts, completing method statements, assisting in the obtainment of any permits required, the illustration of exclusion zones, the compilation of a lift study and the appropriate selection of cranes and rigging to ensure all the equipment can be handled effectively and within capacity.
“A lot of smaller companies don’t possess the budget to employ someone to do lift planning to the standard that’s required – that’s where we come in,” says Guy.
“Especially when it comes to Tier One customers, we’ll happily take the logistical and engineering aspect out of their hands and help them create all the documentation required to get their clients over the line with detailed and engineered lifting and rigging plans. This allows them to focus on what they do best – running the projects.”
For Guy and his team of engineers at Lift Plan Australia, a regular lift plan doesn’t exist; every lift is different, posing its own unique challenges, and therefore Lift Plan Australia’s services are tailored to what the customer needs. As he points out, a lot of Lift Plan Australia’s work is applying theory to practice, but the company is responsive to whatever is asked of it.
“If they need onsite supervision, we’ll provide that,” he says. “We go out, see the customer, then work out exactly what they want and exactly what they’re trying to do and show them how to achieve their objectives.”
The benefit of employing an engineered lift plan, according to Guy, is that sometimes customers don’t know what they want, or don’t hold enough experience in the industry to perform the lift that faces them. That, he says, is also where Lift Plan Australia’s services come into play.
“We’ve got over 25 years of industry experience behind us,” he says. “Sometimes customers are a bit unsure what they’re asking for, so we help them figure out what their project requires and what is needed to get their work over the line.”
Aiding clients through the murky waters of legal implications and Australian lifting standards is another facet of Lift Plan Australia’s operations. Part of this process includes raising customer awareness of compliance with the legalities of lifting. Pointing to his company’s previous experience with customers using gantry cranes for their lifting operations, Guy underscores the importance of engaging with companies to ensure correct procedure is followed.
“Helping to educate people as to what the Australian standards require, and how they will meet compliance is a big part of the work that we do,” Guy says.
“Lift planning is imperative to the industry,” he says. “Employing people who are capable of enacting a high-quality lift plan is imperative to the safe, successful operations of the heavy lifting industry.”