“I started in my dad’s construction business at the age of 15 and worked with him for years,” Wade Morgan, of Morgan’s Cranes, said.
“I watched him sign big contracts with large companies and struggle when he wasn’t paid on time. We were hiring cranes for various projects, and I wanted to borrow money to buy a crane for the business. Dad didn’t want to borrow or take the risk on the crane, so I did it on my own.
“I spoke to many of the customers I’d worked for over the years, and they gave me endorsements saying they would give me work and the bank lent me enough to purchase a second hand Franna in 2004 and Morgan’s Cranes was registered the following year,” said Wade.
After a year or two of running around Adelaide, and working through his network of contacts, Wade became involved in several large projects, including the construction of the Port River Bridge and Adelaide Desalination Plant.
He was hiring cranes for much of this work and decided to borrow again to purchase a second hand 40-tonne rough terrain. He then went through a divorce which slowed down the progress of the business, as they tend to do.
“I kept chipping away and bought my first brand new 55-tonne Liebherr in 2008-09, which was a big moment, and from there we just kept going purchasing a 95-tonner next, and then the 70-tonne crane. I then purchased a 90-tonne crane, which we call Nifty, after a good mate of mine Neville who sadly passed away.
“Then four years ago we bought a second-hand 200-tonne Liebherr which enabled us to take on some of the larger projects. Realistically, I’m just a small crane hire business with a dedicated, professional and experienced team around me. Our people are the reason we compete with the much larger organisations, every day,” said Wade.
Morgan’s Cranes runs a range of all terrains in the fleet, but all are Liebherrs.
“We’ve just taken delivery of the new Liebherr LTM 1060-3.1 which will work in well with our 70-tonne crane, the 90-tonner, 95-tonner and our 200-tonne Liebherr. We only have Liebherrs in the all-terrain fleet and we have several Frannas of varying capacities,” said Wade.
With a maximum load capacity of 60 tonnes and a 48m telescopic boom, the Liebherr LTM 1060-3.1 is one of the most powerful and capable cranes in its class.
Safety and comfort configurations ensure greater operability, and the hydro-pneumatic axle suspension and pneumatic disc brakes provide greater control and stability.
Its five steering programs enable the operator to adapt to different environments with the touch of a button. Both the driver’s cab and crane cab are modern, spacious and dependable, and ergonomic features help prevent operator fatigue.
Other key features of the Liebherr LTM 1060-3.1 include:
- VarioBase, which is designed to make the crane’s support system variable. It enables each outrigger to be extended to a different length. This enhances safety – especially in constricted spaces. Depending on the configuration, the crane’s lifting capacities are significantly increased, particularly over the outriggers.
- ECOmode minimises both fuel consumption and noise levels when operating the crane superstructure. Crane operators can set the required working speed using the control lever, while the LICCON2 control system calculates the perfect engine speed for the diesel engine.
- ECOdrive makes the mobile crane significantly more comfortable and quieter by reducing the engine speed. Faster gear shifting delivers greater dynamic and traction off-road. On the road, the torque from the Liebherr diesel engine is used efficiently to minimise fuel consumption.
Morgan’s Cranes provides customers with a quality service based on customer satisfaction and the team’s considerable experience, Wade said.
“We are not one of the bigger cranes crane companies, so we need to have our own point of difference. We are a service driven business providing tailored solutions for our customers. The Liebherr LTM 1200 enables us to offer our customers greater options for their projects, but the smaller three and four axled cranes are ideal for the taxi work that we do,” he said.
Morgan’s Cranes runs a tight team of 12, including operators, riggers and dogmen. There’s also plenty of experience in the team which makes the difference, Wade added.
“In my opinion our team is next level when it comes to working with our customers. Many of them have been with me for a long time and they know what is required day in and day out. Michaela Glaetzer, our Finance Manager, has been with me for 10 years and her husband a little longer,” he said.
“Paul Glaetzer is basically my number one man and does everything he can for the business. Ben Ortmann joined as my manager a couple of years ago. People can be the hardest part of doing business, but they are also the most important part.
“Machines are machines and the Liebherr product is outstanding in terms of quality and reliability, but when there is an issue, it can be fixed. With people it’s not so straightforward. But we have a great team, they are very loyal to me and happy in their work. They are always striving to be better in everything they do, and I repay that enthusiasm and loyalty by backing them 100 per cent,” said Wade.
According to Wade, being a member of The Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA) is pivotal to Morgan’s Cranes.
“In my opinion, CICA is getting stronger all the time. The CrewSafe and CraneSafe programs work well. We work in a high-risk industry and the wellbeing of our people and our customers is paramount,” he said.
“I think we all agree there is still some way to go, it is human nature to sometimes cut corners to finish a job, but in this industry close enough isn’t good enough, that’s when accidents will happen,” he said.