With the unprecedented investment in infrastructure projects continuing, the piling sector is increasingly turning to crane hire companies for support cranes and lifting solutions.
Preston Hire’s SuperCrane fleet is leading the way by providing a range of cranes to various leading piling companies and projects. Stephan Becherand, Preston Hire Head of Cranes, explains more.
The infrastructure and piling sector is currently booming resulting in a significant demand on the products and machines that Preston Hire provides to the market. Becherand has proactively chased these opportunities with the support of his team resulting in the Preston Hire SuperCrane fleet being busier than ever.
“Piling companies are a growing part of our clientele. Their requirements are detailed with very specific needs per job. The complex nature of these briefs requires experienced crane professionals to review and provide recommendations. Crane capacities and capabilities vary per job and dictate what machine, or combination of machines, is required. We are very fortunate that our fleet caters for such a vast range of applications that we haven’t had a scenario we can’t handle. The majority of work is completed by our Tele Crawlers, however on occasion other models have been utilised for specific tasks,” he said.
Becherand goes into more detail regarding the Preston Hire SuperCrane tele crawler fleet.
“The crane hire market, and more specifically the piling industry, continues to demand specialised cranes. Projects are becoming increasingly involved which increases the number of challenges customers face and the need for specialised equipment to provide solutions. Our SuperCrane fleet has always focused on providing the industry with unique equipment that delivers power, performance and precision,” he said. “Our Tele Crawler fleet has been carefully selected based on the machine’s ability to perform varying tasks and deliver on crucial elements such as a compact footprint, precision, manoeuvrability and lifting abilities. We have expanded on the machine brands we now supply to our customers in addition to now offering up to 100T lifting capacities,” he said.
This market approach and resulting supply of machines is clearly working with the Preston Hire team involved in a number of major projects for key customers across the country including:
• Wagstaff Piling – Western Sydney Airport NSW
• Avo Piling – Sydney Gateway Project NSW
• Geotech – Northeast Link VIC
• Geotech – Bunbury Project WA
• Keller – Power Museum Parramatta NSW
• GFWA – Yanchep Project WA
One of the projects the Preston Hire team has been involved with is the new Western Sydney Airport terminal, working closely with Wagstaff Piling. Thadu Khin from Wagstaff Piling said “This was a landmark project for Wagstaff Piling with the construction of over 1200 No. Bored Piles up to 28m in depth. Due to the stringent lifting requirements of our principal contractor we relied heavily on Preston Hire’s cranes, operators, workshop and management to provide the necessary expertise to safely and productively complete the piling works.”
“It is incredibly rewarding to be involved in such large projects that will provide genuine advantages, new facilities and improvements to each city and state,” said Becherand. “It appears to be a new era of work with today’s projects requiring cranes with smaller footprints yet with the expectation for the same loads to be lifted. Customers are looking for larger capacities from smaller cranes to manage their lifting plans. Preston Hire has embraced these challenges and invested in machines that compliment and meet market demands, providing genuine solutions for customers,” says Becherand.
“Our fleet has been built with a blend of machines unlike any other business in Australia. With both tele handlers and Mini Crawlers, we truly have something for everyone. Our Mini-Crawler range is one of the largest in Australia and has been a point of difference for us in the market delivering impressive lifting capacities, easy operation and lightweight solutions for lifts in challenging conditions.
“Mini Cranes were originally our main focus, however as more and more clients enjoyed the experience of working with Preston Hire and the service proposition we offer, growing demand became evident for our hydraulic crawler range to also grow. Pending the specific tasks of our Piling customers, the majority of our crawler fleet have been utilised to complete works for this sector,” he said.
The full Preston Hire SuperCrane fleet ranges from 1t through to 100t capacities which is across the mini cranes, hydraulic crawler cranes and mobile cranes. The fleet includes models that feature the latest eco-friendly, electric and battery technologies.
The SuperCrane fleet is made up of Kato, Maeda, Liebherr, UNIC, SANY and Sennebogen machines in various models and capacities. Each machine has been carefully selected based on its unique abilities, quality craftsmanship and the benefits it can provide to a broad range of disciplines. All cranes are available for both wet and dry hire depending on the needs of the customer.
Preston Hire has branches nationally servicing all regions of each state. Pending the needs of our customers, we can transport machines from one state to another to ensure the correct capacity and capabilities is available where needed. With a fleet of over 100 cranes, most states have a broad range of machines ready to go.
Becherand goes on to discuss the advantages of hiring cranes from Preston Hire’s SuperCrane fleet, compared to a business purchasing and operating cranes themselves.
“The continual change of requirements per job requires the right machinery for the task at hand. A cookie-cutter approach to equipment selection can be limiting, and in some instances dangerous if the wrong machine is used for the job. The major advantage to customers who hire their equipment with Preston Hire is the flexibility to secure machines that cater to their site requirements and deliver the correct capacity needed. When a customer moves to their next job, we can once again assess their needs and change the machinery selected if required,” he said.
There are also significant costs associated with purchasing heavy equipment. Maintenance, servicing, the initial purchase price, interest payments, storage, insurance, licencing and transport should all be considered. All of these responsibilities and costs sit with Preston Hire to manage on behalf of its customers. This is yet another major benefit for hiring product.
Technology that underpins construction equipment is always changing and by hiring construction equipment, businesses will always have access to the very latest in technology and innovation. Working alongside an equipment hire specialist is an ideal way of keeping abreast of industry developments, as they occur.
Becherand explains how Preston Hire ensures it has the right equipment available for its customers.
“Conversations with our customers is key. We pride ourselves on having honest, transparent conversations to learn what they need. Across the country, we are continually assessing the amount of works in the pipeline and based on market feedback and the requests we are receiving from our customers, we will be increasing our fleet in both size, and capacity,” he said.
This approach to customer service has not gone unnoticed. Andrew Grenenger from Geotech commented; “We’ve been using Preston exclusively for the last few years now for all of our crane requirements. Their fleet is constantly updated and large enough to meet our scope locally without the need for interstate floats. The price is always competitive and the personal touch in regards to service ensures we only ever make one call when looking for a crane.”
Becherand takes a look into the not too distant future where crawler cranes are being viewed as multi-functional tools with large capacities and pick and carry capabilities. He explains how Preston Hire sees this developing over the next few years and how this will impact the expansion of the SuperCrane fleet.
“Preston Hire has been investing in the latest cranes which feature Eco-friendly technology, and we will continue to do so. We are seeing increasing demands for fully electric options from various industry sectors including construction, mining as well as retail and other types of indoor applications where emissions are unacceptable. The Preston Hire SuperCrane fleet will continue to remain focused on providing environmentally friendly options as they become available,” he said.
Becherand is not alone in his thinking. Masis Tevanian, National Operations Manager of Avopiling commented; “We have developed a great relationship over the years with the Preston Hire team. The cranes that we have used in the past have not only been suitable but have increased our efficiency in our projects. We need companies like Preston Hire to develop new products coming into the market and we believe the new cranes that are being supplied are a growing trend in what is to come in the industry.”
“It is an exciting time for the crane hire industry with so many opportunities available if you are willing and able to adapt, service and deliver,” said Becherand. “Preston Hire has worked hard to demonstrate to customers across multiple sectors our commitment to quality and our exceptional experience and knowledge around our crane capabilities. As always, you can COUNT ON US for an outstanding hire experience.”