Queensland Rigging Hire recently solved a difficult lift test with heavy duty rigging, water load bags and over a quarter of a million litres of water. And all this happened in an operating power station.
Queensland Rigging Hire offers an extensive range of lifting and rigging equipment to customers operating in the construction, mining, offshore and crane industries. They stock the highest quality lifting and rigging equipment, which is fully tested and certified to ensure it meets industry requirements and the relevant Australian Standards.
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.
“I had people ringing me and asking me for help and advice about various products and I kept referring them to other companies. But they turned out to be unresponsive or couldn’t help and after a while my wife and I decided we should give it a go for ourselves,” he said.
“As the name of the business suggests, we specialise in lifting and rigging equipment particularly equipment like spreader bars, slings, load testing equipment. We’re also the Queensland agent for Unique Seaflex who manufacture a range of water test weights. This is a fairly big feather in our cap, because they are a high-profile corporation and they’ve put their faith in us, so it’s a fantastic achievement,” said Fitzgerald.
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Queensland Rigging Hire covers every bit of rigging gear a client will need between the load, the hook and the crane. As far as the rest of the hire fleet is concerned, Fitzgerald says the company will invest in products to meet industry needs, as well as new technology and dry hire it to customers so they can conduct lifts of all types and sizes safely.
“We started in a small industrial unit and I have to say it was a hard slog to get things off the ground and build momentum, but we stuck to it and the business has grown and we’re travelling well. We’ve focused on substantially building our hire fleet so we can cater to a wider range of projects,” he said.
“We have a close working relationship with all our customers, but this doesn’t involve providing independent advice on lifts. Our customers are heavy lift specialists and almost all of them are engineers. They detail what they want and specify what is required for a lift and we in turn offer what they specify, or similar, and let them decide. We don’t get involved in the lift plans or lift studies, that’s not our role, we supply the equipment they require,” said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald reminds himself and his staff about the importance of safety.
“We work in a high-risk industry as most things associated with cranes and lifting have an element of risk and I have to remind my staff and myself what these are. We take the required steps and measures to ensure everything we supply complies to Australian Standards as well as adhering to specific site standards. This has probably been the biggest reason for our growth, because a lot of other suppliers are unable to provide the same level of documentation as us,” he said.
“That’s where we come into our own. We are able to deal with the major contractors like Lend Lease and CPB because our certifications meet the levels they require. Relevant areas of equipment in the hire fleet are certified by NATA. We supply equipment that is compliant to the standards and it’s regularly maintained, through our internal maintenance program and testing procedures. Our equipment can be supplied for a one-off lift or for an extended period and everything is inspected before it goes out and also on return. If something needs repairing, we’ll send it to the appropriate repairer,” Fitzgerald said.
Queensland Rigging services clients all over Queensland and northern New South Wales.
“We’ve done a significant amount of work on the Ballina to Woolgoolga Pacific Highway upgrade, a lot of work on bridges and we had equipment on the recent Grafton Bridge project which was a runner up in CICA’s Lift of the Year. It’s our job to know and understand what the industry needs. We deal with Project Managers and Engineers and crane hire companies – they give us feed-back on what they need, and we purchase our equipment based on that information,” said Fitzgerald.
Commitment to service and going the extra mile for the customer are keys to the success of the business, says Fitzgerald.
“We’re a family business and passionate about what we do. I’ve realised that customers use us, not only for our products, but because we are service driven. We create value by providing excellent service. When you are told by a customer, ‘we need your help’, we step up immediately. I’ve driven over night to Moranbah in Central Queensland and Muswellbrook in New South Wales because I said we would be there with the gear the customer urgently required. When we arrive, the customer is happy and knows we’ve made the effort to get there and they can continue with the project without any costly delays. That’s what it’s all about,” he said.
According to Fitzgerald, CICA has been great for Queensland Rigging Hire, with the various forums providing opportunities to meet with the industry.
“CICA has been terrific in providing us with opportunities to meet our industry, to understand how the industry is changing and what the big construction companies are looking to do. There’s no substitute for having everyone together, talking about projects and equipment and spending time with the people at the forefront. They are making decisions that will impact on the future of our industry. The big builders set the agendas which impact on the crane hire companies and rigging businesses like us,” he said.