Canberra-based commercial window installation business Capital Territory Fixing is building a reputation in the commercial glass handling sector with a small fleet of Maeda mini crawlers.
Capital Territory Fixing was started in Canberra in 2012 by brothers Dennis and James O’Reilly and James’ wife Shayley Dean. The trio saw an opportunity to start a commercial glass installation business that could service the Canberra commercial glass handling sector as opposed to interstate companies coming into the market for projects and disappearing again once the project was completed. Dean takes up the story.
“We knew there was an opportunity because we could see the businesses arriving from interstate, completing the work and then drive back. So, together, we decided to give it a red hot go, and we purchased our first Maeda,” she said.
“Since then, we have developed long-term relationships with a number of curtain wall suppliers, builders, and commercial glass businesses, and we find ourselves working on projects in the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and also Western Australia.”
Capital Territory Fixing currently runs three Maedas, a Maeda 285-2 two-tonne capacity machine, a Maeda 285-3, which also has a 2.8t capacity, and a Maeda 305-3 3t capacity machine.
Dean explains how the work has influenced the make-up of the Capital Territory Fixing Fleet.
“Obviously, the various job sites we operate on can vary immensely but, generally speaking, we need a crane that is going to be versatile and can work around the various hazards and low tolerances when it comes to getting the cranes into position to conduct the lifts.
“The Maedas are excellent in these types of conditions. When we need to, we have option of operating the cranes with the remote control and we also have the option to run them with the diesel engine or as an electric option.
“The versatility of the Maedas helps make our job easier and we know our customers are happy with the way they perform. Like most crane businesses, we are focused on the utilisation of the cranes, and we are more than happy with the performance of the Maedas,” said Dean.
Long-term customers and repeat business have been the end result of Capital Territory Fixing’s approach to customer service and support.
“We have a number of customers that have utilised our services over the years and I am happy to say we are currently conducting a lift for the very first customer we were contracted by. We continue to work with Façade Innovations. The business relationship spans nine years and they have remained our major supplier ever since. We also continue to work with Micos Aluminium who gave us our first curtain wall project back in 2012,” said Dean.
“Customer service and satisfaction is at the core of everything we do. We like to think this is why we receive the high levels of repeat work from our customers. An important element of what we do entails lift studies and site visits.”
Dean goes on to explain how the team at Capital Territory Fixing works closely with builders and suppliers to ensure the lifts are completed safely and on time.
“We will visit every site before we conduct the lifts. Most lifts are typical but we will have been on site weeks before we start lifting the glass panels. By understanding the configurations of the site and where there might be hazards like height restrictions, we work on a plan with the builder and suppliers. This way there are no surprises,” she said.
Capital Territory Fixing operates a small but experienced team says Dean.
“We have plenty of experience in the team and this starts with Dennis, James, and myself. James and I work on the back end of the business, managing the crane allocations, handling enquiries, paperwork, that sort of thing, but we also travel with the business when we are working on large contracts.
“Dennis is a very experienced dogman and he is focused on the operational aspects of the business. We are fortunate to have Graham Traynor on our team because he has been operating mini cranes since 2006,” she said.
Over the years Capital Territory Fixing has come to rely on the service and support of the national distributor for Maeda mini crawler cranes, Pace Cranes.
“The service and support from Pace Cranes is outstanding. Throughout the sales process Michael Cawston, national sales manager for Pace Cranes, makes everything so easy and then we receive the best service and support from the rest of the team,” said Dean.
“Parts availability has never been an issue and we can not recommend the Pace Cranes highly enough, they really do go above and beyond.”
Capital Territory Fixing has some ambitious plans for the future.
“In five years’ time, we are hoping to have a full time crew of 40 Sydney and 25 in Canberra. We intend to grow with our current customers, and with all the construction happening up and down the east coast we can see the demand for our services growing significantly.
“We set a very high standard for ourselves, and our customers see this. We are continually being referred to new customers and we provide the same high levels of service to them.
“These word of mouth referrals have led to us having a permanent operation in Sydney. These are exciting times for our business, and we can see plenty of potential for growth,” said Dean.
Becoming a member of The Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA) was an important decision for Capital Territory Fixing.
“Being a member of CICA enables us to maintain a high standard of training and support within the industry and we are also able to network with other crane hire businesses at the various events CICA stages,” said Dean.
“By having a strong industry body, we as an industry are in a better position to maintain the required high standards of compliance and safety required in the construction sector. CICA is also excellent at keeping us up-to-date with changes to legislation as well as providing advice on modern training programs.
“Brandon Hitch, CICA’s CEO, and his team are forward thinking, and they are forging relationships with other industry groups including the Tier One builders.
“We see this as an important strategy that will enable the construction industry to better understand the challenges the crane sector faces and for us to better understand what the construction sector is looking for in terms of crane hire services,” said Dean.