CRANE hire company Boom Logistics spread into access equipment hire with the acquisition last year of Sherrin Hire and their growth is set to continue this year. Boom’s crane fleet now exceeds 540 cranes and fleet of access equipment is expected to exceed 2,500 items soon. With its most recent acquisition, Boom Logistics is reaching out in a slightly different direction. As the owner of the largest fleet of cranes in Australia, one of the big issues is expanding its expertise in the servicing and maintenance of cranes and access equipment, together with sourcing and maintaining parts inventories.

“Boom’s move to acquire the crane servicing sector of GM Baden, formerly the national distributor of Liebherr cranes and service centre for Liebherr cranes, with its strong reputation in crane maintenance and parts supply, represented an ideal next move for Boom,” says Boom CEO elect, Mark Lawrence. “The move is also a good one for owners of Liebherr cranes, customers of GM Baden and the crane industry generally, as on-going service support from GM Baden will continue. The business will be run as an operation separate to Boom Logistics and aligned with our James Equipment division,” he adds. The acquisition was for an undisclosed sum.

GM Baden  has workshop and parts facilities in both Sydney and Brisbane. For many years GM Baden were importers of Liebherr cranes and did a solid job in achieving a high market share, placing Liebherr in the top group of crane brands in Australia. In 2006, Liebherr took over the distribution of its cranes in Australia. This move was to put its Australian business in line with Liebherr’s worldwide policy of having its own distribution facility in all countries. Australia was one of the few instances where an independent distributor was used.

After the realignment of Liebherr distribution arrangements in Australia, GM Baden’s position in the crane servicing and parts back up business was attractive to Boom. “It was timely for us to negotiate with Gerhard Baden and conclude a deal,” explains Lawrence. “And, I’m glad to add that Gerhard has agreed to stay on with the business for a year, to help ensure a very smooth changeover.”

The longer term vision for Boom is a continuation in the expansion of its fleet and network of depots, but in addition, being one of the better suppliers of maintenance services for the whole industry. “Crane maintenance has suffered from a lack of sufficient expertise – and this has been particularly evident from the delays the industry has seen in getting 10-year inspections satisfactorily completed,” explains Lawrence.

Boom is set to finalise the acquisition of the Victorian based Moorland Hire, which has one of the largest access equipment hire fleets in Victoria. Its fleet of over 500 access machines includes EWPs, boom lifts, knuckle booms, as well as other construction equipment – compaction, excavation, materials handling and generators. Forklifts are another category.

“The Moorland Hire business fits well with the existing Boom Sherrin Hire operation in Victoria, with its depots in the Melbourne suburb of Springvale and country centres in Morwell in the Latrobe Valley and Sale, a large regional centre in the eastern Victorian area of Gippsland,” concludes Lawrence. Moorland Hire has been operating in Victoria for 40 years and has shown steady and sustained growth – a sign of acceptance by a wide cross section of industry.

Source: Construction Contractor