The only way is up for Michael King’s new crane hoist business. King started up his one man operation in December after importing a Belgian-made hoist, which he used when moving house.

The ladder-style hoist from King Hoists is fitted to a small truck and can lift 300kg object from the street on to the balconies of apartments. It is a marvellous tool for moving fridges, washing machines, bulky lounges, wardrobes and even baby grand pianos.

King was so impressed with the hoist that he decided to begin a business in Sydney, despite having little experience as a removalist or in the transport industry. The former property valuer has a British-Belgian background, and discovered the Klaas hoist while living in Belgium.

“The first time I saw it in action I thought it was a brilliant idea and I was surprised it was not being used in Australia” he says. “It offers an easy way to move bulky items quickly from the tailgate of a truck to a balcony or window. We have found that customers are using our service to move objects that are either too big to fit up stairwells or too heavy to carry, which is a big occupational health and safety benefit.”

“I am doing a bit of work for Freedom and Harvey Norman, and there are also builders and removalists. We have also moved material including tiles, plasterboard and windows.” The hoist has a reach of more than 10 storeys, or can lift a fridge 33 metres off the ground.

King says some apartment buildings have narrow elevators or corridors that do not allow bulky objects. Once on site, he ensures the vehicle is level and moves the ladder up to the drop-off point. The bulky item is put on a platform and raised to the balcony or roof. King does not have to do any lifting during the process.

Removalists do all the heavy lifting from the platform into the home. King uses a Hino Dutro 4500, which can squeeze into narrow areas, enabling King Hoists to operate in tight city conditions.

“It does not obstruct traffic, allowing us to work more efficiently” he says. The 4.5 Tonne truck can be driven with a car licence. And features ABS, brake assist and driver side airbags. It is powered by a four-litre turbo charged and intercooled diesel engine producing 105kW of power at 3000rpm and 370Nm of torque at 1600rpm.