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Crane hire's changing market

AS CONSTRUCTION clients look to offload risk by outsourcing as much as possible to the contractor, so more and more of Weldex's contractor clients are asking the crane hirer to take on full responsibility for lifting operations, says Dougie McGilvray.

'More and more people are seeking contracts under which the responsibility is on the crane hirer to carry out contract lifts, ' he says.

'We are being asked to price work and have an engineering design team.

Ten years ago contractors got the job and then went for the cranes. Now they are getting plant in at tender stage. We are working more closely with firms on method statements at that stage.'

However, as Weldex has bolted on new services such as design and contract lifts in order to stay ahead of the market, it has also added costs to the company's operations.

'Because we are designing lifts we have bigger overheads so we cannot compete with smaller firms that have got a hire desk only, ' Mr McGilvray says. 'So we can lose out drastically on day-to-day hires.'

At present, Weldex has one full-time designer who goes out to look at jobs and designs lifts, but that will change. 'We are looking at expanding on the contract lifting side so we are becoming more of a specialist in lifting without moving away from plant hire, ' Mr McGilvray says. 'More and more want this service.'