BIG INVESTMENTS IN A NEW HEADQUARTERS AND NEW EQUIPMENT SHOW THAT SOUTHERN CRANES & AND ACCESS IS CONFIDENT ABOUT ITS FUTURE. STEVE BANNER REPORTS ON A THRIVING BUSINESS.
PHOTOGRAPHY: CRAIG PUSEY
A fleet of self-propelled cranes requires back-up. Something the size of the 350-tonne-capacity Liebherr LTM1350 that joined crane hire specialist Southern Cranes & Access in 2015 needs support from specialist transport to haul the 140 tonnes of counterweight required so the crane can operate to its full potential.
That’s why in addition to its mobile crane fleet the West Sussex-based company runs a comprehensive fleet of transport ranging from light vans to tractor units that haul low-loaders. Without them the company would be unable to deliver the service its customers expect say directors Robert Sadler and Kelvin Prince.
“We can either provide a crane and a driver who works to the client’s instructions or organise what we call a contract lift,” says Prince. “This means that we go and look at the job, plan it, carry out the necessary risk assessment and run the job ourselves. “If we have to cut trees back then we’ll deal with that. If we have to put a temporary roadway in, then we’ll deal with that too.”
Southern Cranes can trace its roots back to June 1981 when Mick Sadler, Robert’s father, started Gamble and Sadler Crane Hire. In 1995 the business was sold to Hewden Stuart and Southern Crane Services was set up a couple of years later. In July 2003 the business became Southern Cranes and Access. “That’s when Kelvin came on board along with a sister company that was a bit more London centric,” says Sadler, whose brother Clive is a director too. Today Southern Cranes is a thriving operation involved in a vast variety of demanding tasks. It expects to achieve a £14m-plus turnover this year.