Despite ongoing worldwide searches for new and innovative products for its hire range, Kennards Lift and Shift is yet to find an air hoist range superior to that of Germany’s J.D. Neuhaus.
Kennards Hire’s Lift and Shift Division launched onto the market in January 2003 with a product range that was the result of an exhaustive international search. Today that quest continues with Kennards annually attending trade fairs in China, Europe and the US.
Kennards Lift & Shift General Manager, Andrew Lambert, said that although the firm actively sought to put itself in a position of being able to offer products exclusively, he had simply been unable to find a better air hoist alternative.
“We entered into the air hoist market with another brand. However, we found that we had nothing but issues with them,” Andrew said.
“Two key focus areas of Kennards Lift and Shift are the quality of the products we offer and the service we provide to our customers.
“We aim to be the best hire company in our market place, not the biggest.
“We were already doing business with Pacific Hoists with their chain and lever block range and we had good synergies with them as they’re a great team to deal with nationally and their business model suited what we were doing so we just expanded what we were doing with them.”
Andrew has been with Kennards for 17 years, the last seven with Lift and Shift which quickly outgrew its initial Rydalmere branch and moved to a super centre at Silverwater. Today the division has seven branches across Australia.
A specialist hire company, Lift and Shift’s international product searches have resulted in the company sourcing electric and battery operated stair climbers to 1000kg, lightweight aluminium lifting gantries and counter weighted materials hoists to name a few.
“Europe has really been the key because they’re innovative and really think through the issues, thus ensuring the quality of the product is always exceptionally high,” he said.
The company looks to be the first in the industry with products that give a good return on investment but quickly realised that the JDN product range already available here was simply the state of the market.
“They stand up to abuse and are basically bullet proof unless you don’t supply the right amount of air to them and that’s a user issue, not a product issue.
“We’re well aware that in the industry there are JDN’s operating that are 20-plus years old and not skipping a beat.
“Also, there are very few explosive environments in which they can’t be used. They’re in demand for underground mines, open cuts, petro-chemical sites and offshore oil and gas rigs,” he said.
Kennards Lift and Shift has an active fleet of more than 70 JDN’s ranging from one to 20 tonners with 30 tonners on order and are now looking at a 100 tonner to meet the demands of a particular coal mine. If that order goes ahead Andrew believes it will be the first 100 tonne air lift hoist in the southern hemisphere.
Critical to Kennard’s decision to commit to JDN was the service and backup available through Pacific Hoists.
“These hoists are often being used on critical jobs in environments where access is often difficult, so having the different state businesses of Pacific Hoists all carrying parts makes our job easier.
“There have been times when we have had products returned with vane and breathing issues due to having been run on low air pressure. We’ve had these same units booked to go out again in a few days and each time Pacific Hoists came through in time.
“In fact I’ve got a bat phone to their head technician whose technical expertise is second to none in the industry and who has proved a great support to us as a business,” Andrew said.
Click here for more information on the JDN Air Hoists.