Mildura Economy Central to Rental Firm’s Growth

Saturday 29 September 2018 @ 09:57

The booming wine and sand mining industries are driving demand for access equipment around Mildura, in north-west Victoria.

“The Mildura economy is robust with local farming doing well, while our local wineries have started to boom again,” said Paul Morris, director of hire rental and resale firm, Mildura Cranes. The hire rental firm, which Paul co-owns with Peter Saunders, launched around 1999, also has sub-branches Robinvale, about 100 km from Mildura, as well as an outlet in South Australia. The dynamic duo took over Mildura Cranes in 2009.

Paul said: “The last two years have been good for Mildura with the local wineries tapping into overseas markets. The tables grape vineyards have had a terrific 2-3 years.”

At vineyards, access machines are used primarily for infrastructure construction, noted Paul. “On a grape producing property, winemakers are building massive sheds for packing or cooling grapes or to store their tractors in. It’s amazing how many sheds have gone up in this region, and they are getting bigger and bigger. You need access machines from the start of the build through to the finish.”

Mildura Cranes customers also include local contractors, and the rental firm supplies access equipment to the region’s mining industry. “Sand mining is our predominant industry along with construction, while shipbuilders love the Genie booms and scissors. Some weeks we don’t have enough of them,” Paul noted.

Blue leads the way at Mildura Cranes

Mildura Crane’s booms and scissors are entirely Genie and include a Genie® GS-3369 RT, a Genie GS-2669 RT and a Genie GS-4390 RT rough terrain scissor lifts. The regional Victorian based firm has secured diesel and electric Genie Z®-34/22N boom lifts, as well as a Genie S®-65 and S-85 straight booms. Significantly, Peter and Paul have upgraded their entire Genie fleet over the last decade. “We have 14-15 Genie scissors, articulated booms and telescopic booms,” said Paul.

“We have a great working relationship with David Greene, Genie Regional Sales Manager, Victoria & Tasmania, Terex AWP. We always replace our machines with Genie. Their machines are very much in demand with our clients, which is a great problem to have for them and us.”

“We have an excellent relationship with the sales crews, and the warranties on Genie machines are great. If there is ever a problem with a machine, the Genie team in Melbourne will back us up 100%.”

The technical and support service provided by Genie is second to none, according to Paul. “This is great if someone goes out on the road and he or she needs a bit of support. Genie will jump in and help. The responsiveness of the technical and support teams is one of the best aspects of their service.

“I was at a Genie presentation a few years ago, and their service philosophy is: “Sales sells the first machine, and service sells the rest.” This is the best motto I’ve ever heard when you think about it from an owner’s point of view. If you have an angry customer on the end of the phone and you’re trying to fix a machine, it’s always good to have that Genie tech and support backup 100%.”

Customer feedback

Paul said his customers’ feedback underpins his long-term relationship with Genie. “Our customers don’t know a Genie from other brands. However, they say, give me the blue one. Don’t send anything else. We keep everything in fleet colours for that reason.”

The power and durability of a Genie boom or scissor lift also appeal to the customers of Mildura Cranes. Paul explains that a Genie machine is, “user-friendly and powerful to drive in the soft sand.”

“We have much soft, loamy sand in Mildura. You will get bogged if you don’t have a powerful machine. We want all-terrain machines, and we always find with Genie that their machines cut the mustard in our conditions.”

“It’s good for us to know that our customers are always happy. That’s how you get repeat business. If you look after your customer, they will come back. It’s the country mentality.”

The larger construction companies in Mildura prefer Genie, and Paul and Peter buy Genie equipment on their behalf. “We only sell what we use. We won’t sell a machine we don’t recommend. I wouldn’t sell something I wouldn’t have in a hire fleet.”