Ranked amongst the top crane hire companies in the world, Johnson Crane Hire says it has long been distinguished as the smartest in its field, says the company.
Qualifying this statement, Peter Yaman, sales executive explains that this accolade was earned through the company’s emphasis on providing more than just a crane hire service.
“Operating cranes involves a great deal more than just lifting loads and moving them from one place to another. In its quest for providing a holistic lifting package, Johnson Crane Hire adopted the SMART (Safety, Maintenance, Availability, Reliability and Total cost effectiveness) philosophy as its business credo.”
Running the largest mobile crane fleet in Africa is an immense undertaking, so it is important that the company approach each lift with due diligence and care. “We provide cost effective total lifting solutions that are appropriate to individual customer requirements. Operating large cranes is a specialised field that needs careful planning. Elements such as CAD rigging studies, comprehensive assessments, method statements and risk assessments must all be factored in,” Yaman explains. Due to the nature of heavy lifts, Johnson Crane Hire places safety at the top of its checklist. This entails ensuring that all lifting equipment is kept in optimum condition through regular, proactive maintenance schedules and ongoing inspections by third party inspectorates. “We are not prepared to compromise the safety of our employees and other on-site personnel by cutting corners on safety checks,” says Yaman.
Comprehensive workshop facilities, technical expertise and superior systems have earned Johnson Crane Hire the reputation of owning well-maintained lifting equipment in Africa. “All our branches are equipped to undertake maintenance and our mechanics are capable of completing various levels of repair. Major repair work is undertaken at the comprehensively equipped national workshop based in Germiston, Gauteng,” adds Yaman.
In addition to the systematic upkeep of the company’s machines, Johnson Crane Hire has a team of highly-skilled and trained operators. Not only are the operators well versed in the actual operation of the cranes, but they are also completely familiarised with the application of comprehensively documented and implemented safety systems. Compliance with industry safety standards ensures that these systems and the risk assessments conducted before each lift form an integral part of the safety culture ingrained in every Johnson Crane Hire employee.
Yaman says that staff turnover in the company is remarkably low, with many employees clocking up service records of 30 years and more. “Many of the children of our employees follow in their parents’ footsteps and are employed by Johnson Crane Hire as crane operators. This is a rare occurrence within any industry.”
Training for operational safety
In order to provide industry with best practice heavy lifting, Johnson Crane Hire operates its own comprehensive inhouse training facility in Vanderbijlpark. Due to the complexity of some of the machines operated by Johnson Crane Hire, the company also undertakes specific training through external authorities. The Johnson Crane Hire training centre is registered to certify operators and the certified trainers have considerable expertise in identifying potential and capabilities within operators and are also able to deal with a broad range of behavioural issues.
Both theoretical and practical training is undertaken, with safety forming an integral part of the TETA-accredited coursework. Trainee operators spend six weeks at the training centre undertaking a training programme that has been developed by Johnson Crane Hire and which exceeds the basic legislated requirements. Re-certification can be conducted over three days. While competence and accountability are key aspects of all training programmes, the prevailing theme is safety. Since it is vital that individuals be trained on the specific cranes that they will be required to operate, operational training is complemented by exercises in travelling on roads as well as assembling and stripping cranes. This sets Johnson Crane Hire apart from the majority of other training facilities since they are able to provide trainees with full accessibility to cranes for these practical programmes.