Case Study


The fine art of crane hire

When Alfons Van Maanen and the team at the BiGfiSh workshop in Footscray, Victoria, looked on the internet for local crane contractors in 2010, they found Preston Hire – and the perfect partner in their artistic endeavours – and have never looked to another hire company since.

A Melbourne-based design and construction practice specialising in the generation, production and delivery of 3-dimensional artworks, graphic design and builtform installations, BiGfiSh is renowned for producing exceptional and innovative architectural features, sculptures, playspaces, exhibitions and signage.

Their delightful works have included several large, fantastical 3D sculptures and installations at the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) to promote an exhibition of the work of American film director, Tim Burton; four extraordinary, sinuous chandeliers for the 1,001-seat Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Hall in the Melbourne Recital Centre; the giant, suspended bauble mobiles which have become a central feature of Christmas at Federation Square, and a completely life-like eight metre tall chestnut tree for the Munich Brauhaus in Melbourne.

With many of their works requiring elements to be installed at height, and in sometimes awkward and generally busy public places, BiGfiSh needed a crane hire company that could handle challenging situations with ease and deliver exceptional service and support so they, in turn, could deliver as promised for their clients.

“We have an understanding of complex design challenges and we have a proven capacity to deliver conscientiously and consistently within project parameters,” BiGfiSh Director, Alfons Van Maanen, said. “Preston Hire is very much the same; able to assess a challenging situation, offer knowledgeable and effective solutions and deliver an outstanding result every time.

“We’ve worked with other cranage operators in the past and were frankly disappointed that they were late, dirty, and their staff and equipment weren’t up to scratch,” he continued. “Preston Hire are always attentive to our needs and they’re sharp; their equipment is fully serviced, works well and looks good – it always impresses our clients when Preston Hire is on the job.”

In a specialist field themselves, and having very specific needs, BiGfiSh particularly appreciate the comprehensive service Preston Hire offers.

“Preston Hire has the scope of plant and equipment suited to our needs, but even more importantly they have the specialist knowledge and expertise and always supply skilled crane operators and riggers to ensure the job is done quickly and to our, and the client’s, satisfaction,” Alfons Van Maanen explained.

“Working with Preston Hire definitely makes our life easier; we call or email and they get straight back to us, they’ll go to a site and come back with everything organised, they’re always on time or early and nothing is ever a problem – even last minute rushes.”

Preston Hire’s focus on safety and strict adherence to OH&S requirements is also a strong point for BiGfiSh and greatly adds to their satisfaction with this productive partnership.

“Delivering and installing our work in the public realm, requires stringent OH&S performance from us and our specialist subcontractors. Preston Hire always go to site and thoroughly checks out the whole situation prior to a ‘lift’, to ensure that their equipment, team and documentation is right,” Alfons Van Maanen concluded.

“In all regards, there’s a level of confidence you get with Preston Hire that you just don’t get with others.”

For more information on Preston Hire’s SuperDeck and SuperCranes, or for expert assistance with your hire needs on any project, large or small, visit or call Preston Hire today on 1800 440 550.



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