Operating a thoroughly modern and highly flexible fleet of 35 cranes, G O’Brien Crane Hire Ltd. are firmly established as Ireland’s premier heavy logistics engineers. Building Ireland had a chat with director Conor O’Brien to get an update on this innovative, industry-leading, family-run business.
Established in 1981, G O’Brien Crane Hire is one of Ireland’s largest and longest-established ISO 9001-certified crane hire companies, with over 35 years of history. Their knowledge of heavy lifting spans across the generations, complementing the expertise of modern engineering with the wealth of experience built up over the decades.
Gabriel O’Brien started the business off almost four decades ago with one 15-tonne mobile crane to his name. Today, Gabriel proudly runs the company alongside his children, Conor, Darragh and Ashling and they operate a carefully-assembled and immaculately-maintained fleet of 35 cranes – including that same mobile crane from over 35 years, which is still fully operational!
Comprising mobile cranes, crawler cranes, Hiabs, spider cranes, mobile towers (suitable for lifts in urban areas where sites are confined) and Ireland’s first self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) – a magnificent piece of equipment that makes all the difference when it comes to lifting – the entire fleet of cranes is regularly replenished / upgraded and kept in pristine condition.
Renowned solution providers to the construction sector, G O’Brien Crane Hire offer machinery, full lift and shift solutions, and personnel to a variety of industries throughout Ireland and the UK. Their vast range of cranes goes from 3.5-tonne spider cranes that can work in the tightest of spaces up to 500-tonne mobile and 600 -tonne crawler cranes. These are used in a wide variety of onshore and offshore industries, including most notably the construction, oil and wind energy sectors.
In construction, G O’Brien Crane Hire enjoy lasting relationships with a who’s who of main contractors, from L&M Keating to BAM, Sisk to Collen, Mercury Engineering to PJ Walls, M&W Exyte to Cairn Homes as well as SIAC, Irish Rail, Cosgrave’s, etc., etc. The legacy of repeat business with the leading players in construction in Ireland and the UK speaks volumes for the quality of the machinery and solutions provided.
Gabriel instils throughout the company to all his staff the importance of providing the best quality of service to each customer no matter what the job requires. Gabriel is well known across all sites in Ireland for his hard work, knowledge and competence. His experience in the construction industry over the last four decades has helped people’s persona of Gabriel himself and his company’s name thrive in the industry.
Gabriel prides himself on his quality of service – ‘anyplace, anywhere, anytime’. These relationships he’s built with their large customer base over the last four decades are due to Gabriel himself, this quality he possesses is of most importance as each customer is valued and not just seen as a job. This enthusiasm and drive work is passed down to his children.
In total, between on-site operatives, engineers, riggers, service technicians and office-based personnel, G O’Brien Crane Hire currently generates direct employment for a team of 45. Founder Gabriel still runs the business, with the help of his children Conor, Darragh and Ashling. Conor and Darragh are fully-qualified civil engineers and Ashling with a degree in HRM. With Health & Safety an absolute priority, the company employs a full-time safety officer.
As well as providing unrivalled heavy lift solutions in Ireland, G O’Brien Cranes UK has been established to offer the same service in the UK, where a number of long-term cranes are in place on sites from Scotland to London.
G O’Brien Crane Hire are available 24/7 and offer a comprehensive service, from free site inspection through to the execution of a lift, including detailed pre-planning, fully-qualified operatives and unrivalled attention to detail.
Engineering expertise shines through the process of each lift. After the site inspection is completed, a plan is put in place to carry out the lift both safely and efficiently. This plan includes a RAMS (Risk Assessment Method Statement), 3D CAD drawings (using the most modern engineering expertise to work around wind resistance, underfoot conditions and any other factors which may influence the lift) and the delegation of qualified personnel to carry out even the most demanding, complex lifts. All staff are certified in both Ireland and the UK, fully equipped for manual handling and working at heights.
In addition to providing heavy lift solutions on major civil projects nationwide for Ireland’s leading building contractors, G O’Brien Crane Hire Ltd. are also resident at Corrib Gas Field with Shell and have a presence at the Van Oord offshore windfarm in Belfast. Enercon is another client in the energy sector, while they also work for Glanbia in Waterford.
As for the key to the company’s continued success and growth in a must challenging marketplace, Conor O’Brien notes: “Having a good range of cranes is vital. We have a lot of new cranes in our fleet and we have a very good selection going from the spider crane up to a 500-tonne mobile crane. We own the biggest crawler cranes in the country and can cover all of our customers’ requirements. As we hold an international heavy haulage licence, we can provide a complete, hassle-free solution.
“We have modular trailers and SPMTs and are the only ones in the country who are doing that. Anything that is heavy and needs to be shifted on site, we can look after it. We provide our clients with very detailed technical solutions, from site inspection and planning right through to executing the lift in a safe and fully secure environment.”
Due to G O’Brien Crane Hire’s detailed planning and proven track record, they have been entrusted with some of the most challenging projects across Ireland and the UK. Their impeccable safety record reflects their keen attention to detail in both the preparation and carrying out of all lifts.
Securing the company’s position as Ireland’s heavy lift solutions provider of choice requires significant investment in machinery, technology and personnel. “We always have the most innovative products on the market – like the newest crawler cranes and SPMTs – and have an excellent engineering department,” Conor concludes.
“We have proven ourselves time and time again at heavy lifts, from the Tower at Dublin Airport to pulling bridges for Irish Rail. For any complex heavy lift job, we can investigate it and come up with a plant that will work. For this, you need good people as well as good equipment and we’re very lucky to have a great team working here.”
G O’Brien Crane Hire Ltd.,
Red Cow Business Park,
Tel: 01 4595500
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, September, Vol 5 No 9