Trailer Magazine

A change of pace

  • From the July 2019 issue.
A change of pace

After over a decade in mining, Craig Okely was looking for a career change that would keep him closer to home. The purchase of a Palfinger crane sparked the start of his new journey.

Family owned and operated, Okely Contracting was started by Craig Okely in October 2015. Having spent the previous 11 years working in the mining industry in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, Craig decided it was time for a career change that would enable him to spend less time away from his wife and two young children.

With that in mind, Craig purchased his first crane, a second hand Palfinger PK 15002, and began his new venture in the suburb of Canning Vale in Perth.

Piece by piece, he grew his business, before the need arose for a larger crane with a greater lifting capacity. 
“With the original crane, I could only lift three tonne, so I was struggling to create new clients, so I updated to a Palfinger PK26002. It has added much more versatility to the business. By having new equipment with greater capacity, it has helped the business to grow by leaps and bounds. Now we do a wide variety of work – every day is different. I wouldn’t do anything else – I really enjoy my job,” Craig says.

Okely Contracting now operates two Palfinger PK26002 cranes, with one front-mounted, and the other rear-mounted so it can also tow a trailer, allowing for twice the amount of freight.

“I started with a Palfinger in the beginning and wouldn’t order anything else. I’ve never experienced any issues with this brand of crane. I had such a good run with my original crane – it never let me down. The Palfinger brand has always been reliable for me,” adds Craig.

In choosing to purchase two of the same model cranes, Craig explains, “I try and have everything the same so our employees can jump from one to the other seamlessly. Everything we have is interchangeable, including the rigging gear, and that will be the same for any new purchases too.”

Both of Okely Contracting’s cranes are equipped with Palfinger’s HPLS technology, which stands for High Power Lifting System. It works to increase the crane’s capacity by up to 15 per cent with reduced working speed. When HPLS is activated, the hydraulic pressure is increased electronically, in turn allowing a higher payload to be achieved.

Okely Contracting’s front-mounted PK26002 crane can lift up to 4.5 tonne and achieve a reach of 12 metres, while on the rear-mounted option, the crane has a 10 metre reach.

Through offering a reliable, high quality service, Okely Contracting has continued to gain new clients, and this has resulted in the opportunity to further add to the fleet, with plans for an even bigger crane that will allow the business to take on larger jobs.

Craig reveals his plans to add a third member to his Palfinger family in the form of the PK41002 EH-E, which will provide even greater reach, at up to 16 metres. It will also offer a higher lifting capacity of 7 tonne.
“We often do jobs that require items to be positioned in multiple locations onsite. With the increased level of reach on a new crane, it will mean we can pull up in one position and unload everything into its place, without having to move,” adds Craig.

In addition to being impressed by the quality and reliability of the Palfinger brand, Craig asserts that the service he receives is another major drawcard. “I can’t rate the service highly enough. I deal solely with WA Sales Manager, Mick Stone, who I have worked with since the beginning. The service offered by Mick and the Palfinger team really is ten out of ten. When you develop that sort of business relationship, why would you change it? The level of service really is unbelievable. If I’ve needed anything, it’s as simple as shooting through an email and they’re onto it straight away.”

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