Brothers grow their business in leaps and bounds

In just over ten years, two brothers have turned this hire business around, resulting in phenomenal growth.

When Ken and Geoff Baker acquired Height 4 Hire in 2010, the company had 57 machines and three staff.

Today it is Queensland’s largest privately-owned and operated supplier of access hire and scissor lift hire equipment, boasting 955 machines and 47 employees.

It’s also recently expanded its truck fleet too, with the addition of two FVY 240-300 Auto LWB Tilt Slides and three FYJ 300-350 Auto XLWB Tilt Slides last year, to help deliver and collect its hire equipment.

With each FVY 240-300 having a GVM of 24,000 kilograms and a GCM of 36,000 kilograms and the FYJ 300-350 with a GVM of 30,000 kilograms and a GCM of 45,000 kilograms, the trucks are more than capable of delivering several pieces of equipment.

“Once you put on a tilt tray on the back of the FYJ, they can cart about 13 and a half tonnes,” said Ken, who serves as managing director. “So that’s six 19-foot scissors or more.”

Height 4 Hire specialises in getting people to height safely to do the work they need to do.

Height 4 Hire Managing Director Ken Baker.

And Ken says the company has grown about 16 per cent a year on average in the last 12 years.

Most of their customers operate in the construction and manufacturing sectors, hiring lifting equipment from anywhere between half a day to 11 years.

“Some weeks we do as many as 700 machine movements,” Ken said. “So, it’s a lot of mechanical work to get them up to speed to go out on the next hire.”

Height 4 Hire has a dozen technicians working out of two depots in Brisbane, doing equipment inspections and servicing.

Every time a lift is returned to the depot, it’s inspected, cleaned and the batteries and diesel are topped up. There’s a more thorough check of each piece of equipment every 90 days and once a year each machine is comprehensively checked.

The equipment, which can lift people from 19 feet (5.8 metres) to 135 feet (41 metres), is available for hire through Southeast Queensland, from Brisbane to the Gold Coast in the south and Toowoomba in the west and north to the Sunshine Coast.

“You have to do milk runs in this business to make it all work. So you could have two machines to one site, two to another, two to somewhere else,” explained Ken.

“Then when they’re out there, you fill them up from other sites and bring them back.”

Ken said the company’s drivers enjoyed the comfort and reliability of the Isuzu trucks, as well as the ease of the automatic transmission for metro driving.

“The Isuzu is a truck that you can get in, do your inspections in the morning and away you go,” he said. “They’re very straight forward to drive.”

Ken spoke of one Isuzu in the company’s fleet which has over a million kilometres on the clock. “In the previous company I worked at, in 2007, we purchased an Isuzu,” he said. “Things got pretty tight with the company and we sold that Isuzu to a towing company in Brisbane who then sold it to a guy out at Roma who was doing some work in the pipeline area.

“So in about 2012 or 2013, a truck became available for sale, so we purchased that truck. It’s the same truck!

“It’s had obviously a bit of work on the way through, but it’s been a brilliant truck, a really, really good truck.”

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