Construction Lifting Equipment - The Ultimate Buying Guide
Lifting, hoisting and lowering heavy loads needs to be performed safely and effectively.
On site, you want the comfort of knowing that you are using premium lifting and hoisting equipment that will operate efficiently and reliably every time. Good quality lifting equipment should help you move heavy loads according to your needs and requirements. At Keble’s Trading, we stock high tensile lifting and hoisting solutions that comply with Australia’s strict safety, manufacturing and testing standards.
We stock a diverse range of lifting equipment, hoist, Grade 80 and Grade100 chains, assorted hooks, connectors and top rings, lifting chains, chain slings, wire rope slings, chain blocks, lever blocks, pulleys, trolleys, lifting points, swivels and hooks. All stock is manufactured from premium grade materials that have been constructed with superior performance and useability features in mind. Our stocked Items include brands from, PWB Anchor, Pacific Hoist, RUD and Auslift.
We understand that our customers have different lifting requirements from lifting heavy loads in confined spaces, at angles or over large distances we have a solution for you. Our onsite staff are skilled and experienced in advising our customers about the most appropriate lifting and hoisting equipment based on the environment and situation you describe. You should also be aware of safety regulations and training requirements when operating lifting and hoisting equipment. This WorkSafe Victoria site can help you understand what needs to be done.
At Keble’s Trading, we also have our own in-house load test services, break test and inspection service for lifting chain slings and allied lifting devices.
To help you acquire appropriate and adequate construction lifting equipment, here are 12 tips for buyers.
1. Assess The Equipment You Have
To start off you need to understand what equipment you have. If you are starting a business afresh, you will need to consider your needs and requirements (see the following tip). However, if you already have a collection of lifting and hoisting equipment, you need to ensure that you acquire new or improved lifting or hoisting equipment that does not unnecessarily replicate what you already have. Lifting and hoisting is an investment and to ensure you have a diverse range of equipment, consider undertaking an assessment of the equipment you have.
Ideally, you should already have or alternatively setup an equipment asset register that documents all the equipment you own or lease. This register can be used capture and identify essential information about your existing equipment’s capability, service interval and working condition, what equipment needs updating. Further, it will help you identify what other equipment you require to perform your operations. An up-to-date matrix is vital to keep you in control of your lifting and hoisting equipment.
2. Understand Your Needs
Once you have identified what equipment you have, as mentioned above, you then need to consider what gaps or improvement opportunities exist for you. For example, you might have a lever hoist at present and have now identified that you do not have a chain block. Understanding these gaps and improvement opportunities will help you review your existing requirements and plan for future requirements.
If you are not operating the equipment but have staff that are using these devices the to fully understand your operations needs and requirements, you will need to consult with your staff members, undertake some research and ask around. We describe these three tips in the following three sections of this blog. Lifting and hoisting equipment is expensive, so you need to make sure that you have invested in the right device. There is no point rushing the buying exercise, as you will make errors that can lead to unused equipment or equipment that is used in an incorrect manner.
3. Consult With Staff
If your staff use lifting or hoisting equipment on a regular basis to perform their job role, it is essential that you consult with them to understand their views, needs, requirements, challenges, wants and preferences. While this process will require your staff or team to think about their work practices, and for you to spend time consulting and collaborating with them. This time spent is essential and will help you select the right piece of equipment.
When consulting with staff, consider asking the following questions:
- What tasks do you perform that require lifting or hoisting equipment?
- What difficulties do you experience in your role?
- Do you operate any lifting or hoisting equipment that requires updating?
- Do you have any preferences as to what type of lifting or hoisting equipment you would like to use?
- Do you know what may work best?
- Do you require any additional training to operate lifting or hoisting equipment?
4. Do Your Research
In addition to consulting with your staff members, make sure you do your own independent research. There are many websites, product information guides, consumer forums, social media pages and more which will help you understand the features, capabilities, positives, and negatives of lifting and hoisting equipment. Do not underestimate the time it can take to perform sufficient and adequate research.
When undertaking research, consider the following tips:
- Make sure you understand your needs and requirements (see tip #2 above).
- Make sure you have consulted with staff (see tip #3 above).
- Source information from reputable authors.
- Document your research and always challenge what you read.
- Engage in frequent discussions with your fellow colleagues to discuss your research.
- Make sure you ask around (see the following tip).
- Check out any reviews online if they are available.
5. Ask Around
Asking people helps you learn. If you need lifting or hoisting equipment, make sure you ask people who use similar equipment to understand their experiences. They might have used the lifting or hoisting equipment before or have also undertaken research, which you can use for comparison purposes. Their insights can help you hear a different perspective and provide you with additional information to help you make an informed decision.
Remember to ask questions to make it a two-way conversation. Asking questions helps you consider things. Listening only will not make you think about what you want to achieve. If you need someone to talk two about your next lifting or hoisting equipment purchase, feel free to speak to a friendly team member at Keble’s Trading.
6. Assess Your Budget
Once you have assessed your needs and requirements and have conducted your research, you will need to review your budget. Lifting and hoisting equipment is an investment. At Keble’s Trading, we source quality lifting and hoisting equipment reputable brand names without the expensive price tag. You will need to also consider the cost of periodic testing and maintenance of your new equipment so that it complies with applicable standards and regulations.
Whether you choose to acquire the equipment outright or through a hire or lease arrangement, you can also choose to finance the acquisition to assist with your cash flow.
7. Embrace Technology
As you consider purchasing new hoisting or lifting equipment, remember to embrace technology. Manufacturers are always looking to innovate and develop new and improved solutions for the end user. At Keble’s Trading, we form positive relationships with our suppliers and we endeavour to understand and stay abreast of what new products are being released in the industry. We offer products we believe have superior performance, operate reliably and can be acquired at an affordable price.
It is important that you do not fear technology advancement. Technological change does not always lead to more complex products. We can help you identify new and improved products and help you understand its features and capabilities.
8. Shortlist the Equipment You Need
As you look to purchase a new lifting or hoisting equipment, you will need to shortlist your range. Out of all the products on the market, you need to select the right product (considering the tips above). Make sure you develop a list of selection criteria and ensure you have your research notes handy. At Keble’s Trading, we would be more than happy to help you understand your selection criteria and guide you to choose the right equipment for your needs.
At Keble’s Trading, our products have been designed with useability, functionality and efficiency in mind.
9. Be Ready For The Change
Once you have narrowed down the list of products you may consider acquiring, be ready for change that is about to come. The new equipment will mean that you may have to modify existing processes, train staff (see the following tip) or adapt to how the new equipment will enhance your operations. You might need to implement a change management process and have a group of people to be accountable and responsible for change management.
To help you prepare for the acquisition of the new equipment, consider the following:
- Ensure the equipment will be certified, registered and logged in your system.
- Identify who will be responsible for on boarding the equipment.
- Understand which staff members or departments will be affected by the acquisition of the equipment.
- Identify what operating manuals need to be held on file.
- Identify what processes need to be updated.
- Identify who needs to be trained to use the equipment.
- Make a note of periodic testing and maintenance of the equipment.
10. Consider Training Your Staff
Operating heavy lifting and hoisting equipment requires skills and experience. Initially, you may need to train your staff to use the new equipment. This may require one staff member to undertake preliminary training so that he or she can direct others in relation to use, capabilities, safety features, etc. Or, you might wish to hire a third party to provide training on how to use the equipment. Training your staff in advance of the acquisition will ensure your operations continue smoothly.
Do not underestimate the importance of training. Training is vital to ensure that no occupational health or safety protocols are breached and that you get the best out of your equipment. You should also consider periodically testing your staff or certifying their work practices to check they are following internal policies, regulatory requirements and industry guidelines.
11. Source Equipment From A Reputable Supplier
Once you have followed the tips above, it is important to check that you are sourcing your equipment from a reputable supplier. Read online reviews, ask questions to the supplier, ask friends and colleagues and do your homework. Out of the equipment shortlist, make another column to assess the supplier’s reputation. Consider whether they undergo testing of the product before the sale, offer warranty services, provide maintenance support where required and are genuinely interested in helping you select the right product.
12. Make Your Decision
It is now time to make your decision. You have spent considerable time and effort in undertaking the steps above. You will now be in a better position to make an informed decision for the benefit of your business. The time and effort spent will help you incorporate a new piece of lifting or hoisting equipment that will satisfy your needs and requirements and also be suitable for your staff that will undertake the day-to-day operations.
At Keble’s Trading, we stock lifting and hoisting equipment to help you lift, hoist, handle, torque or haul any load.
Our team has the experience and knowledge to help you choose the right product for your specific lifting application. Bring your, problems or requirements to one of our four locations or call us on 1800 067 687 and we will help you solve your lifting problem with a solution that is right for you.
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