Hire and rental companies traditionally provide miners with equipment they don’t need to own.
With mining companies after work platforms, cranes, heavy machinery or cars, the hire and rental industry exploded with the boom and is reportedly worth $4 billion, with rental equipment the most sought after when it comes to the mining sector.
However with companies often looking to hire very specific equipment for their operations, sourcing the right machinery can often be a time-consuming task.
Problems around finding the right equipment and attachments, availability of machinery, the location of machinery and the plethora of portals on the net can make sourcing the right equipment for mine sites no easy task.
Working at a mine site in QLD as a civil engineer, Michael Trusler said he saw the difficulty in sourcing plant and equipment to hire for mine site construction projects.
“I found the process of finding plant and equipment to hire for the mine sites to be disjointed and difficult,” said Trusler.
“One reason for this was the amount of safety features and attachments which are required for any one piece of equipment,” he explained.
Trusler said the lack of availability was also an issue.
Seeing a gap in the market, Trusler developed an online portal which lists over 400,000 pieces of plant and machinery for hire from more than 700 companies Australia-wide.
PlantMiner.com.au has been live for three months, and in that time Trusler said it has already received over $20 million of quote requests and enquiries.
The site presents itself as a one-stop shop for the procurement of plant and hire equipment, stating that there is no longer the need for procurement officers to trawl through thousands of Google and Yellow Pages listings to find what exactly what they’re after.
“It’s not easy,” a promotional video on the site states.
“You need one place that does it all for you where you can quickly search for all your plant and equipment needs along with their safety features and attachments.”
The site works by connecting searchers with the specific plant and equipment for hire that they are looking for, right down to all of the safety features and attachments.
The search functionality of the site features a location tracker so users are able to see exactly what plant and machinery is immediately available to them in their region.
While a safety features tab means users can update their search with specific requirements including BMA compliance, hand/safety rails, and mine spec just to name a few.
Search results then include the availability of equipment and machinery along with pictures, specs, descriptions and the direct contact details of the plant and equipment supplier so users can contact them.
Expressions of interest can also be sent from the site, as well as tender documents.
Users can also opt to send a direct enquiry where the supplier will be notified by SMS or email and get back to them.
The site says it can save businesses time and money by having plant and hire equipment needs in one place.
Trusler said the site is a highly specialised platform built specifically for searching and screening plant equipment for hire.
From portaloos to 100-tonne excavators – the website caters for all the equipment.
The easy-to-use portal breaks down into categories everything a mine site may need including forklifts, generators, lighting, site amenities, excavators and light vehicles.
While specific industry categories features lists of all the equipment imaginable in that sector.
For example the ‘mining and construction’ category features graders, chutes, water trucks, tractors and tanks just to name a few.
While the oil and gas category also shows a list of equipment to hire including dredging hire, misc pump hire and piling equipment.
And with many companies preferring to stay loyal to the tried and tested, popular brands such as Bell, CAT, Kenworth, Manitou, Hitachi, Crown and Volvo are also listed for users.
Not only does the site benefit those looking for gear, but also hire and rental companies who may have been affected by the downturn in the mining sector.
The portal puts hire and rental companies equipment right in front of the eyes of key decision makers – with high quality photos and company logos featuring heavily throughout the differing categories.
With the initial success of the portal in Australia, Trusler hopes to expand the site into the U.S.A, Europe, and Asian markets this year.