Mike’s seen many changes in his 45-year ca­reer

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

MIKE Han­chard thinks not enough is be­ing done to teach peo­ple en­ter­ing the crane in­dus­try the nec­es­sary skills and ca­pa­bil­i­ties to op­er­ate ad­vanced ma­chin­ery.

Mr Han­chard, who owns Han­chard Cranes in Rock­lea, Queens­land and is re­tir­ing after 45 years in the in­dus­try, said crane op­er­a­tor tick­ets were able to be com­pleted in a one-day course.

“It’s so im­por­tant peo­ple have the nec­es­sary skills and ca­pa­bil­i­ties and I don’t think the day’s train­ing course de­liv­ers this – I think this is a ma­jor is­sue in the in­dus­try that needs to be looked at,” he said.

Mr Han­chard came into the in­dus­try as a 20-year-old work­ing for Edi Hire, which was a di­vi­sion of Evans Deakin, and his in­ter­est and in­volve­ment in the in­dus­try pro­gressed from there.

“I’ve seen so many changes in the in­dus­try over the past 47 years and it is still chang­ing rapidly,” he said.

“I couldn’t pos­si­bly pre­dict where it will end up in the next 10 years but we will cer­tainly be keep­ing an eye from the side­lines.”

He said he would fondly re­mem­ber the chal­lenges he’d faced dur­ing his ca­reer and the re­la­tion­ships formed, with the mates he’d made in his 40-plus year ca­reer be­ing one of the things he said he’d miss the most go­ing into re­tire­ment.

Mr Han­chard said it had been an in­ter­est­ing time watch­ing the in­dus­try grow, with one of the main changes be­ing the ad­vance­ment of tech­nol­ogy and how the in­dus­try re­sponded to that.

His first busi­ness, TAC Hire Ser­vices, ran from 1978 to 1990 and Han­chard Cranes, his sec­ond busi­ness, opened in 1997 with a 45t Kato Truck Crane and two dry hire 12t Fran­nas.

Mr Han­chard’s wife worked as the com­pany sec­re­tary, his el­dest daugh­ter the of­fice man­ager and his other daugh­ter worked in ad­min­is­tra­tion with her sis­ter.

As the busi­ness is clos­ing due to Mr Han­chard’s re­tire­ment, Pick­les auc­tioned off a num­ber of well-main­tained cranes and ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing City, Franna, All Ter­rain, Mini and Hy­draulic Truck cranes with ca­pac­i­ties from 2.5 tonnes to 220 tonnes.

Mr Han­chard said the auc­tion sur­passed his ex­pec­ta­tions.

“It was great to catch up with a lot of old ac­quain­tances,” he said.

Mr Han­chard said he was look­ing for­ward to trav­el­ling, re­lax­ing and “en­joy­ing hav­ing time to do the things I want” in his re­tire­ment.

PHO­TOS: KATE DODD

IT’S TIME TO RE­TIRE: Mike Han­chard cel­e­brates a great auc­tion with his wife Car­men.

One of truck­ing’s favourite road­houses farewells two icons.

Pick­les auc­tioned off a num­ber of cranes and trucks as Mike Han­chard goes into re­tire­ment.

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