Sullair portables in the Coates fleet

Coates Hire is unquestionably Australia’s leading equipment hire company. Providing their customers with a diverse range of equipment hire and solutions for a multitude of projects. From a 6mm spanner up to 50 tonne earth moving equipment, or world leading engineering and industrial solutions, the variety of Coates Hire’s fleet and capability is vast and unmatched nationally.

Given the diversity of projects that Coates Hire engages in, reliable components and support equipment such as compressors are crucial. This is the foundation for Coates Hire’s appointment of Sullair as one of their preferred suppliers.

Coates Hire approached Sullair in 2018 when the construction industry was booming and the demand for compressors had increased. At that stage, Coates Hire’s standard annual replenishment program had also reached a point where some equipment needed to be entirely replaced. Compressors in particular take a beating on some jobs, so durability and parts that are customised to withstand the harsh conditions on Australian construction sites are essential.

Craig Douglas is Regional Service Manager, NSW Metro General for Coates Hire. “The feedback we get about Sullair equipment is really good. They’re known for their durability and reliability.” Douglas’ role means his team manages equipment at the service end rather than on delivery, so his relationship with Sullair is through their technical support and advice. “I’ve developed a good rapport with Nash Bakhit (Key Account Manager – Portables, Sullair Australia) which is important to ensure Coates Hire delivers the best experience for our customers, every time.”

Coates Hire sources four different sized compressors from Sullair, ranging from 185 cubic feet per minute up to 425 cubic feet per minute for different markets, purposes and applications. “The main four compressors are quite different in size and scale, which makes them extremely beneficial to fulfil the needs of everyone across our customer base – from small construction right up to large scale infrastructure projects.”

Those four are classified as small to medium compressors and on large infrastructure projects, their portability becomes their defining feature. Anything over the 425 is classified as large and therefore not road registerable. It is more convenient to transport a compressor to any location on a road-registered trailer for a large infrastructure project. The portability of the trailer sized compressors makes them ideal for a range of infrastructure projects. Their footprint makes them extremely appealing, as does their flexibility in being able to be moved from one place to another in a matter of minutes – especially on sites covering a few square kilometres.

Compressors are needed for multiple tasks and functions such as concrete pumps, dewatering, bolting and nailing tools, hammer drills, concrete breakers, jackhammers, air chain blocks and air pumps. David Denham is Major Projects Manager East for Coates. “When there’s no air on site, we’ll use a portable compressor. These go hand-in-hand with most pneumatic tools supplied for the job, also for running back-up air if the mains are down, the electric unit is down or being serviced, or there’s a power failure,” said Denham.

Coates Hire is currently supplying 400CFM compressors to one of NSW’s major projects, the M4-M5 Link project. Stage one is being managed by WestConnex|Transurban and involves construction of the M4-M5 Link Tunnels between the New M4 at Haberfield and the M8 at St Peters, with stub tunnels to the Rozelle Interchange. “Reliability is paramount especially in those large-scale projects,” explains Denham. “They need to be able to take a beating and keep going to support the demands of the job.”

On major infrastructure projects, the use of hired equipment has become standard. Purchased machines can last up to 20 years or more, but the risk of operational failure can be costly. Hired equipment is an efficient and effective solution to bring in gear for the duration of a project, which can last a few months to a few years. There’s a built-in assurance of minimal to no downtime for the end user if there’s a fault or breakdown.


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