About Us

Construction Sector

Rural Sector

Irrigation Sector

Providing Canterbury crane hire services to the construction, rural and irrigation sectors

Ashburton Crane Hire is fully insured for your peace of mind and all machines are fully certified.  All cranes come with a comprehensive range of chains and slings for lifting.  The work the crane can perform is very diverse, and covers many different industries. Because the crane is mobile it can go where ever it’s needed.

Our Mission Statement


There are not many business owners who would sell their house and move into a garage for 5 years to establish a new business.

But that’s exactly the sacrifice Warren Galbraith and his partner Audrey made when he started Ashburton Crane Hire 12 years ago.

He says it was a conversation with John Kuyf, from REL that lead to the formation of the company, with Kuyf becoming a business partner.


Ashburton Crane Hire have more than 40 years experience in crane operating and rigging. Available for long or short term contracts, nationwide. We are also experienced crane importers, will import to your requirements.


“Cranes require big capital outlay so I was lucky Audrey was for the idea. We were only supposed to live in the garage for the first year or two, but business was going so well by then we decided to buy another crane, is it got stretched out another couple of years,” he says.

Last year Galbraith added a 90-tonne mobile crane to the fleet, which then included the existing 50-tonne and 25-tonne machines.

“The 25-tonne crane is a great, versatile bread and butter machine that we use for a variety of jobs from doing pump work to putting up structural steel.”

All the company’s cranes come with a comprehensive range of chains and slings for lifting, and because they are mobile, can travel to wherever they are needed.

“We provide services to many different industries, with the construction, rural and irrigation sectors providing the bulk of our work.”
Services for the construction sector including moving beams, putting roof iron in place, erecting concrete slabs, putting structural steel in place, demolition work, and moving small building structures.

“The 90-tonne crane has allowed us to get involved in several large commercial projects in Ashburton including the new sports stadium and Art Gallery and Heritage Centre. There have also been several buildings come down in Ashburton since the earthquakes, so we’ve been involved ins quite a bit of demolition and rebuild work.”

The company’s irrigation and rural projects include installing submersible pumps and removing them for maintenance and repairs, placing pond aerators, and assisting builders and contractors during the construction of dairy sheds and other farm buildings.

Galbraith has over 40 years experience in crane operating and rigging. He worked in the industry all over New Zealand for other companies before deciding to set up on his own.

“I’d always wanted to have my own business. When we shifted to Ashburton I worked as a crane operator for a local building company but could see the opportunity for additional stand-alone services in the region.”

Galbraith employs one “highly skilled and experienced” crane operator, Arran Henderson, who started with Ashburton Crane Hire Ltd in May 2015. He has had over 20 years of crane operating experience around New Zealand. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that enhances the services we can offer our customers.

“Crane operating is a specialised field. You can’t just put anybody on these sorts of machines.” He says there are opportunities for growth, but with around 18 months left until he retires, doesn’t plan to throw the company too much bigger in the short term.

“If we build the company up too big it limits the market we can sell too.”
He has regrets about the sacrifices he and Audrey made in the early days of the business.

“We’ve established a good local clientele and have the support of numerous local and even out-of-town companies who have entered the market here. Things have definitely worked out good.”

Call us or send an email any time to discuss your job and get a free quote