Increasing investment in its equipment and headquarters along with a need to provide the highest levels of service and safety show that Southern Cranes & Access is serious about its position in the crane hire industry

The business can trace its roots back to 1981 when Mike Sadler started Gamble and Sadler Crane Hire which he grew steadily and eventually sold to Hewden Stuart Crane Hire in 1995.

A couple of years later, Southern Crane Services was born with Mike and his two sons Clive and Robert at the helm. In 2003 Kelvin Prince joined the team setting up a part of the business that was more London-focused. The company was renamed as Southern Cranes & Access Ltd and, with plenty of investment and hard work, has growninto the thriving business that it is today.

The company currently boasts an extensive and diverse fleet of machinery. This includes 45 mobile cranes ranging from 20 to 300 tonne capacity, over 80 items of powered access and telehandlers along with a comprehensive fleet of transport primarily used to support the core business.

Having rented premises for many years, in 2015 the business eventually managed to find and purchase a suitable site from  (repetition of ‘premises’) which the whole operation could be based. The Southwater yard now boasts approximately six-acres of hard standing for the storage of plant, purpose-built workshops and offices. The size and scale of the Southwater premises ensures that the business has plenty of room for growth in the future. 

The company also operates from premises in Camberley, Surrey and Thatcham, Berkshire. These locations essentially provide parking spaces for cranes and are necessary to give the business greater geographical coverage and access to central London. Not wishing to let the pandemic halt progress, and with the help of Natwest, Thatcham was purchased during 2021 providing further long-term stability for the company. 

The directors all recognise the importance of continued ongoing investment when it comes to running a successful operation. If you wish to negotiate contracts with major clients, being
financially competitive is simply not enough. A modern fleet of machinery operated by highly skilled and comp-etent staff with a focus on safety and quality is essential to working with
blue chip clients. As a company, this is where they prefer to be and working with other businesses who have a similar ethos on quality and safety and are not entirely driven by cost.

Even as the pandemic hit in 2020, ongoing investment was only paused temporarily. During 2020/21 the business made a total investment of over 4.5 million Euros taking delivery of three 40-tonne, two 50-tonne two 60-tonne and one 160-tonne mobile cranes with more on order for 2022.

In addition to its core business Southern Cranes is also looking to diversify into other sectors wherever possible. It is currently assessing opportunities within the spider crane and roto telehandler markets and will happily invest if deemed viable.

Of course, committing to this scale of investment doesn’t just happen. It requires a group of directors who are totally committed to an on-going strategy that has been well thought through. They, in turn, could not do this without the best professional advice and support.

Starting with Gamble and Sadler in the 1980s right through to today with Southern Cranes & Access, Natwest continues to be their bank, providing invaluable support and advice. The pandemic has been a time when having an excellent relationship with your bank has been particularly important. Most recently, Dave Greenough and his team supported the business through the purchase of the yard at Thatcham; a potentially tricky process made easier when dealing with partners whom you trust.

After nearly 25 years in operation alongside their trusted partners Southern Cranes and Access Ltd has become a robust and enduring business continuing to thrive even through the toughest of times. Long may it continue.

For more information
Crane hire: 01403 790874
Access hire: 01403 339105


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