Allan McPherson has seen the industry from all sides – as an operator, as a supervisor and manager, and as an owner.
Allan entered the crane industry as a driver for O’Connor Cranes, after leaving the army, and worked his way up the ladder to depot manager. The fleet at that time was a mixture of older pin jib cranes with a smattering of newer P&H and BHB hydraulic cranes.
O’Connor Cranes was acquired by Bellway in the mid-1970’s and Allan became the crane manager, turning the fleet into a modern collection of all-hydraulic machines up to 50t. When Bellway was acquired by United, Brian Sharp was general manager and Allan became the crane manager. In 1989 United sold its crane operations to Brambles and Brian Sharp, Frank Legena and Allan combined to form Uniway.
Allan's activities within the industry were not confined to the companies he worked in. He was president of the WA Crane Hirers Association for many years. He has represented the crane industry in dealings with Main Roads and Worksafe. Some of the most significant achievements were: 24 hour travel for oversize cranes; industry self-regulation in working near power lines; and 12t axle loadings without a limit to the number of axles. Crane hirers looked upon Western Australia with envy and that was largely attributable to the energy of Allan and his colleagues, and the receptiveness of the local authorities.
Allan is happy to share his crane knowledge, and those in the industry can attest to his help in troubleshooting problems and sourcing parts. His knowledge of lifting methods is also well-regarded. Although retired in an official capacity, Allan still works hard, serving on the CICA WA Branch executive. He is a deserved winner of this award.