Hugh Morris commenced employment with the family building company in project management and estimating in the late 60’s. In 1973 he purchased an LS20 Capcrane and established Conmor Cranes. This name was derived from CONstruction MORris).
This first crane was used for a TW Morris building project and when this project was completed he really entered the crane hire industry.The first challenge, with one mobile crane and operator was to ensure continuity of work. To assist in this process Conmor registered for work with Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works and secured contract work on Melbourne’s sewerage network.
In 1985 Hugh relinquished his active role in the building company to focus directly on the development of the crane hire company.
In 1987 he formed Conmor Precast Erectors and contracted the erection of precast concrete structures including the National Tennis Centre and projects such as Glen Shopping Centre and the Southgate Sheraton Hotel, which was the highest load bearing precast structure in Australia at that time.
In 1991 Hugh purchased the Latrobe Valley assets of Walter Wright Pty Ltd, and O’Neil Mobile Cranes. At this stage the company operated about 30 cranes. In 1995, Hugh sold the Latrobe Valley operation to Brambles and then purchased their Melbourne crane hire division based in Brooklyn.
The number of cranes operated by Conmor peaked at about 40 units while City Link was being constructed.
In 2001, Hugh formed “Heavy Lift Cranes Australia Pty Ltd” with Brenton Salleh (currently General Manager – Boom Logistics Victoria) and acquired the Latrobe Valley operations of Brambles Cranes.
In October 2003, Boom Logistics acquired the name of Conmor Cranes and all assets of the company. All staff were retained and transferred to Boom.
Some of the many highlights in Hugh’s career include:
Hugh was the President of the Victorian Crane Association (VCA) and represented VCA on the Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA).
Within CICA, representative on the National Road Transport Commission (NRTC) Industry Advisory Group, was the alternating Chair of the Victorian Crane Industry Consultative Committee. Hugh also served on working committees for the publications such as; Precast Concrete Standard, Code of Practice for Erection of Precast Concrete and the Code of Practice for Bridge Beam Erection.
Sadly Hugh Morris passed away in April, 2019. Hugh is remembered as a pioneer and a true gentleman who contributed first and foremost to his family and significantly to the crane industry and association.