Con Popov Memorial Award Winner - Jeff Brundell
Popov Memorial Award - 2003

Jeff Brundell's exposure to cranes came relatively late in his career. He joined Harnischfeger in 1982 as Sales Manager for the Kobelco range, which was to be introduced into Australia. These were initially marketed as P&H Kobelco. Jeff worked with the Cranex division of Blackwood Hodge, which was set up to handle the Kobelco excavator and wheel loader range, and P&H cranes. 

In 1986 the local manufacture of P&H cranes and assembly was closed down, and Evans Deakin replaced Blackwood Hodge as dealer. In the ensuing restructure in late 1987, Jeff took on the full sales and marketing role, and gained major exposure to cranes. 

In mid-1988 Evans Deakin relinquished its dealership and closed down its construction equipment division. Harnischfeger sold its construction machinery division to a management buyout consortium known as Century II. Kobe Steel terminated its arrangement for Harnischfeger to distribute its excavators and wheel loaders, but licensing arrangements provided for Kobelco to supply Century II with cranes for about three years.

Jeff became General Manager of Century II, Mitsubishi was appointed as a trading house for Kobelco products, and Morgan Equipment was appointed as dealer for the full Kobelco line, so that Kobelco cranes could be purchased through two sources. A small number of Kobelco cranes was sold by Century II, but it took on the drawings and spare parts to support Clarke, Lima, and Austin Western products and expand the sales business.

Two years later PPM bought Century II, however the Kobelco product was no longer available, and the PPM product of the time was technically unsuited to the local market - so the business survived on parts and service until it made an arrangement with IHI to market its crawler cranes.

In 1994 Terex Cranes bought PPM worldwide, and Jeff remained as Managing Director. Not long after Terex bought Franna and moved its Australian headquarters to Brisbane, our Jeff moved to Potain, and when Manitowoc bought Potain and Grove in late 2001, he became Managing Director of the combined Australian operation.

Meritorious survival in a hazard-strewn path through a troubled crane industry over a number of years, was not reason alone for Jeff to be given this award. He was also active in the Australian Crane Marketers Association, or ACMA, soon after he became exposed to cranes, through to the time when ACMA and CICA came together in 1990.

Jeff's involvement in CICA saw him serve as National President, during which time CICA introduced CraneSafe in Victoria and then rolled it out to other states. He was active in liaison with the National Road Transport Commission, and lobbied strongly in Canberra in the early 1990’s when the high tariffs on imported cranes were lowered to a more modest level.