1980 - 1990

The Cranemaster Safeload Indicator was developed. This safety device for cranes is now widely used on all types of cranes in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Titan Cranes in a joint venture with Sparrow Crane Hire UK was awarded the contract to provide large-capacity cranes and rough terrain cranes for construction of the Petralgas Methanol Plant at Waitara in Taranaki. 

A new Head Office building was constructed at Seaview in Lower Hutt to meet the demand of expansion to the business.

Max Whiley was awarded the first life membership of the Power Crane Association.

Owen Whiley joined the company’s workshop staff in May after serving his engineering apprenticeship and progressing to leading hand with Acme Engineering. 

In partnership with Fletcher Construction and Morgan Equipment Co of USA (FTM), Titan was awarded a contract by Bechtel to supply, operate, maintain and later sell the majority of the cranes and construction equipment required in the construction of NZ Synthetic Fuels Corporation gas-to-gasoline plant at Motunui in Taranaki.

In its own rights Titan was awarded the contract to supply cranes to the UK firm, Davy International Projects to assist in the construction of reformers at Motunui. 

The company also acquired crane hire contracts at NZ Steel, Glenbrook and NZ Refining Marsden Point construction sites and other oil and gas projects in Taranaki. 

Titan Cranes purchased a 100-tonne capacity crawler crane.

John Finlayson joined Titan Plant Services as a fitter in the Lower Hutt workshop.

Bob Burnett shareholder, director and chairman passed away. David Kay became chairman.  David Kay admitted to being flattered by the appointment, commenting on “the very large pair of shoes” he was being asked to fill.

Titan Cranes purchased the leasehold of the New Plymouth branch property. 

The Auckland branch of Titan Plant Service was established at Wiri in Manukau City (the branch was relocated to Penrose in 1991 and Otahuhu in 1994).

Titan Plant Services sold its 100th P&H crane.  

Graeme McPhee and John Carter were appointed to the board as executive directors, positions held until 1998 when the board began a restructure that excluded executive directors apart from the managing director.

Peter Friedlander was appointed company accountant.

Titan’s Wire Rope and Materials Handling Division was sold to Cookes Consolidated Services Limited. 

Titan Plant Services acquired the Potain tower crane agency for New Zealand and was appointed New Zealand distributor for VME (Volvo Michigan Euclid) construction equipment products and VME Ranger log skidders. 

Land was purchased at Birmingham Drive, Christchurch and a new branch facility for both Titan Companies was built. 

Dean McPhee began work as a crane operator with Titan Cranes after working on the Motunui project.

Titan Cranes was awarded a contract by the NZ Synthetic Fuels Corporation to supply cranes, operators and dogmen for the start-up and commissioning procedures at Motunui.  

Dick Dore retired after 16 years in Lower Hutt Crane dispatch. Dick kept in touch with the company for many more years, having enjoyed a close working relationship with Max Whiley and Titan prior to joining the company. Between them, Dick running the dispatch and Colin the branch, they were a formidable pair.

As a follow up to the initial contract in 1986, Titan Cranes was awarded the contract to supply crane hire requirements for all maintenance work at New Zealand Synthetic Fuels Corporation gas-to-gasoline plant at Motunui. This contract is still held.  

Titan was awarded a contract to supply all crane hire requirements for Shell BP Todd Oil Services Limited work in Taranaki, a contract we still retain.

Titan Plant Services was appointed New Zealand agent for Franna cranes.

Graeme McPhee was appointed General Manager of Titan Plant Services.

Alex Swainson, formerly Managing Director of Downer & Co., was appointed to the board.

Titan took over from its equipment distributor in Taupo and established a forestry equipment sales and service division to service the ever-growing forestry industry. Robin Ireland, Robbie Fitzsimmons and Kelvin Thurston, the original staff of the Taupo agency remained working for Titan until 2010 when this part of the company was divested.

Colin Worsfold, a “first day” employee of Titan, retired after 23 years’ service with the company. Max Whiley, with a mechanical background himself, admired Colin’s engineering mind and ability to make almost anything, whether by his own hands or by designing engineering solutions for others to make.

Titan became sponsor of the Lower Hutt Municipal Silver Band (later renamed Titan Hutt City Brass). The sponsorship ended in 2009.

Titan Plant Services acquired the Volvo Truck and Bus agencies for New Zealand, initially running this division in Auckland before relocating it to Lower Hutt in 1991. Volvo product staff Neil Fenwick, Iain Fletcher, Robin Grigg and Leo Radovancich joined the Titan team. Both agencies were held until March 2009.