Start a Rigging / Machine Moving Company

A rigging and machine moving company is a business that provides a service of lifting/hoisting and transporting heavy items such as machinery. In other parts of the world this is also called a crane service but in SA when we think cranes we usually think large construction projects, rigging is the more commonly used word for this service.

Getting Started
To get started in this business you need a crane truck, that is a truck with a crane mounted on it and need someone to operate it. And you also need to be aware of how to rig various items. Safety is a huge consideration in this business. Machine fall and breaks = problem, machine falls on someone = bigger problem. That being said there are a few small businesses in this industry in SA, truck owned by a guy and he has two guys working for him that rig the machines and operate the truck. Read this on how to create a rigging plan.

Business Model
This business is fairly straightforward, you are basically in a subset of the transport industry: you go to location A to collect a machine and drop it in location B, you could even be asked to move a machine in the same building.  The crane truck is used to lift the machine from the ground onto the bed of the truck and then again off the bed of the truck onto the floor where it is to be delivered to. You are basically in the collection and delivery of heavy goods.

Target Market
There are many industrial machines that are too heavy for people to lift, carry or transport. That is where the most of work in this industry is in South Africa. And don’t forget another big market for this business: transporting shipping containers and mobile offices. Depending on the size of truck bed, most common container shipped this way is 6m. But machinery such as litho printers and other heavy equipment is most often transported this way.

You can also provide transport services for manufacturing companies such as brick and block makers, you put the bricks on a pallet and you rig it up and drop it off. Even better if you get a tipper truck then you can do sand and stone as well as other materials such as timber and steel. These types of contracts will provide you with long term constant work but for lower profits.

Machine moving is far more lucrative, factory relocation etc. Five years ago in Cape Town I paid R2200 to move a screen-printing machine and this was the cheapest I could find at the time, it was a small owner-managed operation. All they did was remove it from my garage and took it to a warehouse. If you look at the fact that you can buy truck cranes (the crane only from R20 000 secondhand – depending on type & payload) or the complete truck (secondhand) from R100 000. This is a business that can make R5000 a day profit easily meaning quick breakeven and profitability – providing you can get the work.

Business Model Service
Equipment Crane truck
Guide How to Create a Rigging Plan
Industry Transport

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