In 1994 Rod Leech set out with a dream to build a rental business specialising in elevated work platforms.
His company - Skyreach - started with a handful of machines, but today it is one of the largest privately owned hire companies on Australia's East Coast, with 10 branches from Cairns to Melbourne and in excess of 100 staff.
Rod largely attributes his success to hard work, vision and choosing the right equipment.
"I started buying JLG Industries access equipment in 1995. They've always made good equipment and they're a great company to deal with," he said.
Central to Skyreach's success has been Rod's determination to stay at the forefront of equipment and technological developments. Recently, the company became the first in Queensland - and one of the first in Australia - to take delivery of not one but two, massive JLG 1500SJ Telescopic Boom Lifts.
The 1500SJ is the largest self-propelled telescopic boom lift available in Australia, extending a whopping 150ft (45.7m). It also reaches 80ft (24.38m) horizontally, swings through 360 degrees and can accommodate loads to 450kg. Yet it's able to be transported without permits or the need for specialised handling equipment.
"When I saw the new 1500SJ at Conexpo in Las Vegas I made up my mind on the spot that we had to have it. The opportunities it provides to expand our business and provide even better customer service are just too good to pass up.
"Now they're here it's a very exciting time for all of us. The 1500SJ is a very large piece of equipment, yet despite its size all we've needed to do is acquire a couple of extra floats. This lets us deliver them anywhere, even at short notice, as customer service is the key to everything we do.
"These first two units will be based at our Brisbane head office, giving us the opportunity to 'reach' customers across the city as well as up-and-down the coast. Plus being mid-way along the East Coast means we can dispatch them to any branch, if needed.
"We've bought a substantial amount of equipment from JLG this year – including a batch of all-new 340AJ Articulating Boom Lifts – and they've been awesome. We have plans for more 1500SJs and are looking to order more equipment from them in 2012. I like to order in advance and have the equipment painted in our company colours at the factory; it's just one of the reasons JLG is a key partner in our success," Rod said.
According to Stan new, JLG's Queensland Manager, everyone at JLG is just as excited as Rod and his team at the arrival of the new 1500SJs.
"I can honestly say this is a very exciting time for all of us, too. It's great seeing an all-new model coming out and these are the first of their type being delivered in Queensland.
"Rod is very committed to what he does and I know he's as excited as a kid in a lolly shop over these new machines. What's unique about them is that Rod wanted them in his colours. He's passionate about his red, white and yellow colour scheme and his machines look really impressive, certainly standing out in the crowd.
"We do whatever we can to accommodate customer requests like this as we realise everyone's looking for an edge. It's all part of the service and what helps set JLG industries apart," Stan said.