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                        3 min read

                        Kennards Hire and Plant Assessor case study

                        Kennards Hire and Plant Assessor case study

                        Kennards Hire was born from a small Bathurst based rural supply and machinery business, W. Kennard & Company, in 1948. From very humble beginnings, Kennards Hire has grown to become Australia’s largest and most successful family-owned hire business, with more than 170 branches across Australia and New Zealand.

                        Renowned as a premium supplier of top quality hire equipment, the business philosophy has never changed – offer customers the best quality products, excellent service and act with integrity and honesty.

                        The Kennards family has always been innovative, importing and hiring products, like ‘occy straps’, roof racks and floor sanders, which were deemed cutting edge at the time.

                        The second generation, Nev and Andy Kennard, brought the same spirit as their father to the business and used an ‘adopt and adapt’ approach to innovation – adjusting products and ideas until they fitted the customer’s needs. It’s this attitude that has seen six specialty division created over the past twenty years – the most recent of these being Kennards Rail Hire in 2013.



                        Alex Eisermann, Product Manager – Rail at Kennards Hire was the driving force behind establishing the division in 2013.

                        “We saw an opportunity to fill a void in plant and equipment that was specifically used in the rail sector, especially gear that was in demand and hard to come by,” explains Eisermann.

                        “The rail industry in Australia is experiencing significant growth in recent years and there has been constant demand since we established the Rail Hire division.”

                        Kennards now operate four dedicated Rail Hire operations which are strategically located in Maitland and Dubbo in NSW, Brooklyn in inner western Melbourne and Brendale in Brisbane’s Northern suburbs.

                        From here they service a national client base which includes Rail Infrastructure Managers (RIMS) such as Sydney Trains, major contractors such as John Holland and McConnell Dowell, specialist rail sector businesses such as Martinus Rail as well as other small, independent contractors nationally.

                        Kennards Rail Hire provides the complete range of rail-related tools and machines from minor plant and equipment (MPE) to highly specialised gear including clipping machines, rail saws, rail vehicles and geometry and testing equipment.



                        “A major point of difference with Kennards is our emphasis on safety,” explains Eisermann.

                        “We ensure our entire range is extremely well maintained, fully calibrated and compliant so it’s presented fit-to-use every single time it’s delivered to site.”

                        “Because safety is of paramount importance to Kennards we implemented a system that ensures that any operator has access to all relevant safety and technical information at all times.”

                        Every piece of plant and equipment supplied by Kennards Rail has a unique Quick Response (QR) code located in a prominent location (see example below.) The operator can use the QR code to access an array of safety related information relevant to that unit or piece of equipment including instructional video, SWMS, SOP’s and assessment information.


                        This QR Code system replaced a manual system in operation since 2006 which was extremely time consuming to maintain. This QR code system is unique to Kennards Rail Hire and has proven to be extremely popular with clients, giving them unprecedented access to information and complete peace of mind.

                        “Another example of our commitment to safety for all staff, customers and users of our equipment is our association with Plant Assessor,” says Eisermann.

                        “We initially called on Plant Assessor to assist us with ensuring we had all the relevant safety related information for each piece of equipment. Plant Assessor assessed each item for us and identified any gaps in our documentation. They photographed and catalogued all relevant items and ensured anything that was unique or customised received a specific assessment.”

                        “I was very impressed with the process they used to assess each piece of equipment. Their team was extremely knowledgeable, efficient and thorough.”



                        Kennards Rail Hire division can now boast one of the most comprehensive and accurate safety regimes in the world.

                        While the QR Code system (see image below) serves as an independent safety system in its own right, Kennards membership of Plant Assessor also ensures that they can quickly and easily share details of their plant and equipment with other Plant Assessor users.

                        This means Kennards Rail Hire clients have even greater visibility about where and when a machine is being used and how quickly it can be moved on site and between sites, ensuring minimum down time which is always important when good are being used under a hire arrangement.

                        “Kennards is committed to maintaining the highest standards across all facets of our operation,” says Eisermann.

                        “We are pleased to have found such a well credentialed business such as Plant Assessor to assist us with our safety related work and to ensure we continue to provide the best possible product to our clients.” 

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