Johnson Arabia’s lifting equipment ... at work for Etihad Rail.

With a portfolio of prominent projects in its construction portfolio, the Abu Dhabi office of cranes and access equipment supplier Johnson Arabia is now looking at further expansion in the oil and gas sector.

The UAE-based mobile crane and aerial work platforms (AWP) rental firm is currently working on several construction sites and oilfields projects as a preferred supplier of cranes and AWPs as well as on projects of most well-known private developers and government authorities.

“Johnson Arabia has about 20 years of expertise in the UAE and is striving to continuously be the market leader and the Number One choice for crane and access equipment rentals in the market,” Mark Bedderson, Executive Manager – Abu Dhabi & Oilfields, tells Gulf Construction.

Johnson Arabia offers cost-efficient and versatile lift engineering solutions to the petrochemical, civil engineering, construction, industrial, utilities, aviation, marine and other industries in Abu Dhabi.

Bedderson ... catering to market demand.

Bedderson ... catering to market demand.

It has 100 units of cranes and 200 AWPs, ranging from 30 tons to 700 tons that service the area exclusively.  The company is affiliated with some major brands like Grove, Liebherr, Terex, Hitachi and Demag, to name a few.

“We purchase our equipment based on market needs and requirements and have recently added some Meada spider cranes to our fleet,”  says Bedderson.

It also has the Spierings “mighty tiny” mobile crane in its portfolio of cranes.

Bedderson says Johnson Arabia is the leading and preferred crane provider for most of the construction, oil/gas and infrastructure projects in Abu Dhabi.

“This is a large part of our business and is ongoing. As the pandemic has affected the world markets in a huge way, we are striving and pushing forward to capture most of the work in the Abu Dhabi region,” he remarks.

Commenting on the company’s business in Abu Dhabi, Bedderson says: “There’s been a good incline in business. Like everyone, we experienced a lull in the second quarter but our management team handled the situation well. Project sites have reopened and work continues as normal for now and business is improving by the day.”

To meet the anticipated demand, Johnson Arabia is planning to increase its fleet by adding more Meada spider, Spierings (self-erector) and mobile cranes to the Abu Dhabi fleet.

Johnson Arabia’s fleet ... engaged on Abu Dhabi airport terminal building.

Johnson Arabia’s fleet ... engaged on Abu Dhabi airport terminal building.

Bedderson attributes the firm’s success to the fact it has an established heavy lifting department which provides turnkey solutions, which cover the gamut of applications from ports to foundation activities.

Most projects require cranes, he says, and Johnson Arabia provides A vast range of capacities – including mobile cranes ranging from 30- to 700-ton and crawler cranes from 50 to 600 ton. 

The company is currently involved in infrastructure projects and some entertainment-related projects.

Among its most recent projects was the Abu Dhabi Airport (Midfield Terminal Building) where it supplied an array of equipment including cranes (30- to 700-ton mobile units and 150- to 400-ton crawler cranes); and access platforms ranging from small scissor lifts to big boom lifts (47 m).  These platforms were supplied for the facade work which included cladding and glazing for the entrance and exterior works.

Johnson Arabia equipment helped complete steel erection and interior and exterior works of the Abu Dhabi Airport terminal, and roads and infrastructure work for the airport.

The company has also completed work on Du Arena, Warner Bros theme park, Yas Mall and Masdar City.

Its other striking projects completed in the past include The Louvre in Abu Dhabi, Zayed University, St Regis hotel, the Hyatt hotel, Saadiyat bridge, Hudayriat bridge, Salam Street tunnel and Ferrari World and the F1 race track, to name a few.

Bedderson says apart from a comprehensive fleet of cranes and AWPs, Johnson Arabia offers efficient support to ensure customer satisfaction.

“We have a hot line and a 24x7 WhatsApp that enables all our clients to reach out to us as and when they need assistance. Be it service, maintenance or customer support, we guarantee to have support personnel to a site or project location under 24 hours to help our clients.   We also offer IPAF training through our Dubai headquarters and are happy to provide transport for them for the day to and from Abu Dhabi. On top of providing lifting services, we also value the safety of operators on any job,” he says.

With safety being a key issue given the sensitive nature of the projects that its equipment operate in, all employees are trained to identify work-related hazards and risks and to take the necessary safety measures to negate them.

“Our site supervisors are trained to report all site conditions before work starts and plan their course of action accordingly.  We also provide IPAF training to all our access platform operators and some of our office staff, including a couple of women, are trained in IPAF safety standards. This is to ensure that our staff is aware and follows all safety guidelines when visiting a client or even our own yard. 

“In addition, we now also temperature check all our staff before they enter our premises and we require masks to be worn in all communal or shared office spaces as a precaution to Covid,” he adds.

The company, which marked two decades of services to the UAE last October, has recently added new members to its management team as it looks to grow its business and horizons further.

In Abu Dhabi, the company’s strategy and goal for the rest of the year is to focus on the existing construction, infrastructure projects in the emirate and in the oil and gas sector.

“We collaborate with new clients prior to upcoming projects in order for Johnson Arabia to be the preferred crane rental service provider. We also use a pool of our contacts to reach out and strategise with project managers and director level personnel to see how we can help their projects and be involved from day one of the project,” Bedderson says.

The UAE-based firm is now intent on expanding into the Saudi market as well as consolidating its position in the rest of the Gulf region. 

“We have also begun a conversation with the representative of IPAF Middle East to possibly start training in Oman through the offices that we have in Sohar, Oman,” he says.