Universal Cranes began as a family crane hire business in 1993. While Universal Cranes has grown to become a national crane hire company, local families still own and operate our branches throughout Queensland and New South Wales. We are proud of all the unique stories that make up the history of our company.
Key Group Personnel
Albert Smith – Group Managing Director
Albert has over 30 years of experience in the crane and construction industry. As a passionate engineer, entrepreneur and crane enthusiast, Albert led the rapid expansion of Universal Cranes from a small pick and carry hire business to a leading national crane company. Albert’s vision has always been to combine the power of a national crane hire company with the passion and service levels of a family business. He has worked closely with the local shareholders of the Universal Cranes branches in the establishment of their businesses, and continues to provide ongoing mentoring and support. Albert is a dynamic leader and talented engineer who leads his national Universal Cranes team to provide innovative lift engineering and crane hire solutions.
Oliver Martin – Group Chief Executive Officer
A Chartered Accountant by trade with over 20 years’ experience, Oliver was appointed the Group Chief Executive Officer of Smithbridge Group, including Universal Cranes and sister companies Smithbridge Guam and Auckland Cranes in May 2020. Oliver has led the financial management of the Group since 2010 in the role of Chief Financial Officer and later Chief Operations Officer. As Group CEO Ollie is responsible for the financial and operational performance of the group, leading the business to achieve growth and sustainability in revenue and profit, driving operational efficiency, and role modelling the leadership behaviours to maintain a high performing, engaged culture. With over 10 years’ in the Smithbridge Group Oliver is well positioned to be a key leader to all facets of the group.
Shane Young – Chief Financial Officer
A Certified Practising Accountant with 15 years’ experience, Shane joined Smithbridge Group in March 2018 as Group Reporting Manager and quickly progressed to Group Financial Controller. Now, in his role as CFO, Shane brings a background in the financial management of labour intensive operations with a passion for fostering successful teams. With a focus on supporting the operational business with data-driven reporting, and efficient and user friendly technology, Shane is leading the transformation of Smithbridge Group’s financial management to support the ongoing governance journey.
Kevin Ball – Group Manager, Safety & Systems
With 20 years’ experience implementing operational and strategic risk management frameworks in the resources and construction sectors, Kevin brings a systematic approach to identifying and managing risk in complex businesses. As a key member of the Leadership Group and working within diverse geographical and operational environments, Kevin’s demonstrated ability to leverage technology in the innovative design, development and integration of systems and processes, provides cohesive business solutions to balance current needs, future growth and promote a positive learning culture. Kevin has served as a Committee Member for Standards Australia for nearly 20 years, including the role of Chairman on the ME-025 Lifting Tackle Committee and Member of ME-005 Cranes Committee
Dashelle Bailey – Group Manager, Strategy & Growth
Dashelle has over 10 years’ experience in strategy and growth, specialising in strategic planning, corporate communications, opportunity pipeline management, and business improvement. Dashelle co-founded a business-to-business strategy and communications agency with a niche in the resources and construction sector. In 2019 Dashelle joined the Smithbridge Group full time, managing business improvement, marketing, and commercial growth strategies to contribute to achieving sustainable profitability for the Group. As part of a long-term succession strategy, Dashelle has been an Advisory Board Member since 2015 for Smithbridge Group. She was a nominated as a Non-Executive Director for Auckland Cranes in December 2017 until an ownership restructure saw this board absorbed into the Smithbridge Group Advisory Board.
Universal Cranes is governed by the Smithbridge Group advisory board, as part of a long-term governance and succession strategy. The Group’s advisory board is Chaired by Michael Fitzpatrick, working alongside Advisory Members Greg Fokes, Ben Smith, and Dashelle Bailey.