Universal Cranes Brisbane

Meet The Team

Universal Cranes Brisbane

Universal Cranes Brisbane is a family-owned business and our Brisbane team is a special part of that family. That’s why our people tend to stick around!

Brisbane Team

MARK HAPPER – UNIVERSAL CRANES GENERAL MANAGER

Mark has spent almost half of his 30 year-long career with Universal Cranes. Mark played the integral role of General Manager of Universal Cranes from 2003 to 2012, during which time the Group experienced rapid growth and expansion. After spending a period as Operations Manager to Universal Cranes’ sister construction company, Mark returned to Universal Cranes to lead the team as the Brisbane General Manager. In addition to his history with Universal Cranes, Mark brings professional qualifications in engineering as well as project management experience on the Otira Viaduct and PJK Expressway projects in New Zealand, the Townsville Inner Harbour Expansion Project, the Kookaburra Viaduct in PNG. Mark is a construction guy through and through – he loves the ‘no-fuss – get it done – safely and efficiently’ ethos at Universal Cranes, and plays a big part in building and maintaining this culture!

BEN SMITH – BRISBANE BRANCH MANAGER

As a qualified engineer, with a background in project management, engineering design consultancy and contract administration for civil infrastructure projects, Ben has gained a strong industry knowledge throughout his career. Having worked on exciting projects across Queensland such as Cairns Wharf Upgrades, O’Keefe St Cycle Bridge, Container Crane Loading and Unloading, Port of Townsville Berth Upgrades and the DP World Brisbane Terminal Redevelopment Project, Ben has a strong understanding of the technical aspects of projects and the management of personnel. Ben has spent 8 years with AECOM as a Consulting Engineer, designing and acting as project manager on numerous projects and 5 years as a member of the Smithbridge Group Advisory Board. After spending 6 months working in Smithbridge Group in a Systems & Engineering Consultant capacity, in December 2020, it was announced that Ben would step into the Brisbane Branch Manager role. In this new role, Ben will be responsible for the overall performance of the Brisbane Branch with both sales and operations reporting into him.

NICOLAS NAVARRETE – SALES & ENGINEERING MANAGER

Nicolas has 10 years’ experience in engineering and project management on major infrastructure works in Australia and internationally. Originally hailing from New Caledonia, Nicolas joined the company in 2009 as a Site Engineer on the Koniambo Wharf Project. After his time in New Caledonia, Nicolas moved over to Smithbridge Group in Brisbane, working as Site Engineer and Project Manager across several civil and marine construction projects in QLD and NSW. It was during this time that Nicolas built his leadership skills within the group and after approximately three years in the Universal Cranes Brisbane team, Nicolas took up the role of leading the sales and engineering department. Along with his team of three engineers, Nicolas is responsible for managing tender responses for the supply of crawler cranes up to 750t and all terrain cranes up to 450t as well as undertaking lift studies when required. Nicolas’ project management skills, wealth of knowledge and international experience are an asset to the Universal Cranes business and make him an excellent leader across the wider sales and operations teams. Nicolas brings heavy lift engineering expertise to provide pragmatic, efficient and above all safe solutions in all aspects of his work, including complex and heavy lifts.

ANDREW PEARCE – TERM HIRE MANAGER

With over 17 years’ experience in the construction industry, Andrew has been an integral part of the Universal Cranes team for the last 14 years. Andrew has extensive experience as a crane mechanic and technician, specialising in both crawler and mobile cranes. He has worked on many large scale heavy lift infrastructure projects across Australia including Gateway Bridge, Clem 7 Tunnel, Airport Link, Legacy Way (QLD) and large scale wind projects including Capital Wind Farm, Woodlawn Wind Farm (ACT) and Snow Town Stage 1 & 2, Hallett 1 & 3, North Brown (SA). Andrew’s knowledge, skills and experience allowed him to progress into supervisory roles as he became more involved in the management and logistics of the larger machinery in the fleet. In 2013, Andrew moved into the National Term Hire Manager role and has been growing his team and the Universal Cranes fleet for the last 7 years. The fleet supports construction, mining, resource sector and major infrastructure projects across Australia, New Zealand, PNG, Guam and New Caledonia giving a wide customer base with a strong focus on high levels of customer service to deliver on tight time frames with the most cost effective solutions. Andrew and his team can help you with any large, heavy and/or complex lift requirements you may have.