With their ‘ready-for-hire’ kit, both the compact WS150 Superaxe (right) and the larger WS3150 Superaxe (left) come packed full with safety features.
Work Cover compliance key issue for hire industry.
The hire industry across Australia and New Zealand is booming: every type of machine you can think of serving a huge range of industries, appealing to a wide range of users.
With so many moving parts, the hire industry faces complex challenges around pricing, competition, inventory, maintenance, depreciation and theft, in addition to the issue which dominates the industry: managing liability for injury.
The Australian WorkCover guidelines are set up to encourage machinery designers to work within a set of standards which are aimed at guaranteeing safety of the operator.
In the log splitter industry, these guidelines are focused on (but not limited to) two-handed controls and manual blade return. The two handed control system means that the blade cannot be activated unless both hands are pushing the controls at the same time, guaranteeing that hands are kept well away from the cycling blade.
Importantly, these guidelines are voluntary – which is why almost every log splitter imported into Australia isn’t compliant.
The key issue for the hire industry is that if a person hires a non-compliant machine and injures themselves, it is the hire company that is most likely liable, not the manufacturer. The same applies for machines which have been tampered with – in which case the hire company can be fined for owning a tampered machine, even if there is no actual injury.
If a person hires a compliant machine and injures themselves, it is rare that they could claim any damages as the machine is deemed to be ‘safe’ and the fault therefore rests on the user. Most cases in the last decade that have been brought against manufactures of compliant machines have been judged in favour of the manufacturer – with the user being fined for their own misuse.
Whitlands Engineering designs and manufactures a range of log splitters and firewood processors that are compliant to Australian Work Cover standards; and are currently working on modifications to achieve compliance to the updated New Zealand standards, which are marginally different. There are two specific models for the hire industry: the more compact WS150
Superaxe and the larger WS3150 Superaxe. Both models feature the patented sliding blade, ergonomic bench height, the highest quality 9hp power packs, log lifter, top quality parts and heavy-duty construction – all covered by two-year warranty. Additionally, the ‘ready-for-hire’ kit includes heavy duty mudguards, a heavy duty swing up jockey wheel, permanent LED lights, reflectors, base plug mounted at the front of the draw bar and VIN plate. Fleet colours are also available by request.
Superaxe has certainly proven itself over 26 years as Australia’s leading log splitter, setting new standards in performance, design and safety innovation.
These machines are easy to use, safe and command top prices – driving up ROI. They are, without a doubt the log splitter of choice for most hire companies, including Kennards.