BOOMING: Anthony Wicks and Chris Gulaptis at the new Wicks and Parker depot in South Grafton. Their business was booming so much, the company had to expand from their Queen St home.
BOOMING: Anthony Wicks and Chris Gulaptis at the new Wicks and Parker depot in South Grafton. Their business was booming so much, the company had to expand from their Queen St home. Caitlan Charles

Wicks and Parker rides industry wave into future

EVERY DAY, Anthony Wicks' dad come into Wicks and Parker just to see what new toys they've acquired.

When Mr Wicks and his brother Martin took over the business from their dad and uncle in 2014, they had just eight employees with a fleet of five cranes. Now, those numbers have grown to 44 employees and a fleet of 40.

Wicks and Parker, which has been under the ownership of the Wicks family for 91 years, has been awarded contracts with the new Grafton Bridge, the Clarence Valley Correctional Centre, wind farms out west and the Pacific Highway Upgrade.

"We're been seeing the signs of rapid growth over the last thee years,” Mr Wicks said.

"We started out with the crew that we had and I was pretty fortunate to keep enough work for those blokes that some went on to retire.

"That was a pretty big step to be able to fill the shoes of what my dad and uncle had done.

"Form then on, we made a few purchases of cranes as the work got busier and busier. We're very thankful and fortunate for what we've been able to achieve.”

Mr Wicks said the company has two sides, the crane work and engineering.

"The cranes have probably seen the bigger growth with some of the infrastructure works, but that's not to say we haven't invested into our steel fabrication capabilities for the future,” he said.

"Overall I think we're looking prosperous for the future and at the moment, we are mid-way through setting ourselves up so that once all this work has finished up ... that we are viable and sustainable.”

Mr Wicks said his dad and uncle were pretty stoked to see the family business grow.

"Those boys did it pretty tough and worked pretty hard to achieve what they achieved so (my brother Marty and I) are pretty fortunate to shine a light on that,” he said.

"Dad comes in nearly every day to see what we've bought, or what is going on today.

"I get more enjoyment out of seeing the reaction on his face to what we are doing than anything else. It's an amazing feeling.”

Chris Gulaptis, who met with Wicks and Parker employees on Friday to discuss their work, said it was brilliant to see local businesses like Wicks and Parker reaping the beneits of infrastrucutre projects in the region.

"These projects are delivering a bucket load of jobs for locals and increased business for small local firms such as Wicks and Parker,” he said.

"It takes a lot of workers to build the multi-billion Pacific Highway upgrade, the new Grafton and Harwood bridges and the Australia's largest gaol.”