Earthmoving Machinery, Finance, Yellowgate

Yellowgate: A gateway to opportunity

Yellowgate Managing Director Chris McRae explains to EEM how his business can provide flexible opportunities across a whole spectrum of industries, at any scale – from the humble owner-operator in the local earthworks space, to some of Australia’s biggest civil works and mining companies.

In the industrial world, where the only constant is change, the value of flexibility in equipment rentals cannot be understated. Major projects run long or change trajectory, opportunities come and go – things can get unpredictable, and someone will always have to cover the inevitable added costs.

This is where Yellowgate is trying to make a difference: by offering versatile equipment rental solutions for industries from construction, civil works, and mining, to agriculture and heavy transport.

With its flagship ‘Rent Now, Buy Later’ offering, Yellowgate’s aim is to maximise flexibility and help provide opportunities for Australian businesses of any size or shape.

Chris McRae, Yellowgate Managing Director.
Chris McRae, Yellowgate Managing Director.

Understanding the process

Yellowgate Managing Director Chris McRae will be the first to tell you that he’s not really a “finance guy”. So, why is he the right person to speak to about equipment rentals?

“I don’t come from a finance or even a rental world,” Chris tells EEM. “My background is in major projects, so I like to think that gives me a valuable perspective.”

Chris has worked across transport, fleet management, waste management, and civil works, tackling projects on either end of the scale spectrum. Skilling up through project management, contract management, and eventually general management, he’s developed a strong sense of what makes projects successful, regardless of the industry.

“We know that there are products out there similar to what Yellowgate offers,” Chris says. “But where I think we’re a little bit different – and where I think we can be more effective – is in understanding what our customers are going through, understanding what their projects look like and how they work, and also the kinds of challenges they might run into over the life of those projects.”

Chris says Yellowgate wants to distinguish itself by going the extra mile to be in tune with its end users and their place in the broader industry. And that also means understanding the human elements and personal challenges interwoven into customers’ professional lives. For Chris, this was a key focus for him when he joined the Yellowgate business in 2022.

“We know that not everybody’s got all of their paperwork in order all the time, and we know that people may not have their schedule fully sorted for their project,” he says. “It’s about understanding that, and being flexible with what our clients need.”

Multidisciplinary construction, earthworks, and land management business K & T Daley works with Yellowgate to help it deliver on various projects across Central Queensland.

Solutions large and small

Yellowgate currently has more than 300 pieces of machinery out on rental across the country. Hydraulic excavators and tippers are the most popular assets, but you’ll also find wheel loaders, motor graders, scrapers, crawler dozers, grinders, and everything in between being put to work by Yellowgate’s customers.

These customers can be found across Australia, and across a range of applications, including mining in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, quarrying in Central Queensland, and on telecommunications projects in Tasmania.

Chris says Yellowgate’s customer base is as diverse as the projects they deliver – from tier one contractors to sole owner operators.

“One of our clients is one of the largest indigenous employers in the country, and then we also work with one of the biggest mining companies in the country,” Chris says. “We know we have a product that makes sense for some of the country’s top construction companies, but we’ve also got plenty to offer family businesses or start-ups who need a hand with their first piece of machinery.”

Yellowgate’s service is also supported by a network of contacts across the top OEMs, as well as some of the larger used machinery retailers.

“There’s still a shortage of equipment around the world, and unfortunately the Australian market is not always the highest priority,” Chris says. “Because of that, we’re still regularly leaning on our contacts in the second-hand market throughout the country to help keep our customers moving.”

Kerrod Toby, Managing Director of Ochre Australia – a specialist Queensland-based labour hire business, and another satisfied Yellowgate customer.

The fork in the road

“Yellowgate is definitely a viable long-term rental solution,” Chris says. “But our rent to buy model offers a level of flexibility that your more traditional hire doesn’t. We ask for a 12-month commitment, after which you’ve got choices: you can hand the gear back, you can buy the gear out, or you can keep renting it.

“Our offering gives you that ‘fork in the road’ option a little later in the process.”

Chris says this can be a saving grace for customers in an unpredictable industry, particularly when work dries up unexpectedly, or a client’s needs change suddenly.

“It’s about us understanding the story from the client’s point of view,” he says. “You know, some of our very best clients have worked through some challenging times, made mistakes at different stages in their careers, and then bounced back stronger than ever.

“And we’re always available to provide our advice and insight into our customers’ operations, and how we can better help them get where they need to be – and to do so in plain English, without over-complicating things.”

People helping people

Chris stresses that the Yellowgate team is made up of real people who want to solve real problems for players in the industry by fostering meaningful, mutually supportive relationships.

“Maintaining those relationships is key,” he says. “Australia is in one sense a big market, but it’s a small one too, right? So, we’ve got to make sure we’re doing the right things by our customers.

“The better service we can provide, the more people will understand what Yellowgate is, how we operate, and the services and insights we can provide.”

Yellowgate’s process is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. You specify the equipment you need to Yellowgate
  2. Yellowgate purchases the equipment and rents it to you
  3. At the end of the rental term, you can Rent, Recontract, Purchase or Return the equipment.

To find out how you can leverage Yellowgate’s service on your next project, visit:


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