Products, Victoria

A crane so good, you buy it twice

Johnson & Young Cranes was so impressed with the performance of its first Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1, it ordered a second, which has recently arrived.

Melbourne is in the middle of a construction boom, particularly in the inner city. Turn in any direction and you will see any type of crane feverishly working to keep the construction process moving. The vibrant orange of the Johnson & Young Cranes fleet is striking and easy to spot. JYC Cranes is operating across a number of sites in the city, including the West Gate Tunnel project.

Brent Young started Young Plant Hire in 2010 before venturing into the crane industry in 2016, when Brent Young Cranes was born. In 2017, Brent Young and Reece Johnson formed a partnership and Johnson & Young Cranes (JYC) was established. 

The rise of JYC can be described as meteoric. This is exemplified by the acquisition of a Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1, an 800-tonne capacity all terrain and the jewel in the JYC fleet.

The nine-axle all-terrain was a monstrous addition to the fleet. It was immediately put to work and proved to be a game changer for the team, so much so that JYC recently took delivery of a second.

Young and Johnson have trust in the abilities of their own team and also in the service and support they receive from the teams at Liebherr. This provides them with the confidence to continue to invest in such critical equipment. 

Darren Stevens has responsibility of operating the new LTM 1750-9.1 and is thrilled to be working on it.

“It is a typical Liebherr, they keep it simple but don’t lower the quality,” Stevens said.

“So far, we have been using it for a lot of wind farm projects, completing maintenance programs and working on the construction of new sites.”

Young has been impressed by the LTM 1750-9.1, but he was always confident in the crane’s capabilities before it arrived.

“To be honest it is the same as all of our Liebherrs, we never have a problem and all of the crew love them. This is why we keep coming back to the Liebherr brand – we have complete confidence in the product,” he said.

“A lot of the heavy lift cranes have to sacrifice boom length when raising the capacity. This is what stood out to us on the LTM 1750-9 – it was the fact it had an amazing capacity but still had an excellent radius.

“The higher capacity is important as well as many of our jobs now require us to run at 75 to 85 per cent of our limits, so the higher capacity is an asset on a lot of sites now.”

The LTM 1750-9.1 has a boom length of 52 metres, a maximum height of 152m and a maximum radius of 11m.

The nine-axle LTM 1750-9.1 can carry ts complete telescopic boom when driving on public roads.

Johnson and Young have been so impressed by the capabilities of the crane they purchased a second.

Due to its high lifting capacities and variable boom system, it can cover a wide range of jobs in a wide variety of industries, including the infrastructure and  energy sectors. Its Y-telescopic boom guying enables the crane to achieve enormous lifting capacities. The all terrain crane is designed to ensure particularly short set-up times and great mobility. The extensive comfort and safety equipment, such as load charts for various wind speeds, round off the concept for the LTM 1750-9.1. An 800t upgrade has been available since 2020, making this mobile crane significantly more powerful.

Young and Johnson have recognised the demands on crane capacities are continuing to grow and the 800t capacity Liebherr is a solution to these problems.

“With lifts continuing to get larger and more complex, everyone wants extra meterage or extra tonnage,” said Young. 

“With this crane, we have the scope to meet these needs. More often than not the answer can be ‘yes’ for a request, which is what is important for us.

“We are finding now, there are more and more restrictions on site as community engagement has grown so rapidly. For example, there can be trees that cannot be moved so the capability to lift from a greater distance away is important,” Young said.

Coming with the VarioBase enables the crane to have less impact on site. Particularly on wind farm work the VarioBase ensures the LTM 1750-9.1 can always find a firm footing.

The maximum lifting capacities are calculated individually and precisely for every situation. This ensures safe working practice with any chosen support base.

Young has been impressed by the manoeuvrability of the LTM 1750-9.1 when it has been out on site and faced with various surfaces. 

“On site, it can steer as well as a semi-trailer, which is pretty impressive when you look at its size. People would assume it is a liability on-site but it is incredible,” Young said.

“For both Reece and I, coming from operator backgrounds, we want to make sure our team has the best gear and going German made with the Liebherr gives us supreme confidence.

“The team and the customers love the Liebherrs, that’s why we always go back to them. Running the same gear makes our lives so simple.

“For JYC, we are big on uniformity. When our team get a new crane, they know it is going to be a Liebherr. This makes it far easier to move from one crane to another rather than having to learn the different operating systems of other brands of cranes,” he said.

JYC has remained loyal to both Liebherr and Franna when purchasing cranes. Remaining with Liebherr ensures the JYC team are confident in the equipment they are running and will receive the required levels of aftersales service and support.

Darren Stevens commented on how impressive the care from Liebherr has been, including service technicians being on call to speak to JYC team members.

“Liebherr have been great to deal with as well, any one of us can call Ben from Liebherr and he will help us out, either coming on site or explaining over the phone,” Stevens said.

Young has once again been impressed by Liebherr and the support it has provided, particularly around the LTM 1750-9.1.

“Ben from Liebherr is very hands-on; we can liaise with him at any time and he will always come back us quickly with an answer to a question or solution to a problem, no matter how simple or complex in nature. It is reassuring to know that we are in good hands from an aftersales perspective,” Young said.

“For us, Liebherr is such a renowned brand, it comes with a level of assurance that we can then pass onto our customers. They are constantly developing and improving and that is what really stands out for us when looking to invest in our equipment,” he said.

JYC has two of a limited amount of LTM 1750-9.1s in the country, and there is high demand for its capabilities along the east coast and into South Australia.

“There are only a few of these cranes in the country but, for us, getting the first one 18 months ago, it made complete sense to get a second and Liebherr made that process as simple as possible,” Young said.

The Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 has been a perfect crane for wind farm projects.

The challenge with a crane the sheer size of the LTM 1750-9.1 is the roadability. John Humphries is an engineer at JYC and is charged with managing the LTM 1750-9.1’s road access.

Liebherr has taken regional road network restrictions into consideration and provided a wide range of operating configurations for the LTM1750 on the road. 

“Usually, we can plan a route that will allow us to leave the boom on for the journey to the site. If it is a job that means we need to be on site quickly and we do not have time to apply for route assessments, we can remove the boom or outriggers to ensure each axle remains under weight,” said Humphries.

“The Department of Transport and Department of State Growth Tasmania have been fantastic to deal with – they are always looking to find solutions and understand challenges we may face. 

“Their forward thinking and progressive approach to bridge assessments has meant cranes like the LTM1750 are beginning to realise the industry dream of ‘European style’ access on the Australian roads,” he said.

The LTM1750 is by far the large hydraulic mobile crane market leader in terms of the combined lifting power vs roadability ratio.

Stevens has been impressed when driving the crane on the road and is surprised how simple the machine has been to use.

“It is astonishingly good on the road, it’s like driving a car,” Stevens said.

Young said he was concerned the crane would have issues getting on the road but has been pleasantly surprised how simple it has been.

“It is hard to believe but the LTM 1750-9.1 gets around like a taxi crane – it is a seriously impressive bit of kit,” Young said.

“We bought a trailer to carry the boom, but John has done so well we don’t actually have to utilise it much. More often than not it can get to site with the boom still on. For us it is basically as roadable as an eight-axle crane, again which helps us get to site easily and efficiently,” he said.

“Honestly this was a simple addition for us to make to our fleet. Liebherr ensured we had complete confidence in the crane, and we knew it would stand up to the rigours of working on various types of sites and projects,” Young said.

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