Surf City Cranes a Queensland, Gold Coast based company, continues to invest in its fleet and recently welcomed a new Liebherr LTM 1120-4.1. This is the most powerful four-axle all-terrain crane the manufacturer has ever built.
Surf City Cranes Jon Morrish advises that the latest addition to the Surf City Cranes group will support the unprecedented growth that the construction sector is currently experiencing. “For the the past three years we have been re-investing in the general fleet upgrade, offloading quality used and our well maintained cranes, and replacing with brand new Liebherr cranes. In 2019 we purchased a LTM series 100t class capacity machine on four axles, followed by the compact 60 tonne in 2020.”
“With the sale also of our Grove 130T in September 2021, we were quick to sign on the line for the Liebherr 120t machine on four axles, with a incredible boom length of 66 metres fully extended. These machines were all painted in our company colours at the Liebherr factory, and we ordered them with every possible option available for each unit. This extended from the amazing looking shiny alloy rims, the hydraulic offset fly/jib and two winches for operator convenience. This assists fast lifting variables from light to heavy lifting capabilities, without the need to de-reeve hook blocks offering huge TIME SAVINGS to our customers, and reducing risks or temptations of overloading or taking short cuts.
Running with the Liebherr Brand solely with the All Terrain Cranes has a list of many benefits from the great resale values, low maintenance, including reduced breakdown track records and less servicing. Local support really assists but they also have great load charts and lifting capabilities, awesome roadability with counterweight options and most importantly of all, these machines allow the crane operators greater familiarity across the fleet. Having the Liccon operating system across all models and with the VarioBase® load charts on the newer models our operators can switch machines If needed, with this familiarity.
The new Liebherr LTM 1120-4.1 breaks into a performance class which has previously been the sole preserve of five-axle cranes. As far as boom length is concerned, it is on a par up with 200t class cranes with the longest boom ever on a road registered hydraulic four axle crane.
Surf City Cranes new 120 Tonne can tackle jobs which customers would normally require the larger five axle crane, eliminating logistics work needed for the larger models and enables it to work where there is insufficient space for larger cranes. This is a common restriction problem for city construction projects across South East of Queensland. Our machine can tackle jobs with faster mobilisation, reduced counterweight costs and set up times with much greater flexibility. It truely is the largest Taxi Crane available for general hire. Who would of thought we would be doing the “Milk Run” with these classes of cranes.
To update our progress as mentioned earlier Surf City Cranes list of equipment additions that we have invested in recently includes:
• April 2019 – Liebherr LTM 1090-4.2 – 100 Tonne Class
• August 2020 – Liebherr LTM 1060-3.1 – 70 Tonne Class
• March 2021 – Terex Franna 28 Tonne Super Lift
• April 2021 – Manitou Telehandler MT-X 1030 -3 Tonne
• August 2021 – Terex Franna 25 Tonne
• June 2021 – Manitou Telehandler MT-X 1033 -3.3 Tonne
• May 2022 – Liebherr LTM 1030-2.1 – 35 Tonne Class
• June 2022 – UD / Volvo Hi-Ab Flat Bed Crane Truck and Dog Trailer (12 Tonne Crane )
• August 2022 – Manitou Telehandler MT-X 1440 – 4 Tonne
• September 2022 – Liebherr LTM 1120 – 4.1 -120 Tonne
Surf City Cranes has always attracted a great team culture, both in safety and systems, where we continue to reinvent. Our progress through innovation offering solutions, which ultimately save costs for the customer and our outcomes through collaboration and communication with our customers right through to the end product has brought us great clients. Loyalty is important to us. Our point of differentiation is our team and our value added service. We don’t follow the norm, we don’t ‘set and forget’, we offer CONTINUOUS service and expertise. All companies in our space have one thing in common, we all have mobile cranes and load shifting equipment, however we like to deliver a top notch product, through high quality performance equipment, and more importantly, to take the stress away and be easier to deal with, which is the “WHY” we do what we do.
Utilisation of our machines is important. We have to factor in the rainy days, (100 days recorded in SE Qld), holidays, maintenance schedules and customer needs. Rule of thumb is generally 1000 hours and 10 000 klm’s travelled per year, per machine. Our team is efficient at keeping machines on track, ensuring utilisation and safety. Since purchasing our Terex Mac 28 Super Lift in March 2021, the crane has recorded 3,360 engine hours and 43,000 kms in 19 months, punching way above our anticipated averages we were expecting to achieve on our investment.
When we take a look up the other end of our fleet, the 2019 Liebherr 100 Tonne Class unit, it has had some impressive numbers as well. With 3700 operating hours and a further 1200 carrier hours it has delivered just under a total of 5,000 hours in 42 mths. A reasonable outcome through Covid and all.
The next forecast for Surf City to consider will be to plan long term on what or where we anticipate is the best time to trade / upgrade these units in, from a resale or change over given this current data. With current wait times and orders on the books with both Terex & Liebherr, some models are not available until 2024, meaning all players in our industry will be giving some serious thought on what their business model should be considering regarding fleet upgrades.
Nobody has a crystal ball to predict the future. Nobody saw Covid coming and the effects it played on businesses across the board. Just over ten years earlier we saw the GFC in 2007-08 and sure enough there will be more hiccups in the future to factor in. We live in the present, we plan for the future and with the current planning and development occurring for the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane, the future is positive. Huge interstate migration numbers of 50,000 plus moving to QLD through the pandemic, the low housing stocks and market increases of around 25% for real-estate is keeping our cranes busy. More people relocating their businesses into QLD will certainly add to more demands on hospitals, schools, roads, rail, water/waste, Shopping Centres, huge increases on demands of every infrastructure that already is at its capacity.
Surf City Cranes has been registered with ISO safety management system for the past 5 years, AS/NZS 4801:2001 and one of the select few companies who have a current registered EBA in place over and beyond the Mobile Crane Hirers Award. I believe both these two attributes attracts a better employee culture and we are really proud of our team and trust in their commitment, safety and work ethic. The ISO accreditation helps our staff deliver and maintain a high level of compliance which at the end of the day is to go home safe. It’s about looking out for their work mates, about encouraging and increasing better work practices and getting rid of the old school analogy of ‘She will be right’ culture of the past. I believe this helps us attract a better customer base who saves the business energy and time.
Jon goes on to discuss the various capacities within the Surf City Crane fleet.
“With the cranes, we offer wet and dry hire options.“ The smallest capacity slew cranes start with the 3 Tonne Mini Crawler crane, then next the very handy user friendly 13 tonne Kato City Crane. Because of the shift towards the bigger units we now have three, down from the peak of 5 Tadano Rough Terrain cranes. Our All Terrain cranes start with the 35t Liebherr two axle, which we bought four months ago out of Melbourne. It was originally an ex-John Holland crane with low hours and kilometres, a very tidy crane which has much faster road speeds than the Rough Terrain Cranes. This model from Liebherr has built over 2,500 since 1997 making it the most popular mobile crane unit ever built worldwide by any manufacturer.”
Our Liebherr All terrain fleet consists of the 35t, 55t, 60t, 70t, 90, and now the new 120 Tonne. We’re updating the fleet as much as possible to reassure our customers that we not just are capable provider with a modern fleet, but have machines featuring awesome lifting capacities.
“To ensure our fleet remains compliant and reliable through our workshop maintenance program, our team keep on top of the regular servicing and the scheduled maintenance we have in place for our equipment.”
To complement our mobile crane hire Surf City Cranes have been providing Manitiou Telehandlers, predominately for Dry Hire Rental, with additional skilled operators when required. This bolt on to our business started just a couple of years in from start up, when we were asked to source a machine on behalf of our client we were suppling the cranes for. Our customers use these tele-handlers day to day shifting materials around site, emptying bins and unloading materials from transport at unscheduled times.
To recap and cover what we have achieved since commencement with the one Rough Terrain crane by Tadano in 2006, and where we aim to be in the future from now some 16 years later, is to continue to be leaders in what we offer. We have played a big part in infrastructure with Road Works, airports, rail, offshore accommodation, quarries, radio communications, high-rise developments, and theme-parks on top of the day to day general hire and cottage industry projects.
With Christmas just around the corner we still have our work cutout because of the shortage of labour for everyone in our industry. Cost increases have meant companies need to find ways to increase efficiencies. For us the whole newer equipment philosophy is our way to to create these cost saving results over the long term.