TRT Australia experienced a very strong finish to 2020. Marc Baumback was appointed to the role of country manager in October and started just in time to see the handover of the first of six TIDD PC28s to Cranecorp Australia. November 2020 saw leading equipment distributor, Ronco Group appointed as the Western Australian distributor for TIDD.
Cranecorp Australia took delivery of its first TIDD PC28 pick and carry crane in November and Baumback explains how the relationship between the two organisations is working.
“The engagement with Cranecorp has been incredibly positive. The delivery of the first TIDD PC28 went very well and while at a protracted distance with restrictions, this has been characterised with a frequency and frankness in communication between TRT and Cranecorp.
“We provided two weeks of customised training with TRT’s TIDD experts that not only included operation, but mechanical support. We have customised this support response to the Cranecorp operations and we’ve since deployed one of our most experienced trainers and technicians into Cranecorp to enable on the ground training with the operators in remote locations,” he said.
“This approach will continue to characterise TRT’s approach to others looking to add the TIDD PC8 to their fleets. It will be a ‘through train’ consideration, from the quality of the production and distribution, to delivery to the customer and right through to the real training needs of the operator and mechanical support. In addition to that, we are supporting the product with an appropriate holding of consignment stock and again this characterises TRT’s remote support to those organisations,” said Baumback.
“Having recently appointed Ronco Group in WA and having worked with the Baden Davis Crane Connection for the last seven years, Baumback explains the importance of the TIDD distribution network and the critical role product support is going to play, particularly when it comes mine sites in the most remote corners of the country and beyond.
“The TIDD distributor and service network is an integral part of our customer support programme and we have chosen these partnerships with care, aligning our values in quality, innovation, support and safety. We are also aligned in terms of strategic growth plans, sales and operations planning in terms of being heavily supported around the financing structures and marketing activity.
“They are heavily consulted and engaged frequently to ensure we are fully aligned. When you get into areas like WA, which we know can be quite parochial, having a quality dealer like Ronco Group is a great advantage. They not only know the networks, personalities and customers, they have an experienced team that are empathetic to safety. That’s a recipe for success, as WA remains a very untapped market from our perspective,” he said.
Ronco Group were recently announced as the new TIDD distributor for Western Australia
Roger Cross has 20 years of experience with cranes including working with leading OEMs and crane distributors. He joined Ronco Group in April 2020 as Crane Manager.
Cross discusses the recent appointment of Ronco Group as the TIDD distributor for Western Australia.
“We were officially appointed as the distributor in November 2020 and we are really excited about the development. The TIDD articulated pick and carry is an excellent machine and we can see plenty of opportunities for the product in this market. We are also excited at the prospect of working with TRT.
“My primary role is to find new sales for the TIDD pick and carry and also the SANY range of cranes which Ronco also represents.
“The TIDD is an innovative product, it’s the first in its market with Slew Safe and features other safety technologies across the crane. I am very aware of the crane’s capabilities as I was responsible for the sales in my role at WATM, which was the product’s previous distributor for the product,” he said.
Cross acknowledges that safe operation will be a major factor when resources and mining companies examine the possibility of purchasing a pick and carry crane putting the TIDD product in a very strong position.
“Safety is a key factor when the major mining and resources companies are looking to purchase new plant, whether its mining equipment or cranes. I have been talking to a number of the Tier One producers for some time.
“It can be a slow process with this sector because there needs to be a high level of engagement around issues relating to safety compliance and it has really been a case of educating them around the safety features of the TIDD compared to other products.
“It takes time to effect a change in mindset, but the safety benefits engineered into the TIDD are certainly recognised as significant advantages with the product,” said Cross.
In West Australia, articulated pick and carry cranes are a much needed asset in the mining and resources sector. This is mainly due to their abilities to conduct multiple tasks on a site, says Cross.
“The concern for the mine operator is that these tasks are completed safely. Again, this brings into focus the safety features of the Slew Safe system which, to a degree, removes the opportunity for an operator to make mistakes which could lead to an incident or worse. This is a major plus for the companies I am speaking to,” he said.
Cross explains how Ronco Group plan to support the TIDD product as well as the company’s approach to spare parts, support and training around product.
“We’ve already started this process with the first TIDD being delivered to Cranecorp in early December. One of TRT’s leading training operators and expert on the TIDD flew to WA, and we sent four of our technicians for training. This enabled them to familiarise themselves with the product and to have a better understanding of the TIDDs features and benefits.
“The TIDD is not dissimilar to other pick and carries in terms of look but is does have important differences in terms of functionality and design which our technicians are learning about,” said Cross.
“We also understand that product support is critical to the success of any product and brand. That’s why training is important. We need our team of technicians to be able to ‘trouble shoot’ any issue, whatever it might be, and to get a crane back up and operating as soon as possible.
“In terms of parts support, we have already purchased a sizeable number of consumable components. So, we are already stocking spare parts for the TIDD and our parts holding with increase exponentially as we further establish the TIDD brand and we sell more machines into the WA market,” he said.
Cross sees plenty of opportunity for the TIDD and it’s not just in the mining and resources sector.
“There’s a huge pipe line of infrastructure projects planned for WA and this includes more than $6.5 billion of investment over the next two years, with $260 million anticipated to be spent on transport portfolio works monthly, building up to $280 million a month in the 2021-22 financial year. Some major infrastructure works fast-tracked include the Mitchell Freeway extension to Romeo Road, the Tonkin Gap project through Bayswater and Albany Ring Road,” he said.
“This means the crane hire companies are going to very busy and they will need to have the right mix of cranes in their fleet to cater to the demand. As with mining and resources, Tier One builders of the infrastructure projects are extremely safety focused and we anticipate this will lead to increased demands for the TIDD product.
“We’ve already supplied a number of quotes to crane hire businesses around Perth and we are hoping that by the middle of next year, we will be selling a TIDD a month,” said Cross.
Cranecorp takes delivery of the first TIDD PC28
Joe Pito is the asset and compliance manager at Cranecorp Australia, a full spectrum crane services business. Pito explains more about the Cranecorp business and why it purchased the newly delivered TIDD articulated pick and carry.
“The most valuable customers to our business are all in the resource sector. They are primarily in mining as producers and so everyone is governed by respective legislation, OH&S, the Mines Department and the Mine Safety Act. From the point of view of safety compliance, that’s the nature of doing business with these clients, it’s fundamental.
“In terms of the expectancy around classified plant, for example craneage, everything is mandated. Our commitment has always been to continually examine ways of providing greater levels of reliability. And we are continually asking if there is technology available or are there advances in technology and equipment that will enable us to continue to manage our risk exposure?
“When we talk about risk exposure, we are essentially talking about the protection of our people, our equipment and our client’s equipment from any potential damage or loss incurred,” said Pito.
The new TIDD PC 28 recently arrived on site at the Cranecorp Tom Price depot in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
“The TIDD arrived at our Tom Price depot in early December. There was up to a week of commissioning and training which is associated with the asset. TRT sent over their technicians from Queensland to spend time with our team including our mechanical support team.
“TRT really take the opportunity to go through the machine, conduct the familiarisation in terms of the operations of the machine but also, to support our team with a question and answer process, which is often the case with new machinery that has been delivered from an OEM,” said Pito.
Pick and carry cranes are the subject of concern, they are involved in roll overs and Pito discusses the issues relating to the ‘Chain of Responsibility’. He explains how Cranecorp views the role of Chain of Responsibility around the TIDD and why the business purchased the TIDD.
“There is always risk associated with any piece of equipment. One of the attractions of the TIDD was TRT’s focus on being able to develop improvements on the existing technologies including Slew Safe or introducing new technologies to their equipment.
“There is conjecture around articulated pick and carry cranes. There are a huge number of these assets which are incredibly dangerous when used incorrectly and you will often read statistics about the number of roll overs which seem to be a common occurrence.
“TRT, with the TIDD product, have looked at the circumstances around the lead up to the point where the crane is exposed to tipping and implemented technologies which will prevent this occurring.
“It’s not to say other manufacturers have not addressed these challenges over the years. But as far as leading is concerned, it’s all about the race to the top with continual improvements to existing systems and technological advancements as well as the ability to look at systems that are yet to be created or developed that will allow the machine to be self-protected,” he said.
“That’s what we are talking about with the TIDD. We have a piece of equipment that has technology engineered into it, so if it does find itself in a position where there is the potential of a roll over, tipping or suffering structural damage, it is capable of regulating and communicating a certain threshold of operations back to its operator. The equipment is becoming smarter in the way it is able to monitor that occurrence and then relay feed back to the operator,” said Pito.
Pito is also pleased with the announcement that Ronco Group will be distributing and supporting the TIDD product in WA.
“From their managing director through to their operational and leadership team, everyone has touched this industry. We know each other personally through business or via the reputations we have.
“Given this is a newly created relationship between Ronco and TRT and that Ronco are now distributing the product, my understanding is they will be very involved in the commissioning, familiarisation and the product support which comes with an asset and we are looking forward to working with them.
“The Ronco Group reputation is very solid and they’ve been around for a long time, it is a business with two life evolutions. The founder of the business is now retired, but they were very much responsible for not only the servicing, maintenance and mechanical side of craneage, they’ve also been involved in engineering, design and ultimately some manufacturing.
“We are confident there is a good fit between TRT and Ronco. This will result in increased service and product support and, so yes, we are positive about the development. It is really nice to have a new asset, but for Cranecorp, one of the key issues when deciding the type of equipment mix you have in terms of makes and models, product support received is a major factor,” said Pito.
“We operate all the major European and US brands. We have an all terrain fleet and a rough terrain fleet, which includes Liebherr, Tadano and Demag, Terex and now TRT. These are the key brands within the space we operate in.
“We believe it’s a good mix. With all the cranes we have in terms of capacity, make and model there is an understanding that strong product support is a priority. I speak very highly of the OEMs that have representation not only in this country but particularly interstate, and that’s something we will attest to. It is important to have the ability to provide technical information and also spare parts support, no matter where the equipment is operating,” he said.