Australia, C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features, Product News

Boom Logistics purchases the 200th Franna AT40

Franna has sold its 200th AT40 model to Boom Logistics.

Boom Logistics CEO, Ben Pieyre, discusses the reputation of the Franna brand, its immersion in Australian crane culture, and the reasons behind why Boom has bought the 200th Franna AT40.

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The 80’s was a decade marked by  groundbreaking inventions. Among them, the world saw the first transplant of an artificial heart, MTV’s first broadcast, the development of the first ever CD player by Sony, the introduction of the internet, the development of mobile phones, and the widespread adoption of personal  computers.

However, two years prior to this era of innovation, the crane industry witnessed engineer Dave Francis revolutionising the crane market by conceptualising the world’s first pick and carry crane using old truck components. The crane, initially beginning as a humble eight tonne capacity model, has evolved to now become one of the most utilised machines in the Australian industry, evidenced by Franna pick and carry cranes consisting of at least 50 per cent of cranes being used on any given day. 

Throughout the 45 years since its inception, the design of the Franna pick and carry crane has evolved, with the market now presented with the AT22, MAC25, and the AT40 that make up over 90 per cent of today’s pick and carry crane market share. The plaudits don’t stop there for the Australian manufacturer either because, due to their high level of reliability and performance, Franna has achieved its latest milestone: selling its 200th ever AT40 to publicly listed crane hire company Boom  Logistics. 

“Pick and carry cranes  such as Franna cranes are an integral part of the Australian lifting culture,” says Boom’s CEO, Ben Pieyre. “They offer such a different service to the crane market, and they are essential for any crane fleet.”


With about 20 years of experience in the crane hire industry, Ben has seen his fair share of cranes. As the current CEO of ASX-listed company, Boom Logistics. During his tenure, he says he’s never come across anything like the Franna pick and carry crane working in Australia, Europe, Asia, and North America.

“Until recently, the design is one that’s hardly been used overseas because it’s a true Australian design and Australia-accepted practice,” he says. 

Speaking about his decision to purchase the AT40 – and what will become the tenth AT40 in Boom Logistics’ fleet – Ben says the heavier capacity of the crane provides a point of difference to Boom’s operations. 

“The 40-tonne capacity is really helping us gain some ground; having the extra tonnage available to us broadens the scope of work that we can achieve,” he says. “The AT40 offers a lot of extra efficiencies in all our applications of mining, infrastructure, construction, and renewables.”

Since being launched in 2016 at that year’s iteration of the national CICA Conference, the AT40 has broadened the horizons of many a crane owner in the Australian crane industry. As the heaviest capacity pick and carry crane in the Franna portfolio, the machine possesses a 19.8m maximum boom length, a 35-degree articulation on both sides, and a maximum operating radius of just under 16m at which it can lift three tonnes. Featuring a three-axle design, the crane does not need a removable counterweight, while the third axle can be raised independently while the machine is in operation providing a similar turning circle to its smaller counterparts. 

On the technology front, the AT40 contains Franna’s Dynamic Load Moment Indicator (LMI), a system that provides the operator with live data and calculation of the crane’s rated capacity that factors in boom configuration, chassis articulation, pitch and roll, and forward and side stability. For Ben, the biggest addition to the safety of a Franna crane has been the 360-degree camera, labelling it as a “great add on to safety and the product offering”. The technology features a ten-inch screen with four cameras that are capable of providing a 360 or 270-degree real-time view depending on the operator’s preference, eliminating blind spots for the driver and enhancing the safety of the crane.

“By nature, as a pick and carry crane, the operator is travelling from place to place with heavy loads,” he says. “Having the 360-degree camera really enhances awareness for the operator, and it helps the operator understand where people are around the load.”

Franna has sold its 200th AT40 model to Boom Logistics.
The 200th AT40 in the manufacturing process. Image: Prime Creative Media.

With a fleet of over 300 cranes ranging from its three-tonne Maedas through to its 800-tonne capacity Liebherr, Boom Logistics is in possession of a vast and diverse crane fleet. As Ben alluded to, Franna’s pick and carry cranes make up a significant amount of the publicly listed crane hire company’s fleet and, operating all across Australia, post-sale service and support is an integral aspect of purchasing and successfully operating a crane. Franna, through its four support workshops stationed in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, ensures that it can deliver any extra equipment or spare parts that are necessary to its customers efficiently and effectively. On top of that, however, Ben says Franna is extremely accommodating to unique, tailor-made requests that Boom sends to the Australian manufacturer to collaborate effectively on innovations. 

“Franna has a really proactive team,” he says. “We’re able to table whatever issues we’re having, or any potential improvements that we want to suggest, and we know it will be fully received and embraced.”

Franna’s customer-centric approach was something elaborated on in the March issue of Cranes and Lifting, with Design Engineer Mitchell Orupold discussing his ‘square-pegs into round-holes’ job of finding fixes to custom requests. For Ben and the team at Boom, having a receptive attitude from a manufacturer who understands the climate and country they are operating in is invaluable in providing a fast, effective  service.

“Ultimately, the product is an Australian built machine for the Australian market,” he says, “and Franna really understand the needs of the customers they’re working  with.”

And so, along with MTV, the world’s first artificial heart, and the Sony CD player, the Franna pick and carry crane is to be included with the other ground-breaking inventions among the rich tapestry of 1980s innovation. During this period, Franna’s pick and carry crane emerged as a symbol of ongoing success and adaptability, playing a crucial role in shaping the landscape of the Australian crane industry, and has not looked back since. 

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