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Celebrating 25 years with Liebherr

Brendon Penn Crane Hire services the resources sector in remote areas of Western Australia. The business is built on the reliability of its fleet of Liebherr mobile cranes and the support it receives from the Liebherr team.

In March 2018, Brendon Penn Plant Hire (BPCH) celebrated its 25th birthday. A privately owned family business, run by Brendon and Kristina Penn, BPCH has been built on the back of servicing the gold, nickel and lithium mining industries in the North Eastern Goldfield in the greater Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia.

“Twenty-five years ago we started out with a 12t franna and we now have five all terrain cranes plus the latest addition, the Liebherr LTF 1060-4.1 truck crane. It’s a 60t capacity Liebherr crane installed on a Mercedes truck chassis and the first of its type in Australia. It’s an excellent addition. So we’ve got six slewing cranes plus 20t, 22t and 25t frannas,” BPCH Managing Director Brendon Penn said.

The LTF combines the best of Liebherr crane technology with the best truck technology from Europe. The LTF1060 is perfect for customers who have long distances to travel. The lower truck chassis provides the most fuel efficient and lowest maintenance option for a high mileage vehicle due to a standard truck driveline and suspension as opposed to an all terrain crane. The standard truck cab provides excellent comfort over long distances for the operator as well.

The Liebherr upper has a telematic boom, which provides significantly more capacity than a standard truck crane with a power boom.

“Generally speaking, we work in a 600km radius of our facility so it’s not uncommon for us to do plenty of KMs with the cranes. The LTF is well suited for long distance travel for what are sometimes short on site requirements,” Penn said.

“We float the frannas if we have to travel some distance otherwise we drive the cranes,” he said.

“In terms of fuel economy, the Liebherrs are doing around 1.4kms per litre, and the LTF around 2kms per litre. Fuel is a fair cost for us but it’s charged and not detrimental to the business, it is what it is,” he said.

“It’s hot, dry and dusty out here, but the Liebherrs have proven to be very reliable. One of our biggest issues revolves around the tyres and the heat. Throughout the hot summer days we have to manage what time we send the cranes, winter isn’t a problem, but in summer we try and travel early morning so we can get to site before it gets too hot.”

Penn comments on the support the business gets from Liebherr.

“In terms of product support and back up, we’re very happy Liebherr, they are and have been excellent in every aspect. With regards to access to information, parts, support from the team at Rockingham, Perth, we is second to none, they are really good,” he said. “Our business is built on customer loyalty, which the Liebherr team understands, and the Perth team is fundamental to keeping our fleet moving and supporting the demands of the mining sector.”

“We work quite remotely so we need reliable equipment, and Liebherr is really reliable. Very rarely have we let the client down with equipment failure, in fact, I don’t think it’s ever happened. We’ve always been able to meet the customers requirements. You can’t fault the product support from Liebherr.”

BPCH places special emphasis on bringing youth into, and through the business.

“We’ve got a good mix of staff and at the moment we’re running approximately 12 including an in-house mechanic. We’re really big on training and we’ve got older guys working with and mentoring a number of guys that are in their early 20’s,” Penn said. “Two of these manage and operate the 160t Liebherr and counter weight truck so that’s a fair responsibility.

“We put a lot of effort into training the younger generation which takes time and money and we can go through a few a couple before we find the right ones. But we’ve been having quite a bit of success with training and the younger guys are applying themselves with the right attitude.”

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