Owner of Melbourne-based Crane Lift Australia Greg Abbonizio has endured the oscillating nature of running a business for over a decade. However, with demand for machines capable of working on civil construction projects rising, he knew he needed to expand his fleet – and DRA held just the answer, with the Mk3 Humma pick and carry crane.
Operating out of Melbourne’s western suburbs in Footscray, business has been fluctuating for crane-industry stalwart Greg Abbonizio. By his own admission business has been “challenging” since he first ventured into the world of business ownership over a decade ago.
“We launched Crane Lift Australia back in 2010,” he says. “Every industry experiences its ups and downs, and running a crane hire business is no different; demand for our services occurs cyclically, and the pandemic enforced a slow down on business. Currently, however, we are in a busy cycle.”
Navigating fierce neighbouring competition, which involved many late nights, 24-hour availability across weekends and public holidays, Greg was regularly using second-hand cranes as he sought to establish his business.
Not for nothing were his efforts though as, fast forward to today, Crane Lift Australia is now firmly established as a reliable mobile crane – wet or dry – hire company, also offering end to end project management services within Australia.
“Crane Lift Australia currently employs 35 people, and we specialise in projects pertaining to infrastructure, construction, and maintenance,” he says. “Our current fleet size is broad: we’re in possession of 12 mobile cranes that range from 16-tonne capacity all the way through to cranes with 220-tonne maximum lifting capacity. In addition, we also own four support vehicles.”
With demand for his company’s services escalating, Greg knew that he would need to expand his fleet.
Receiving an enquiry a couple of years ago for a Pick & Carry crane that could move concrete barriers in a tightly confined tunnel, the cranes in Greg’s fleet could not operate within the constraints required.
However, as luck would have it, at that time a crane capable of performing the exact task required was completing demonstrations in Melbourne; DRA’s Humma 35 Mk3.
“I contacted Peter Dalla Riva at Humma Cranes and he said there was a demonstrator Humma 35 in Melbourne that was available for the test,” says Greg. “The impact that it made on us is evident; we now own three Humma Pick & Carry cranes,” he says.
The Humma 35 Mk3, a highly versatile, high-capacity pick and carry crane, emphasises operator safety and comfort above all else, whilst still retaining its essence: a tough, flexible crane capable of working in mines or on infrastructure. Additionally, the Mk3 possesses an advanced Load Moment Indicator consisting of Dynamic Load Charts. This system calculates the SWL for the operator for the exact boom and articulation angle which gives the operator their maximum capacity for each position – especially helpful for Greg when push came to shove.
“Since acquiring the crane, we’ve seen it excel in projects involving road barrier installation and other civil infrastructure projects,” said Greg. “Compared to other cranes in our fleet, the 35-tonne Humma’s capacity really made it stand out to us relative to its size, while its four-part, 20.5 metre boom was another feature that caught our eye. It complements the rest of our fleet so well.”
With increased roadability and versatility thanks to its removable counterweights, the 35-tonne pick and carry also features airbag suspension and a fuel-efficient Cummins 8.3L engine with up to 25% fuel savings over similar cranes in its class – as demonstrated by Greg’s experiences in travelling to rural Victoria to service long-standing clients.
After hearing from his drivers on a recent job at Geelong, he found they could drive at road speeds safely with low cabin noise and were able to reduce the normal job time by two hours.
When a job in rural Victoria came up, Greg decided to do it himself and drove to and from Glenrowan the same day with minimal fuss.
“They certainly are the ‘quiet performers’ and have really helped to expand my business,” says Greg. “DRA was extremely helpful to work with.
“They would always provide easy access to the right person for the specific information we needed in making the choice to acquire the Humma 35 Mk3.
“In the process of purchasing the crane, we formed a great relationship with Peter Dalla Riva and the rest of the team at DRA,” Greg said.
They consistently provided us with poignant advice when we were making our decision.”
“We can’t fault the levels of product support and post-sale service from DRA – they were exceptional.
“There’s always technical support on the other end of the phone line should we need it, and DRA personalised the entire experience to ensure we received what we were looking for,” he said.