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Empire Cranes acquire new Maeda mini-crawler through Pace Cranes

Empire Cranes purchases a new Maeda mini crawler through Pace Cranes.

Empire Cranes recently sought to expand its fleet to match the growing demand in civil construction projects around Australia. Operations Director Jared McDonald elaborates on the company’s purchase of a new Maeda mini-crawler, its relationship with distributors Pace Cranes, and the quality coming from the Asian market.

Having been around for four years and with an ever-growing fleet, Melbourne-based Empire Cranes is well immersed in the industry and knows how to discern quality when it sees it.

With a wave of investment into civil construction and infrastructure projects occurring around the country, the wet-or-dry-hire crane company is set on expanding its current fleet, with its latest acquisition coming in the shape of Maedas – a Maeda CC1908 telescopic crawler crane acquired through the Japanese manufacturer’s regional distributor Pace Cranes. 

Based in Peakhurst, NSW, Pace Cranes has been associated with the brand for over 30 years, currently distributing Maedas across Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific. When it came to the purchase and delivery of Empire Cranes’ new Maeda, company director Jared McDonald has plenty of praise for the way Pace conducted business.

“This will be the fifth unit we’ll be buying through Pace Cranes in the last three years, with an eye to future purchases in the pipeline” he said. “The relationship between ourselves and Pace Cranes has just gone from strength to strength; we enjoy the working relationship with both Anthony and Michael.”

With the transport and logistics industry collectively still feeling the pinch in a post-COVID-19 world, Pace Cranes endeavoured to keep the team at Empire Cranes updated on a “weekly basis” according to Jared, which ensured they could in turn keep their customers informed of developments. 

“The handover transition part between Pace Cranes and ourselves was spot on: they’ve already organised the crane safely, and for someone to come and do the commissioning,” he said. “Pace sorted out the upgrades that we need for this current project before it gets delivered to site. It’s why we enjoy the relationship with them so much.”

As reported in the July edition of Cranes and Lifting, Empire’s is focusing on expanding its range of rough-terrain and tele-crawler cranes to increase its access to work in construction and mining projects around Australia. The Maeda will boost its ability to target civil construction projects that require compact, flexible cranes to do lighter but more niche lifting – a market Empire’s five and six-tonne mini telecrawlers already target, according to Jared.

With its lifting capacity of eight tonnes, the Maeda CC1908 offers a maximum lifting height of 20.1m from its position on the ground, with a 5.9m extension available with a fly jib. Additionally, the telescopic crawler crane also features a 10.4-inch touchscreen multi-monitor offering a birds’-eye and surround view camera – providing the operator with a complete understanding of where crane is and how much of its capacity is being engaged.

Thanks to their compact nature, these cranes excel at lifting lighter objects in tight turnaround environments. Jared says he sees Empire Cranes’ newest purchase thriving in panelling and cladding, tunnel projects, sound walls, barriers, in specialist lifting applications or in restricted areas on domestic and construction sites.

“Considering the success we’ve experienced in the tier one construction and infrastructure markets with our previous Maeda cranes, we wanted to bring on another one with a slightly larger capacity,” he said. “The Maedas have already been working on the West Gate tunnel and Metro tunnel – we see the eight-tonner fitting right into those kinds of operations.”

“The quality is spot on, and the service level is great with Pace Cranes which is obviously a big help, but they’re such reliable little machines and we’ve had no downtime with them,” Jared continues. “That’s because they’re such good
quality units.”

Empire Cranes purchases a new Maeda mini crawler through Pace Cranes.
Empire Cranes’ new Maeda holds a lifting capacity of eight tonnes and a maximum lifting height of 20.1 metres.

Discussing the follow up service from Pace Cranes, Jared is nothing but complimentary for the way the NSW-based dealers conduct their post-sale service. With five products being purchased through the company over the last four years, the Empire Cranes director of operations emphasises that “anything” required over their working relationship has always been “provided in a very timely fashion”. 

“They are great when it comes to all the technical staff, and their support with spare parts is spot on. And their technical support on a day to day basis, whether it’s over the phone or their preferred repairers, is outstanding,” says Jared.

“Ray Rixon from RayTech – Pace’s authorised repairer – has been brilliant for us as well. He has been OEM trained and carries a lot of the spare parts and the technical knowledge; he’s been extremely helpful for our business.”

Owning over 80 per cent of the market, Jared says Maeda is the “only” brand people think of when it comes to spider cranes and mini-crawler cranes – the Japanese manufacturer being the one constant in a consistently shifting market in the crane industry.

“I’ve been in the crane industry now for nearly eight years, and the mini-crawler market is just going from strength to strength because people are starting to discover how versatile they are,” he says. 

“When it comes to accessing tight areas, the safest way is obviously with these mini crawlers, and the sites are really finding great novel ways to use them. It’s why our utilisation of them is so high.”

“Competitors would need to produce a strong piece of equipment to break into that kind of market,” he continues, “and I’m yet to experience anything that can match the Maeda brand.” 

READ MORE: Empire Cranes expands its fleet capacity with new Liebherr, Sany cranes.

READ MORE: Sennebogen expands telescopic crawler crane range with new 683 E.

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