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Hands-on experience key to dissuading stereotypes about Zoomlion

Based in Victoria, national Zoomlion crane distributor Gleason Cranes has seen a large number of sales this calendar year. The feedback from those using the cranes corroborates the message coming from the Braeside dealers themselves: the cranes are practical, safe, cost-effective and come with outstanding post-sale service.
Zoomlion cranes are distributed across the country by Gleason Cranes.

Being able to talk about the quality of a product without possessing direct experience with it is easy enough: give some general accolades, feed into classic stereotypes and a message catches on.

This is an attitude that permeates the crane industry – particularly when it comes to the quality of machinery coming from Eastern manufacturing brands such as Zoomlion. However, the people directly operating the cranes in recent years hold dimmer views of these assumptions, and as Sales Director at Gleason Cranes Chris Logan has pointed out, those assumptions are likely to be on the wrong side of history.

“A lot of brands that expanded outside of Asia have successfully completed what Zoomlion is currently doing now,” he said. “If you go back to the 70s and 80s, the Japanese and Korean crane manufacturers really struggled with their reputations in Australia but successfully turned it around. Now, everyone knows the quality of Tadano, Kato, Kobelco – what they did in the 70s and 80s is what Zoomlion is doing right now.”

Founded in 1992, Zoomlion sells its products to over 70 countries across the world. In Australia, the company has recently seen a large boost in its inventory through Gleason Cranes, with a range of new truck cranes, crawler cranes, rough-terrains and all-terrains arriving at the Braeside distributor’s yard.

The year began, however, with the launch of a brand-new product at ConExpo 2023: the Zoomlion ZRT110, a 110 metric tonne rough-terrain crane that holds a five section, 49m main boom specifically designed to target the dustier conditions experienced in both Australia and North America. 

After launching the new machine, Gleason Cranes saw a range of Zoomlion cranes fly out the door, with large commendations coming from purchasers of its truck cranes.

Leading those buyers is Nathan Randles and his start-up business NR Cranes. After working in the crane industry for around 10 years, he decided to return home to the Central Coast, NSW, and pursue his own business in structural steel work. At the forefront of his operations was a brand new ZTC251V, a 25-tonne truck crane with a four-section, 33.3m main boom.

Zoomlion cranes are distributed across the country by Gleason Cranes.
The ZTC251 truck crane, a model purchased by both Mirri Cranes & Rigging and NR Cranes.

The reason he went with the Zoomlion brand was simple: during his previous 10 years in the industry, he’d worked alongside a Zoomlion crane sold by Gleason Cranes, and he’d consistently seen the machine stand up in the harshest of working environments. Nothing that he’s experienced so far with his new 25-tonne truck crane has changed his mind, either.

“It’s a very easy crane to use – maybe the easiest I’ve experienced in my lifetime,” he said. “It doesn’t overcomplicate itself and it drives really well on the road; I didn’t expect it to be so efficient on fuel consumption.”

The high-level of practicality the Zoomlion brand presents to operators is a recurring motif among the people who have used the cranes. Despite encountering the classic, often unfounded stereotypes that tarnish construction machinery coming from East Asia, operators getting into the cabins of Zoomlion’s cranes find the machines to be easy to use, very functional and, most importantly, safe to use.

This was underscored by a decision Saunders International Limited made in purchasing its second Zoomlion crane this year, a hydraulic telescopic crawler capable of lifting 60 tonnes at its maximum rated capacity. It had purchased a ZCC750H-1 crawler crane back in 2021, according to Saunders’ Plant and Equipment Manager Matt Nixon, and the operators were left so impressed by the machine they placed an order for the ZCT600V.

“I think people have been critical of the Chinese brands in the past, but the current Zoomlions are an impressive piece of machinery that can keep up with the rest,” he said. “Speaking with the operators, however, they’ve been really impressed with the Zoomlion; one said it was the best crane he has driven, while the consensus from the team was that the cranes are smooth and fast on site, with an impressive capacity.”

This sentiment is echoed by Managing Director of LTE Construction Nick Maric who, as well as praising his new ZCT600V’s price point compared to others in its class, said the machines really “stood up”.

“Once we took delivery and had it out working, we were impressed by how reliable they are,” he said. “Sometimes people can have low expectations for these Chinese machines, but it has really exceeded our expectations and not missed a beat since we had it.”

In tandem with their capabilities when it comes to lifting large objects from point A to point B, what also discerns quality from an operator and company owner’s perspective is the level of sale and post-sale service and support made available to the purchaser. When it comes to the service provided by Sales Director Chris Logan and the team at Gleason Cranes, there is one uniting, driving philosophy underpinning the work completed by the Braeside construction machinery dealers.

“We want to sell quality equipment at an affordable price, and then provide a post-sale service and support that eclipses all our competitors,” said Chris. “All of our staff want to work together, and we know if we do that, then we’ll sell more cranes because we’ve provided a good service that everyone’s happy with.”

According to the team at Gleason Cranes, the sales process is easy and personable. Holding over 50 years of experience in the crane industry combined, the team walks its customers through the specifications of each machine to ensure the right crane is given to the right person for the right job. Furthermore, as the cranes have already been shipped and are in Australia, there’s a minimal turnaround time between purchasing the machine and taking delivery of it. 

Coming with the purchase of the crane is personal instruction and training provided by industry veteran Peter Webb who holds 57 years of experience, while delivery of the crane is organised on behalf of the company – a feature included in the sale price.

This commitment to mid-sale and post-sale service in Gleason Cranes’ work is reflected in the words espoused by those who have purchased its products.

 LTE’s Nick Maric labelled the backup support provided as fantastic; Mirri Cranes & Rigging, upon receiving its new Zoomlion ZTC250V, said it could not fault the efforts from Gleason Cranes and feels as though all the necessary support is available; Nathan Randles of NR Cranes said Chris could not have been more helpful in aiding him to select the right crane to start his business; and Saunders’ Matt Nixon emphasised the high-level of post-sale service received from Gleason Cranes, calling the efforts provided by Chris and the team at the Braeside dealer “second-to-none”.

Having distributed the company’s products for over 15 years across the Oceania region, the team at Gleason Cranes firmly believes the quality of Zoomlion is apparent for all who use the machines, and is determined to support the product suitably.

“We know the quality is there,” said Chris. “If it wasn’t there, we just wouldn’t sell it.” 


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