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Larry’s back with Maedas

Following the ‘retirement closure’ of Fullers Mobile Cranes and the sale of assets, Larry Fuller’s retirement lasted two weeks. Fullers Mobile Cranes is back, but with a difference. The focus is on dry hiring mini crawlers and telehandlers with Larry and wife Christine purchasing a range of brand-new Maeda models. Larry takes up the story.
Larry Fuller discusses the relaunch of his mobile crane business, and why he's armed himself with a large Maeda fleet.

“After two weeks I recognised retirement wasn’t for me, at least not yet. You retire young, you die young and you’re a longtime dead is my personal philosophy, and I also knew everybody missed me. Not!,” he said.

“Prior to the auction I’d planned to sell all the assets, but the Franna AT40 didn’t make it. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but my son Lachlan wanted to keep it and continue with the family business name, so we kept that crane. I decided I wanted to go in a different direction with the rest of the business which didn’t involve big cranes. 

“We run a tight ship, and I work in the office with Anita Karso, our Office Manager, and Lachlan works with the AT40. I’d like to think that as the business grows there will be a time when we are all back together, but we’ll see how that plays out,” said Larry.

“I phoned some mates in the industry about the idea of dry hiring mini crawlers cranes, and it was apparent there would be demand. I called David ‘Chalky’ White and Michael Cawston from Pace Cranes and we sat down to talk about the various models in the Maeda range,” said Larry.

Larry purchased four Maedas and also a Tracked Carrier 2200 Pro which will play a support role to the mini crawlers. In addition to these, he purchased a number of telehandlers including a 7-tonne capacity Manitou with a rotating winch, and a 3-tonne capacity telehandler.

Larry explains his decision to invest in mini crawlers and the Maeda brand. 

“I had mini crawlers in my previous fleet, and although they weren’t Maedas they were well utilised cranes. I like to stick to the one brand, and when I knew Maeda had the capacities I was after, I jumped on them,” he said.

The smallest mini crawler purchased by Larry is the Maeda MC305C, a compact crawler crane which despite its small size is very powerful – making it perfect for hard-to-access locations. It features a load capacity of up to 3-tonne, is only 1.28m wide and has a maximum lift height of 12.52m. The MC305 also features an outrigger safety system. 

Larry said he is impressed with the Maeda, particularly with how intuitive he finds the controls and how smoothly the crane operates. 

“The Maeda is really impressive and has a 3-tonne capacity while also lifting nearly 300kg with its 12.5m max radius,” he says.

The second Maeda Larry purchased is the MC405 C-3. With a maximum radius of 16m and a lifting capacity of 3.83 tonnes x 2.7m this is a powerful crane suitable for a range of jobs and sites. The MC405C-3 also features an outrigger safety system.

The latest addition to the mini spider crane series and Maeda’s biggest model, the MC815C model has a capacity of 8.09 tonnes x 2.4m with a maximum working radius of 18.8m and maximum lifting height of 19.6m. An optional hydraulic fly jib and searcher hook are available.

Larry has also purchased the new CC1485S-1 crawler crane. This features the new Isuzu EU Stage3B engine (40.3kW) which Provides up to a 40 per cent increase in fuel efficiency compared to the previous LC model. Among the key features of the CC1485S-1 is its high-rigidity heptagonal main boom which has a lifting capacity of 6 tonnes x 2.6m. Able to lift a load 16.7m high – 22m with an optional fly jib, the new crane has a pick and carry capacity of 2 tonnes and a four and two fall hook block.

Measuring 100mm shorter and with a minimum tail swing 50mm shorter than the previous model, the CC1485S-1 also has wider foot space in the cabin, as well as a rear view monitor and a new 18cm Programable moment limiter with a single monitor.

Larry’s new Tracked Carrier 2200 is built for transporting heavy goods through confined spaces. Only 950mm wide, the 2200 R and 2200 Pro models are heavyweights in compact packaging.

Tracked Carrier’s R models use state-of-the-art technology while being simple to operate, reliable and easy to maintain.Pro models offer increased features such as gradient-monitoring, information feedback and a smart auxiliary output, ideal when increased safety measures are required or powered attachments make the job easier.

The Pro has a capacity of 2200kg and measures 950mm wide and 365mm high. The Pro is battery powered with maintenance free AGM batteries which power an efficient direct AC drive. The Pro features fully proportional remote control, a switchable motion alarm on board diagnostics, an adaptable and extendable platform, LCD information screen on remote control, a smart auxiliary output socket and automatic gradient/speed monitoring.

Bringing these products together into the new dry hire model is quite different to the original Fullers Mobile Cranes business model, but Larry has worked out where the new niche is going to be. 

“I have been back to all the Fullers Mobile Cranes clients which includes the Tier One and Tier Two builders and the problem we are facing is they already have their dry hire companies in place and they have agreed terms on the current projects they are working on,” said the owner of Fullers Mobile Cranes. 

“I’ll wait until new projects are on the table and that’s when I’ll get a crack at tendering my cranes and equipment. Having brand new equipment in this business is going to account for a lot and I’m confident the opportunities will present themselves. 

“I’ve had some brochures made, I know it’s old school, but that’s me. Clients know what I’m doing, they know the service they will receive from me, and they know I’m not going anywhere,” said Larry.

Larry adds that he’s been impressed with the team at Pace Cranes in his early dealings with them.

“I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve dealt with all the major crane OEMs and I can see the team at Pace Cranes know their machines and they back up the product with good service,” he said. 

“When I’ve needed questions answered and I’ve called, no matter what the time is, the team have picked up. More often than not, when you call a multi-national is goes through to voice mail, so in terms of service and support you can certainly tell the difference when it comes to a family business.

“It’s the same for me, when a client calls, I pick up. Even though I’m in a different game now, clients still call and say ‘Larry, we’d rather deal with you, we know you’ll turn up, and you’ll know to make sure the job is done’. They know I won’t let them down and I’ll help wherever I can,” he said.

Larry is confident the mini crawler market will grow as the awareness of the capabilities of these small cranes increases.

“The new models are unbelievable. The 8-tonne machine features a luffing fly and hydraulic needle; who would have thought technology would ever come on a mini crawler? And you’ve got 20m of boom within 10 seconds, and it’s the same with the larger crawlers,” he said.

“The reason hydraulic crawlers are becoming more popular is because you don’t need truck after truck to build the jib – you push a button, and you’ve got 60m of boom in three minutes. Before, with the old pin jib system, it would take five hours. The mini crawlers are being designed to suit almost every application and it’s going to get to a point where there’s nothing the mini crawlers can’t do and Maeda is leading the way,” said Larry. 


Larry Fuller discusses the relaunch of his mobile crane business, and why he's armed himself with a large Maeda fleet.
Fullers Mobile Cranes has made a significant investment in new cranes and construction equipment. Image: Fullers Cranes.
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