Features, New South Wales

Liebherr makes a splash for McPhan Cranes

McPhan Cranes and Transport recently took delivery of a Liebherr LTM 1090-4.2 from The Baden Davis Crane Connection. It was quickly put to work on a complex pool lift.

Mcphan cranes director Tony McPhan provides feedback on the performance of the crane and his plans for it.

“I am delighted with the Liebherr LTM 1090-4.2, it has already exceeded all of my expectations. The cranes’ performance is far better than I had anticipated,” he said. 

“We’ve always had Liebherrs in our fleet, but from my perspective this LTM 1090-4.2 is leaps and bounds ahead and it has a real presence about it. It has been busy since it arrived and by promoting it to the greater Central Coast markets, we can see demand only increasing,” he said.

McPhan and his team have been impressed with the technology featuring in the Liebherr LTM 1090-4.2.

“We’ve been impressed with the ‘bang for buck’ provided by the crane,” said McPhan. 

“We have 60m of boom on four axles and the other technologies integrated into the crane, like the VarioBase, are really impressive. It is a very capable crane and, with the way it is designed, we can easily run it as a smaller capacity crane or with its full capabilities. 

“Combined with our existing 100t heavy lift machine, this new addition to the fleet provides our customers with the largest capacities, in terms of both weight and reach, on the Central Coast,” he said.

McPhan used the services of Anthony Davis and the Baden Davis Crane Connection team to initially locate the crane, and then deliver it ready for action.

“When it comes to new additions to our fleet, I will always consult with Anthony and his team. We’ve worked with Anthony, Ben and Gerhard over many years. We bought our first 35t Liebherr all terrain from them almost 19 years ago,” said McPhan.

“Why do we use The Baden Davis Crane Connection to source our cranes? Because I regard Anthony as a consummate professional, a personal friend, and key fleet advisor for our company. 

“And Ben Baden and his team are our ‘go to’ for all our inspections and any significant repairs. Ben also provides an excellent service. It is a pleasure dealing with a family-oriented business with very similar synergies to ours,” he said.

The four-axle Liebherr LTM 1090-4.2 provides a lifting capacity of 100t with 60m of main boom, a maximum lifting height of 76m, and radius of 62m. It also features outstanding mobility, power, and economy. The LTM 1090-4.2 can be driven all over the world at low cost as it can be configured with a whole series of different axle loads for driving on roads and sites. ECOdrive and ECOmode reduce its fuel consumption and noise emissions, making it better for drivers and the environment. The Liebherr VarioBallast and VarioBase innovations enhance its capacity, safety, and flexibility.

McPhan confirms the new crane arrived amidst mixed reactions and emotions.

Tony McPhan is super proud of his new crane.

“There were people close to me and in the organisation who doubted the wisdom with the timing and risk of investing in the crane,” he said. 

“My mum wasn’t one of them. She backed me 100 per cent and always encouraged me to trust my instincts. Unfortunately, she got sick during the crane’s delivery process and sadly passed two days before the crane arrived.

“So, I have dedicated the crane to the memory of my dear mum. There’s an inscription on the crane which reads ‘Fly High Mum’ and I know she is looking down and proud of what we are achieving as a business. As a family, we strive every day to honour her legacy,” he said.

Recently, the Liebherr LTM 1090-4.2 was deployed for a ‘pool lift’ project. McPhan provides more details.

“The project started out as a typical owner builder and pool installer job, with the pool being installed by a Franna via the back of the property. Due to council regulations, this changed which meant there was no access and then the lift was delayed for several weeks due to the relentless wet weather,” he said. 

“We’ve been working with the pool installer for a while, and he knows his business. He is always accurate with his estimations, and we work with him by visiting the site, assessing the challenges, and then advise on the right way of completing the lift.

“We’ve been managing the smaller lifts and, now, he’s seen what we can do with the larger capacity cranes in our fleet. He has also seen we have the required transport to support all of our cranes, large and small. We are grateful to not only service the work, but to also have role in bringing satisfaction to their customers. It’s not every day you see a large crane lift a pool over a house and it is always a spectacle for the homeowner and their neighbours,” he said. 

“With this lift, the Liebherr LTM 1090-4.2 required 17t of counterweight and 54m of boom, with the radius at 47m and  around 70 per cent of the chart to land it in the hole.

“We are still feeling our way into the cranes’ capabilities, but the crane cruised through the lift. As we learn more about its capabilities our business approach of always ‘measuring twice and cutting once’, will see it heavily utilised.”

The cranes’ operator and the crew are also impressed with performance of the crane. Word is also getting around and more work for the crane is coming. 

“Our operator has plenty of experience within our organisation and he’s also operated some big cranes here and overseas. The Liebherr LTM 1090-4.2 is his baby, and he treats the crane as such. He continues to find new features and efficiencies with the machine. He is impressed with its capabilities, as are the rest of the crew.”

This lift required 17t of counterweight and 54m of boom.

McPhan Cranes and Transport has been operating out of its 8,000 square metre yard in North Wyong on the Central Coast of New South Wales since June 2007, with plans to potentially relocate as the business continues to grow.

“We have a wide and varied customer base, including Tier 1 contractors in the power and infrastructure sectors through to clients in mining, councils, and private customers installing pools, spas, and everything in between,” said McPhan. 

 “We operate a mixed fleet of cranes and vehicles, which includes Frannas and all terrain mobile cranes. We also operate rigid trucks with vehicle mounted cranes and a tilt tray.

We have four Frannas in the fleet with capacities from 15t through to 25t. With the all terrains, we range from 40t, 55t, 90t, and now 100t capacities. Our brands include Terex Franna, Tadano, and Liebherr. We continue to re-invest in our equipment to ensure the fleet is efficient and relevant and we work hard to maintain our reputation for delivering a prompt, professional, and personalised service. We focus on maintaining long- term relationships and I am delighted to say many our customers have been with us for the 20 years we have been in business.”

McPhan Cranes and Transport operates throughout the Central Coast and into the Lake Macquarie and Hunter Valley regions. The business places a major emphasis on customer service and satisfaction, which helps to develop long- term relationships.

Safety and lift planning are integral to the way it operates, with measures in place to ensure lifts are conducted safely.

“Safety is the main priority with everything we do. We regularly conduct site inspections overlaid with the latest lift study software to equip our staff with all the information and tools to perform the service safely and efficiently. We like to visit a site before the lift and we will conduct an initial site consultation with the customer and then provide a documented lift study utilising current software where required,” said McPhan.

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