Ernie Jungherr has spent much of his life in the crane industry, since the mid 1980s he had been honing his skills towards his eventual opening of Hawkesbury Cranes in 1999 and going alone in 2003.
Hawkesbury cranes has been awarded a number of utlities contracts recently, which has seen the need for it to grow its fleet. It has done so with the addition of a Liebherr LTC 1050-3.1 and a LTM 1090-4.2. Jungherr explains what has made the company a success.
“We live by the old adage of going above and beyond for clients. I am on the tools every day and working with them. We pride ourselves on the work and having a good crew. With these projects you could have a breakdown at 12 o’clock at night and you need to dispatch somebody to keep it on time,” he said.
Tom Grady is the national used crane manager for Liebherr and worked closely with Ernie for the purchase of the two Liebherrs.
“Ernie came to me in March 2021, looking for an LTC1050-3.1. I discussed with my colleagues in Liebherr Werk Ehingen and we came up with a fully specced factory test crane,” he said.
“This was the first LTC1050-3.1 fitted with a Cummins Stage 5 engine. I knew that this crane in particular would suit Ernie well. We delivered it with our factory warranty and in the Hawkesbury livery. The crane was a 2021 model and had only 3,000km and 100 upper hours on it, which was from our in-house testing. This also meant Hawkesbury Cranes were the first owner.”
“In May 2021, Ernie and I had another chat around the possibility of adding a larger crane into Hawkesbury Cranes fleet. After a meeting or two with Ernie and Cam Greedy, who is Hawkesbury Cranes’ operations manager, we knew that a 2018 LTM1090-4.2 with only 14,000km and 2,000 upper hours that I had already ordered for Sydney as a stock unit would be very well suited. Knowing the work Hawkesbury Cranes do, and working in such tight spots, a LTM1090-4.2 with VarioBase and VarioBallast would be absolutely ideal,” Tom said.
The Liebherr LTM 1090-4.2 is the biggest to enter the Hawkesbury Cranes fleet with a capacity of 90 tonnes, a boom length of 60 metres, hoisting height of 76m and a radius of 62m. The crane’s superstructure is powered by the engine in the undercarriage, which lowers costs as there is one less engine to maintain.
The LTC 1050-3.1 is a compact crane with an impressive capacity and reach for its size, making it an asset for sites with tough access. Its width is only 2.55m with a low weight rating of 12t per axle.
Its VarioBase support system with outriggers extended to different lengths mean that constricted conditions are not a problem for this compact crane. It carries all its own equipment and ballast, thus significantly reducing the time required for jobs. The elevated cab delivers maximum safety by providing improved all-round visibility from the cab.
Jungherr explains why he has decided to purchase these two Liebherrs and what has been the standout with them.
“I have chosen to go with Liebherr for all of my cranes now. That is simply because you cannot get a better product than the Liebherr in the crane industry. It is like comparing a Kingswood and a Mercedes, there is no comparison,” he said.
Once the local roadability and safety items were fitted, which included a three-camera monitoring system, Grady and Liebherr then carried out the CraneSafe, plant registration and NSW road registration, and the last of the detailing, with a final quality assessment by Grady.
“The LTC looked fantastic in Hawkesbury Cranes’ colour scheme. With Ernie’s and my own high attention to detail it was a great feeling knowing that Ernie was extremely happy with the final delivered product,” said Grady.
“When Ernie and I began discussing the LTM 1090-4.2, the crane was still with Liebherr-Werk Ehingen getting put through its paces for the factory six-month warranty process as well as being fitted out with a new self-assembly second winch, rooster sheave, hydraulic luffing for the existing swing away jib, single sheave hook, anemometer, and flight light.
“Ernie and Cam also got us to supply a new H/D 2m erection jib and a set of our Liebherr 2m x 1.8m crane mats. Before leaving our factory the whole package was then sprayed in the Hawkesbury livery.
“Upon arrival into our facility in Erskine Park, like with the LTC1050-3.1, we installed the local roadability and safety items package.
“As the crane timbers are installed internally on our LTM1090-4.2s we also installed a timber box to the rear of the crane. As with all our used cranes final detailing and QA then took place.”
Jungherr added: “We bought our Liebherrs with plenty of options on it. This means we are maximising the resale ability of these cranes. We have extra winches and a luffing fly jib as well; we keep them parked undercover unless they’re out on site to ensure they are in pristine condition.”
For Jungherr and the team at Hawkesbury Cranes the affiliation with Liebherr goes so much further than just the crane itself, it’s the care that Grady and the team put into the success of the company.
“If you have a breakdown and that is the only version of that crane, you need it repaired ASAP. They do that at Liebherr, they always go above and beyond,” said Jungherr.
“I have now started to get all of my Liebherrs serviced and repaired by Liebherr. They come to the yard and I know that the OEM is the only person servicing my machines and the highest quality work is being done with a deep understanding of that machine.
“We can only compete with these big companies if our downtime is kept to a minimum. These bigger guys can just bring out an equivalent crane, whereas if my biggest goes down I need it to be fixed quickly.
“I cannot speak more highly of Tom Grady, he is fantastic. He has that mechanical background as well, so he knows a bit more than your regular salesman. Mark from spare parts and George and Nathan in the servicing team all work closely with us and they have been sensational.
“With Liebherr it is the attention to detail as well. Every time they work on it, they get it detailed. Once, when we picked it up, it had just rained and he got it detailed again to make sure it looked perfect,” Ernie said.
Loyalty is a cornerstone of Jungherr and Hawkesbury Cranes, whether it is the Liebherrs, his fuel provider, or his broker, he stands by the people who work hard for him.
“I have been with Jeff Wilson since 1999 for all of my brokering – I will only use Jeff,” said Jungherr.
“I showed him that the money he was brokering to me was going to be spent well and we have built that trust and he is someone whose opinion I value greatly.
“He has given me great advice over the years, he works closely with the crane industry. I stick with good people, Liebherr, Franna and Jeff.”