Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift has been building a business capable of offering turnkey, heavy lift and haulage solutions for customers across numerous industry sectors. Malcom Smith, general manager of Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift, explains that for this to happen, the company has been investing in the right technology and people.
Malcom Smith has been with Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift for 15 years and started in Melbourne as the state manager. At that time, he was the only engineer in the company. A promotion to the National Operations Manager role after four years, he was most recently promoted to General Manager.
“Seven years ago, we restructured the business and I moved to Western Australia. Part of the restructure enabled us to re-focus our efforts on turnkey solutions, particularly the engineering component of these solutions. One of the crucial objectives was to identify and bring the right people into the organisation. We now have six permanent engineers working on safe work method statements, lift studies and transport studies for Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift, offering solution-based proposals for customers.
“Some of our engineers end up on site to help manage projects. Currently, we have an engineer permanently based on a mine site up in the north west of WA. We’ve just finished four key dual crane lifts on a significant iron ore site involving one of our Manitowoc MLC650VPCs and a Liebherr LR 1600-2. Two of our engineers worked in the client’s office for four months in the lead up to the job, and then one went to site where he’s been for almost six months,” said Smith.
Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift offers tailored solutions to customers, says Smith. When he and his team are working on a project, the first step is to examine the equipment available to them within the business as well as what is available in the marketplace.
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“We have the largest crawler in Australia, the Demag CC8800-1 which has just gone to work on a project in the south west of WA. Before that, it was working on a wind farm in WA, completing wind tower erections.
“Our fleet of cranes goes from the CC8800-1 down to our smallest crawler, a 90t HSC Sumitomo. We then have our tele-crawler range which includes the Link-Belt TCC-1400 (127t capacity), TCC-1100 (100t capacity), Sennebogen 683RHD (80t capacity and a Link-Belt TCC-500 which is a 50t capacity tele-crawler.
“Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift has two wet hire operations in Darwin and Muswellbrook, and these are servicing maintenance contracts in the Hunter Valley and also in Darwin and the surrounds, particularly in the oil and gas sector. We also have a number of modular hydraulic jacking systems (mobile gantry systems) in the fleet, including two Enerpac SB 1100s which are 1100t capacity systems and feature multi directional travel.
“We also have a 60t gantry acquired recently. It’s a nice addition to the fleet and has been put to use lifting smaller modules and generators inside buildings. This is quite specialised and niche, complementing our other assets and demonstrates our engineering capabilities in alternative methodologies.
“Our heavy transport business which includes Nicolas and Drake road-going trailers and our Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT) which are non-road going. We run Cometto SPMT but have just purchased 40 axle lines of Scheuerle for further onsite works,” said Smith.
From a construction perspective, Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift can offer turnkey solutions from cranes, heavy lifting, heavy transport to alternative methodologies. It also has the engineering expertise to manage the pre-engineering solutions, put together the detailed design and engineering documentation and then execute the job,” says Smith.
“Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift employs experienced operators in our business, so we are able to provide both wet and dry hire. Recently, we’ve been crewing the cranes on mines sites in the north west of WA. One of our advantages is our operators are also qualified mechanics, so if the machine has a problem, our response time is immediate. When you are in remote locations, minimising down time is key,” said Smith.
The Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift all terrain fleets in both Muswellbrook and Darwin are dominated by Groves, says Smith.
“Both operations run GMK 6300Ls and they have been very good cranes to the business. We also run GMK 4100L-1s, GMK 5130s, a GMK 5150L and a GMK 5100. We get excellent back up and support from Grove especially from WATM Cranes in WA and there are also good services in Darwin.
“A major benefit with the new cabins in both the Manitowoc crawlers and the Grove all terrains is the interchangeability of components. For example, if we are stuck for parts, we can take the joy sticks or any component out of the new Grove 4100L-1s and put them into the MLC650.
Another key part of the Group is Tutt Bryant Equipment, which is a leading national distributor of new and used equipment, representing top tier brands such as HSC Sumitomo, Kato, Bomag, Metso, Yanmar, Sumitomo, Gehl, Noram, Venieri and Combi Wear Parts.
“Tutt Bryant Equipment has an extensive network of warehouses and workshops across Australia, stocking a large range of spare parts for all of their products, including Kato and HSC Sumitomo cranes.
It is an added bonus that the person driving the crane is capable of fixing it, but they have to have the parts in the first place.
A great example of Tutt Bryant’s innovation and forward-thinking is the recent acquisition of a second MLC650VPC, which is a 700t capacity crawler crane from Manitowoc that is equipped with Variable Positioning Counterweight (VPC) and VPC-MAX. The flexibility of the machine is second to none explains Smith.
“With traditional superlift cranes, unless you have a wheeled car, you have to stack and de-stack the counterweight or connect and re-connect it for each individual lift. Generally, when you are conducting multiple lifts, the radius or the weight changes and this means the crane needs to be reconfigured with a different superlift configuration.
“The MLC650 automatically adjusts the radius of the counterweight on the rear of the crane. The counterweight on the upper rear of the crane is the counterweight which ends up being the superlift counterweight. It is automatically controlled by the LMI system and the operator needs to operate within the safety parameters of the crane. The crane has the ability to slow the operator down if he is going too fast. There are a number of safety features within the crane including the control of the counterweight as it travels rearwards or forwards depending on whether the radius is increasing or decreasing. This is all computer controlled by the LMI system,” he said.
“This leaves the operator to concentrate on what he is doing and not worry about what the superlift needs to do. With traditional superlift cranes, the operator has to adjust their radius and winch pressures, and these are issues the operator is thinking about whilst performing the lift. Although it generally doesn’t happen, if the operator is preoccupied with other issues, it could lead to a safety incident. The MLC650 has some very good robust and solid safety features which allows the operator to concentrate on what he has to do, and that’s to lift, control and place the load,” said Smith.
Crawler cranes like the MLC650 are major investments for any organisation, but the return on investment is realised with the flexibility of the machine as it can be deployed to projects of various natures, says Smith.
“We started working the first MLC650 in WA, lifting pipe spools for an offshore oil and gas project. We were in a fabrication yard picking these up, walking them out and loading them onto a barge. We lifted something like 80 pipes over a five-month period. Having the ability to pick and carry was key in this application and keeping the ground pressures low because of the need to balance between the front and back with the counterweights and the load.
“We then moved the crane to install bridge beams over a river for a new road and from there we completed one of the largest pedestrian bridges in the Southern Hemisphere here in Perth. From there we’ve completed some shutdown work and then made a big trip to Darwin and down to a uranium mine. We were able to travel and manage the job from Perth and then get the crane back to Karratha. We had about 300t less in counterweights to transport as the components from the crane were lighter, so our mobilisation and de-mobilisation was more competitive, and we were able to pass these savings onto the customer, which secured the work,” he said.
There are multiple advantages to the crane says Smith. It has three different counterweight configurations and the VPC Max features a rear derrick or a boom out the back which is like a traditional superlift. It has the VPC which is like a travelling counterweight which travels on the crane upper carbody, meaning the rear derrick isn’t required. Technically, there are six configurations to the 700t crane in counterweight configurations, let alone the various boom configurations.
“With the new crane, we can talk about the specialised fields where we are able to engineer ‘customised solutions’. Our second MLC650 was recently acquired for a major project in Melbourne where it is required to be operating on temporary jetties which have been built out into the water. These temporary jetties are only big enough to pick up the tracks, but they don’t pick up the counterweight when you are travelling.
“If you are using a traditional superlift crane, you require something under the superlift tray at all times for rearwards stability. With the MLC650’s VPC, we are able to control the position of the counterweight and to ensure it is able to be supported in the event there was a rearward stability issue.
“I talk about rearward stability in the context of let’s say a sling was to break or a lifting lug was to tear out and the crane was to reduce its load really quickly, you can understand the load moment out the back with the superlift could potentially pull the crane over backwards. We can control the position of that, so it could be supported if there was a possible failure. This became the optimum solution for the project,” said Smith.
“Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift is focused on delivering end-to-end solutions for our customers. We very much welcome enquiries at the very early stages of a project so we can fully apply our engineering capabilities and practical experiences to help formulate the best options for our customers. Our value proposition extends to the detailed documentation, logistics, people, equipment and other aspects of execution to ensure successful completion of our scopes. We believe we are one of the leaders in terms of the service and equipment we offer, as well as the turnkey solutions we are able to engineer and implement for our customers,” said Smith.