C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features

New Grove largest all terrain in Apple Isle

Tasmania’s Pfeiffer Cranes recently took delivery of a new Grove GMK6450-1. With a lifting capacity of 450t, this is the largest all terrain in Tasmania. Jack Pfeiffer provides background information relating to the purchase and confirms how important the Grove brand is to the family business.

Pfeiffer Cranes has built its reputation for quality and reliable service to the construction industry since 1981, when it was started by Fred and Delcie Pfeiffer. The company remains family owned and operated to this day, with sons Dan and Craig now experienced and skilled operators capable of working on a vast array of different jobs. Having worked for the family business for their entire careers they are now competently gaining work through their reputation as highly skilled operators.

Dan and Craig were recently joined by eldest brother Jack, who operates his own business, Engineering Plus, and has always been involved in the family crane business in some form or another.

“I have run my own engineering company for 20 years and also operate a crane inspection business. With this experience in mind, my company has always aided Pfeiffer Cranes with Lift Plans, engineering drawings and Lift Studies as well as assisting with industrial projects, Occupational Health & Safety advice and management strategies when and where it has been needed,” said Jack.

The Pfeiffer fleet is impressive by any standards, including 11 trucks, 18 trailers and 21 cranes consisting of brands including Kato, Tadano, Terex and Grove with a range of capacities from a 12t Franna to the new Grove GMK6450-1, 450t all terrain.

“We are a mobile crane service with a focus on creating fast, efficient and safe lifts for the erection of buildings, bridges, transformers and house relocation – really anything a client is looking for. We also have a strong history in mining and general construction. The addition of the new Grove GMK6450-1 is important for the larger scale industrial projects we are now working on,” said Dan.

Grove’s 450-tonne, six-axle all-terrain crane possesses a main boom length of 60m which can lift 64 tonnes and has a 132m maximum lifting height with an array of extensions. Able to lift nine tonnes at that height, the highly compact crane can also be fitted with a boom removal configuration which reduces axle loads to the lowest level possible for scenarios where minimal transportation weight is required.

The MegaWing attachment is easy and quick to set up and allows for boosted lifting capacities.

Additionally, the Grove GMK6450-1 also comes with Manitowoc’s patented MegaWingLift, a self-rigging system requiring sub-20-minute setup and dismantling times that boosts the lifting capacity of the crane. The increase in productivity and efficiency offered by the 450-tonne machine was also a major selling point for Pfeiffer Cranes, says Jack.

This crane also features Grove’s famous MEGATRAK suspension system. All wheels are engineered with independent hydropneumatic suspension and hydraulic lockout. Simply put, this ensures a smooth ride even over challenging terrain. Driver comfort has never been better in a crane of this capacity!

The Grove GMK 6450-1’s superstructure also features a graphic display load moment and independent two-block system. This includes an audio-visual warning and control lever lock-out. These systems provide a clear, electronic display of boom angle, length, radius, tip height, relative load moment, maximum permissible load, load indication and warning of impending two-block condition with lock-out hoist function

The Pfeiffer Cranes team is regularly challenged to undertake complex lifts which include site inspections and detailed planning and consideration of different options. Lift and engineering studies are conducted and 3D lift plan drawings take into account the lift charts of the fleet and what they can lift at various radiuses – with all the options considered to complete the job safely and succinctly.

A recent example of this level of planning was a six Grove crane lift involving a Bison Sheds, shed roof for a wool store shed owned by Wool Solutions.

Craig explains there were a number of complicating factors relating to the lift.

“Being in close proximity to the airport required the use of cranes with restricted boom lengths. This, in turn, required the deployment of more cranes and additional rigging equipment to complete the project safely and efficiently. Communication was critical during the lift, and this was maintained through private channel radios among six cranes and four riggers. The total weight of the roof and rigging etc was 100t spread over the cranes with each of the cranes derated by 50 per cent,” he said.

Jack goes on to discuss the reasons behind the purchase of the new Grove GMK6450-1 and the relationship and service the company receives.

“The business started off with Kato Cranes and quickly moved on to the first Grove. Today, all the larger cranes we own are Groves.  The capacities start with the 55t GMK3055 and include the GMK3060L, GMK4080-1, GMK 4090-1, two GMK 5150-Ls, GMK 5220, GMK 6300L, GMK640 and now the GMK6450-1. A close relationship with Grove continues to this day,” said Jack.

“The crane was purchased as a result of the long-standing working relationship we have Woolnorth’s wind towers. We purchased the crane with the full accessories which are exchangeable with the 6400, which we can see will be a real bonus.

Jack explains the Pfeiffer family continues to focus mainly on Grove when it comes to all terrains.

“My parents and brothers love consistency, and our business is built on relationships. This is also true when it comes to purchasing our larger cranes. The service and reliability that Grove give our family business is second to none, and that is why we continue to work closely with the brand. They support us 100 per cent and we support them right back,” he said.


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