Australia, Features, Products, Technology

New HSC crawler for General Crane Services

General Crane Services (GCS) recently took delivery of a new HSC CX2800A-3 from national distributor Tutt Bryant Equipment. GCS’s Nick Bucciarelli explains the background to the purchase and his past experience with HSC crawlers.

“Over the last six years we have had numerous crawler cranes in our fleet with capacities varying between 160t to 750t, and they have been deployed to projects right across Australia,” Nick said.

“The one constant model, and one which we believe every project we have undertaken has always required, is the HSC SCX2800A-3. This purchase was specifically designed to broaden our capabilities for our valued clients and to provide us with greater control of the capabilities we can internally provide as a business. Within two weeks of the crane arriving, we had secured our first project, and many more since,” said Nick.

After buying the SCX2800A-3, Nick says he won’t be waiting long to put it to work on the jobs it is best suited to.

The SCX2800A-3 is available with Stage IIIA / Tier 3 engines, and customers have the option to order the crane with a Cummins QSL9 engine that meets Stage IV / Tier 4 Final emissions regulations.

“We have a pipeline of construction projects which will see this crane is scheduled out until Q4 2024,” he said.

The crane is currently positioned in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia, and it will then be moving out to the Goldfields Area for its next project.

“For General Crane Services, the HSC SCX2800A-3 has been the most popular and versatile crane on the crawler market. To upskill our employees to operate these cranes has been relatively easy compared to other models, and in terms of maintenance the HSC brand is very user friendly for our technicians and services teams.

“We have been hiring this model over the past six years and we have never had a breakdown with any of the machines. This makes us confident that we have made the right choice by selecting the HSC SCX2800A-3 as our first crawler to enter the market with,” said Nick.

The SCX2800A-3 crawler is part of the latest generation SCX-3 series from HSC Cranes.

HSC Cranes, formerly Hitachi Sumitomo Cranes, is renowned worldwide for class-leading products of exceptional quality. Drawing from many decades of Japanese crawler crane development, HSC Cranes has succesfully introduced to the market its new SCX-3 series.

Through the exclusive Australian distributor of HSC Cranes, Tutt Bryant Equipment, the SCX-3 range offered locally comprises the SCX1000A-3 (100t), the SCX1500A-3 (150t) and the SCX CX2800A-3 (275t).

Building on the highly popular SCX2800-2 crane, which is also a mainstay on projects across Australia, the SCX2800A-3 comes in lift crane or luffing/tower configurations and it headlines a number of advanced features to further increase performance and efficiency. 

With backward compatibility that allows interchangeability with components from the older model such as boom insert sections, owners have much greater flexibility and economical reasons to upgrade to the SCX2800A-3 while still utilising existing in-service crane components.

The SCX2800A-3 boasts a familiar yet elegant design that enables efficient transportation, assembly and disassembly, and much improved safety of the crane operator and those working in close proximity.

Along with extra-wide windows, ergonomic designs such as a new large sliding door, a wide platform, and a comfortable and highly functional operator seat are designed to reduce operator fatigue and increase functionality. 

For better visibility when moving loads at height, a tilt mechanism allows the cab to be angled by up to 18 degrees optional handrails and walkways from the factory also ensure safety while working at height.

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Productivity is further enhanced by the fine speed control dials for hoisting, lowering, swinging and boom hoisting operations – all of which are positioned beside the operator for ease of access.

For General Crane Services, the HSC SCX2800A-3 has been the most popular and versatile crane on the crawler market.

A swing mode selector switch allows the choice between swing-free or swingbrake operation depending on work requirements and personal preferences.

The all-new Load Moment Indicator (LMI) with data-logging capabilities records duty cycle and winch hours, as well as load moment and line pull. This should, in theory, increase the safe operational age of the machine from current methods employed in complying with the new Australian regulations.

As a standard feature, remote sensing is installed in all machines to minimise downtime, ensure accurate maintenance and improve machine marketability.

In addition to a powerful 13.5t rated line pull winch for steady operations, the SCX2800A-3 has an Eco-Winch mode which allows high line speeds under light loads without having to increase the engine speed (low rpm). Bringing lower fuel consumption and reduced noise, this is an eco-friendly feature that will save fuel costs and minimise environmental impacts.

Productivity gains are also achieved via a unique combined hydraulic circuit developed by HSC Cranes. By increasing and optimising the pump pressure through the use of a mixed circuit to control the hydraulic oil from two hydraulic pumps, operability is enhanced when travelling, hoisting/lowering, swing and boom hoisting, all of which can be undertaken simultaneously.

The SCX2800A-3 is available with Stage IIIA / Tier three engines, and customers have the option to order the crane with a Cummins QSL9 engine that meets Stage IV / Tier four final emissions regulations. Along with major reduction in exhaust gas emissions, customers will benefit from reduced fuel consumption, saving cost and decreasing CO2 emissions.

A reduction counterweight specification is widely taken up by customers. By removing counterweights on the upper structure, this feature will allow the SCX2800A-3 to be utilised in four different capacity classes (275t, 260t, 250t and 240t). 

This will enable the crane to come into its own in situations where a lower operating weight or reduced ground bearing pressure are required.

The SCX2800A-3 design enables efficient transportation assembly and disassembly. Reduction counterweight specification will further give owners the flexibility to use the SCX2800A-3 as a lower capacity crane, whereupon the amount of counterweights needed to be transported to a job-site can be reduced.

The SCX2800A-3 also has optional 1260mm wide track shoes, some 140mm wider than the standard shoes. Reducing the ground bearing pressure by 12.5 per cent, this will make the crane more flexible and reduce the requirements for ground improvement tools.

Another option that will greatly improve safety around the crane is the swing restriction system. 

Used to limit the range of slew to pre-set working zones, the system aims to allow smooth operations when working within tight constrained sites. There is an added slow-down function prior to reaching the no-go zone, thereby minimising load swing.

Nick provides background to the relationship between General Crane Services and Tutt Bryant Equipment, the National Distributor for HSC Cranes.

“GCS has a very strong relationship with Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift and Shift, and we expected there would be no difference with Tutt Bryant Equipment and it proved to be so, with the purchase and delivery experiences from Tutt Bryant being seamless.

“We worked with Tutt Bryant a few years ago when we purchased a Kato MR130 for our Perth operations which has been a great machine and served our business extremely well. Tutt Bryant’s history with the HSC models and the other brands it represent makes communication very easy, when we need to better understand something about the cranes, we have a good network of people we can call, ask questions and they are always there to support us. It’s the same with their parts holding, we know they have ample stock of critical parts if we ever encounter a problem,” said Nick.

He goes onto to explain how crawler cranes are becoming an important part of the General Crane Services fleet.

“Crawler cranes have fast become a big part of the General Crane Services fleet and business offering. The projects we now tender and get awarded are larger scale, with bigger lifts and longer durations. Our entry to the market with this crane will fit in nicely with our pipeline of work.

“We have been very happy with the performance of the HSC SCX2800A-3, and as we’ve seen with the machines we’ve hired in the past, it’s a well engineered crane and designed to handle Australian applications which can be tough on machinery especially cranes. 

“The crane is popular with our operators and as I’ve said, we are more than happy with the support the team at Tutt Bryant Equipment provides. They have aways been there for us in terms of parts and product support which made the decision to make our first crawler purchase the HSC SCX2800A-3 an easy one,” said Nick. 

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