News, Projects

New model Maeda headed for tunnel project

A brand new Maeda telescopic crawler arrived late last year and went straight to work on Melbourne’s major tunnelling project.

The first unit of the newly released 8.2t capacity Maeda CC1908S-1 telescopic crawler crane, arrived in Australia at the end of 2020. Troy Edwards from TWE Crane Service, the owner of the new model, immediately shipped it to Melbourne to commence work on a major rail tunnelling project.

Edwards started in the crane industry working for Liebherr Mobile Cranes. He worked with Liebherr for 10 years in both Western Australia and Melbourne. Edwards was a field service engineer working on Liebherr’s range of machines. In February 2021 TWE Crane Services will have been operating for six years.

According to Edwards, the purchase of the new Maeda is his first venture into crane ownership and hire. TWE Crane Services is better recognised as one of Melbourne’s leading crane maintenance and service providers.

“TWE Crane Services completes service maintenance and repairs on all brands and all types mobile and crawler cranes. We work on all brands including Liebherr, Grove’s, Tadano’s, Demag’s and Maeda’s etc. We have our own facility in Ringwood and we are currently trying to find a larger facility. We offer a full spectrum of service right through from regular services up to 10 year inspections and we also have a mobile service where we visit customers and service their cranes on site,” he said.

“A lot of our work is conducted on site and we work around our clients schedules. It’s not always feasible for customers to get a crane to us so we travel to them and get the job down. Given the amount of work that is going on in the Melbourne right now, all of our customers are flat out and for many, it’s too disruptive to take a crane off site for a day or so, there’s too much productivity lost which nobody wants.

“With our service and support business, we work for everyone and anyone throughout the greater Melbourne area. We have a large number of precast panel customers, businesses that make the panels and run one crane to install them. This means the cranes are working six days a week and clocking up the hours really quickly and so we work with the customers to service the cranes and make there the cranes downtime is kept to a minimum,” said Edwards.

Edwards goes on to explain the background behind the purchase of the new Maeda CC1908S-1.

“This is our first venture into owning and hiring cranes, and the Maeda was perfect for the job. Sometime ago, we received an approach from our customer Major Cranes, who said they were interested in a dry hiring a crawler crane for a project they were working on. We did our research and when Michael Cawston, National Sales Manager at Pace Cranes, told me they were bringing out the new model, it all went from there.

“We are delighted to take delivery of the first unit of this particular model in the country. We’re obviously keen to grow this side of the business and when we get the machine in and operating, we can show customers what we are doing and hopefully grow the hire side from there,” he said.

The Maeda CC1908S-1 telescopic crawler crane has a lifting capacity of 8.2t at 2.8m with a maximum lifting height of 20.1m and 26.0m with fly jib. It features a maximum working radius of 19.23m and 20.9m with fly jib and has a pick and carry capacity of 3.5t.

The CC1980S-1 is fitted with isolators and UHF and an external emergency stop, the standard spec machines have these days.

The hydraulic fly jib features on the Maeda Spider Cranes but it’s the first time its featured on a pick and carry, so it will be interesting to see how this performs. The CC1980S-1 also features an aerial view camera system so the operator is able to see exactly what is happening around him which increases the safety of the cranes’ operation. There are four cameras around the base of the boom, just like the cameras in today’s cars and these provide a surround view of the machine. If you are moving the machine around it’s easy to see if someone moves into close proximity. Options on the machine include remote control operation and the search hook which is a new option for the CC model. It features a static hook and also a sheave.

The Maeda CC1908S-1 will be working on the Metro Tunnel project.

The $11 billion Metro Tunnel is a metropolitan rail infrastructure project currently under construction in Melbourne, Australia. It includes the construction of twin 9-kilometre rail tunnels between South Kensington station and South Yarra with five new underground stations.

“We purchased the new Maeda for the Metro Tunnel project because it meets all the specific requirements for the job. It is obviously under the 20t range so we can get it into the tunnel, it can operate on suspended floors and it has the capability as a 3.5t pick and carry as well. We’re not exactly sure where it will be working, it could be at Parkville or the Domain station, but it’s going into the tunnel on a dry hire contract and we hope it will remain there until the project is completed,” said Edwards.

Edwards flew to Sydney with his employees Rick Imrie and Josh Barter, to see the new Maeda arrive.

Rick Imrie has been in cranes for approximately 13 years. In Western Australia he worked for Hercules Crane Hire and moved to Mammoet Australia where he had the opportunity to experience training at the Liebherr factory in 2008.

“I’ve been working on earthmoving equipment since 2015 and I decided I wanted to get back in to cranes. I’d met Troy previously in WA, when I was working at Hercules and he was at Liebherr. I put my resume into TWE Crane Services not knowing it was his company. Troy called me back and left a message and I recognised the name straight away. He didn’t know I was in Melbourne, so we met and as they say, the rest is history,” said Imrie.

Josh Barter is new to cranes. Until recently joining TWE Crane Services, he had worked for Shorlands, a crane hire business in Darwin.

“I was the only mechanic managing their fleet and I was pretty much self-taught on how to fix cranes and how they work. My background is in rail with locomotives, power generation, earthmoving and mining equipment. I’m new to the business but enjoying the work with Troy and Rick. It’s a great business to be involved with,” said Barter.

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