Coffs City Cranes recently took delivery of a new Tadano ATF 130G-5, the largest capacity all terrain in the Coffs region. Operations manager Emma Makinson explains the reasoning behind the purchase and how it fits into the fleet.
“Over the last 12 months, the Coffs region has been a little unpredictable. Like the rest of the nation, we struggled with COVID, and then we were hit with rain which has been fairly consistent since before Christmas and then in March, the region was saturated by the ‘Conveyor Belt of Rain Bombs,’ as it was described.
“Throughout these challenges, we didn’t stand down any of our 20 fulltime employees which was important for us. Some took accrued annual leave to help the business which was excellent and reflects the values of the family business we are running,” she said.
By March 2020 Makinson could clearly see a lack of confidence in various industry sectors due to the uncertainty around COVID and this led to projects being delayed.
“Obviously, we operate in various markets and when a pandemic like COVID hits, everything comes to a standstill. But as the Federal and State Governments dealt with the issues, we gradually saw confidence return and construction companies were enthusiastic about getting projects underway.
“This enthusiasm was frustratingly dampened by the long term wet weather pattern which started in December. Projects went to tender at the end of last year and were awarded in the new year but they couldn’t start because of the wet weather.
“Working with a cross a section of clients from various industry sectors, we could see from the work in the pipeline, a larger capacity all terrain was required. We work closely with our clients, planning projects and lift planning with them. From this planning process we could see we were going to need a crane with more lifting capabilities.
“We were originally looking at the Demag AC 160-5 but with the uncertainties, we couldn’t commit to the machine; we just didn’t know when the work was going to kick off.
“By the time we were ready to commit, the Tadano ATF 130G-5 was available, in fact it was the only one of its kind in the country. We have had a Tadano in our fleet for some time, we’ve been really pleased and impressed with its performance and it’s been a really strong lifter.
My colleague Sam went up for a demo and found the 130 to be an intuitive crane with a really strong boom. They are a great crane and that’s why we chose the Tadano.
The ATF 130G-5 has undergone detailed updating in line with the transition to EU Stage IV/ EPA Tier 4f. The new driver’s cab offers enhanced all-round visibility, ergonomic quality seats which provide especially high long-term seating comfort and a new multifunction which can be actuated additionally via buttons or a rotary pushbutton, as the driver sees fit.
The same touchscreen is additionally located in the superstructure cab – even in duplicate. The main display visualizes the image taken by two cameras and can be inclined electronically very easily in order to adapt it to the prevailing light conditions. The supplementary display features an additional camera view and can even be removed from its location in order to make operation even more convenient. For many pieces of information, the crane operator is able to determine on his/her own which display the information is to be visualized on. Thus, new additional information about the various crane operating states may be called off as required, such as average fuel consumption, oil temperature or hydraulic oil level. Thus, the crane operator has full control over his/her crane at any time, at a glance.
The new ATF 130G-5 has the asymmetric outrigger base control feature made by TADANO, which helps the crane reach even higher lifting capacities with the outriggers extended to different lengths. Additional standard features are air conditioning units in the superstructure and carrier cab and central lubrication systems in the superstructure and the carrier.
Tadano’s carriers boast highway speed capacity and manoeuvrability, ideal for both on and off-road construction as well as industrial projects. These models enable access to confided job sites because of their all wheel steering.
The ATF 130G-5 has an 18 m boom extension which is mounted to the 60 m main boom.
At a total weight of 60t and an axle load of 1t, it can be transported along with the crane.
The boom extension can be used as a 3.8 m heavy duty jib or as a 10/18 m jib as demanded by the work to be performed. This means that neither the boom extension nor the heavy jib need to be transported separately then mounted, resulting in considerable reduction in costs. The rounded boom is made of high tensile steel, which allows for decreased boom weight and increased boom strength.
For extension and retraction of sections, seven section box type construction consisting of one base section and six telescopic sections are extended by a single telescoping cylinder. All sections are fully extended/retracted automatically and locked in the selected working position.
Automatic moment limiter (AML)
Tadano’s AML is easy to use, innovative in design, displays important information to the operator and enables the operator to a preset custom working environment. For example, the AML shows the boom angle, boom length, load radius, operating pressure of the elevating cylinder, the extension width of the outriggers, slewing position, rated lifting capacity and present hook load. These features allow the AML to move seamlessly through all lifting operations without having to change configurations or input new codes to make the lift. The AML safety features provide both audio and visual warnings. When an operation approaches the load limit, Tadano’s slow stop function engages to avoid shock loads.
When operating the asymmetric outriggers extended, the AML automatically detects the extension width of outriggers at the front and rear and to the left and right of the crane to allow maximum work capacity in each area.
When slewing the boom from the longer outrigger area to the shorter outrigger area the AML automatically detects the motion and displays the maximum capacity depending on each of the extension widths of outriggers and brings the motion to a slow stop before it reaches the limits of the allowed capacity.
Therefore, even in the case of operator error, the AML’s slow stop function will help to minimise any safety risk.
Boom deflection occurs when the winch is wound due to the weight of the lifted load, causing the lifted load to sway in a direction that expands the load radius as it clears the ground. This situation requires very careful and precise operation to mitigate outward movement of the hook block. In the lift adjuster function, the AML detects boom deflection
and automatically adjusts boom angle to mitigate outward hook block movement.
Makinson explains how Tadano’s approach to after sales service and support was a deciding factor when choosing the new crane.
“The Tadano team have been amazing throughout the purchasing process and that’s one of the main reasons we went with Tadano. Although we didn’t buy the first Tadano from them new, the after sales support, support and parts back up has been brilliant. Nothing too much for the team and if there is an issue, we can phone Jay Gower or any of his colleagues and they’ll work to fix it or escalate the issue to have it solved as quickly as possible. The Tadano service has been fabulous,” she said.
The Makinsons collected the Tadano ATF 130 from Tadano’s Brisbane facility just after Easter and it went to work the next day.
“It went straight to work on a large project for one of our valued clients Lipman, who are building a four storey housing and office accommodation complex. The project involves lifting precast panelling and balconies into place. The increase the height of the building they have increased the size of the tilt up panels which required larger lifting capacities and boom length.
“There are other precast projects in the pipeline with our other valued client Fine Form Precast and also pre-cast stadium upgrades. There are also a number of local projects which will see us erecting tower cranes, the installation of pedestrian bridges and that’s all happening this year and there will be more industrial sheds being erected with our other valued clients. So there is a fair amount of work lined up for the crane already. And we’d like to think there will be plenty of work on the Coffs Harbour by-pass when that finally kicks off.
“Given our yard is only 27 meters from the new alignment, we are fairly confident of securing some work. The early works contracts are out and this work should start around June, but the rain has delayed everything and the Coffs by-pass should get underway in 2022,” she said.
Makinson discusses the crew at Coffs City Crane and how accepting they have been of the Tadano brand.
“All our slew crane operators can operate the various brands of slew cranes we have which include Groves and Tadanos. Most prefer to operate the Tadano and they are all very excited to have the new crane on board,” she said.