Australia, C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features

Preston Hire’s transition to a sustainable fleet

Preston Hire makes its fleet more sustainable with the purchase of Maeda battery powered cranes.

Preston Hire recently took delivery of a battery powered Maeda MC305CB, a 2.98 tonne capacity mini telescopic crawler with a 12.52m lifting height. Preston Hire’s Head of Cranes Stephan Becherand explains more.

  • Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter to receive the latest news from Australasia’s lifting industry.
  • Don’t miss a lift and subscribe to our monthly magazine.
  • Download our latest digital magazine to catch up on the biggest news and developments in the crane industry.

“We have over 70 Meadas in our national fleet and we have been operating the smaller hybrid cranes with three-phase capabilities for some time. More recently we took delivery of two MC285CB-3s which were the first fully electric powered battery operated machines manufactured by Maeda. 

“The arrival of the Maeda MC305CB confirms how focused we are on our environmental responsibilities and this addition to the fleet will make a significant contribution to reducing our carbon emission footprint,” said Stephan.

“Obviously, there is a significant demand from our clients for zero emission machines for a range of different applications including indoor environments such as shopping centres, where customers are handling fresh food produce, or where the crane is operating in a processing plant or in environments where combustion engines and related emissions are a definite no go.

“Increasingly we are seeing demand for battery electric mini crawler cranes in the construction sector where they are working in confined spaces, such as tunnelling applications, or high-rise construction projects where construction workers are working alongside the crane – requiring the work environment to be totally emission free,” he said.

Preston Hire is aware of its responsibility to provide customers with state-of-the-art craneage solutions which are also environmentally friendly, says Stephan.

“We are committed to an ongoing investment in our fleet which will see us working closely with the various crane OEMs to ensure we are transitioning our capabilities by upgrading and expanding with the latest technology and green options. There is a terrific amount of development in this area, and it is important for a national crane hire business like Preston Hire to understand when these developments are realistically going to be available. 

“Customer demand for the two Maeda MC285CB-3s has been very high and they are well-utilised assets, this gave us the confidence to invest in the MC305CB. The crane was delivered by Pace Cranes on the Friday, the following Monday it went to site where it stayed for almost three weeks – so the early signs are promising that it will be an equally well utilised asset. 

Preston Hire makes its fleet more sustainable with the purchase of Maeda battery powered cranes.
Preston Hire is aware of its responsibility to provide customers with state of the art craneage solutions which are also environmentally friendly. Image: Preston Hire.

“The investment in battery electric powered Maeda mini crawlers will continue in various capacities and we will introduce other models and types of cranes when we are confident they fit the needs of our customers,” said Stephan.

The performance and lifting capabilities of the Maeda battery powered mini crawlers are not impacted compared to diesel or hybrid powered equivalents says Stephan.

“The productivity and the capabilities of the machine are the equivalent to a diesel powered or hybrid machine. Customers are able to get a full eight to 10-hour shift from one battery charge and this includes lifting and tracking. From the operators’ perspective, the responsiveness of the controls and the lifting capabilities of the crane are the same, the only difference they notice with the battery electric powered cranes is how quiet they are and the lack of emissions,” he said.

Preston Hire works closely with Maeda’s National Distributor Pace Cranes. Stephan goes on to discuss this relationship and how responsive they are in terms of sales, service and product support.

“We have been working closely with Pace Cranes for over 20 years and developed an excellent working relationship over this time. 

“In our experience Anthony, Michael and the Pace Cranes commitment to the Maeda product is unconditional. They have a national presence which is critical for an organisation like Preston Hire and their understanding of the technical aspects of the Maeda product range is excellent. 

“We have unconditional access to the technical department as well as the parts department. If there are ever any niggling issues with the cranes or we need a spare part in a hurry, the Pace Cranes team is always super responsive. They understand the critical nature of our business and will help get a crane up and running as quickly as they possibly can,” said Stephan.

While it is small, Stephan says he is impressed with the robust nature of the Maeda range and how well the cranes are designed, engineered, and manufactured.

“For me, Maeda mini crawlers are a high-quality product based on traditional Japanese engineering and manufacturing values. They are built with high quality steel, making them highly robust and capable of operating in harsh conditions like tunnelling operations.

“With the new MC305CB, the first thing you notice is the quality of the crane’s finish. It shines and having had Maedas in our fleet for such a long time, we know the quality of the components, we know how reliable they are and how popular they are with our customers.

“Because they are so well produced and high quality, Maedas have longevity. We manage our fleet of Maedas very carefully, servicing them, checking them after each rental and before they go out on the next job and relying on Pace Cranes to assist when needed. They are extremely well utilised assets in our fleet and will continue to be so,” said Stephan.

The new Maeda MC305CB has remote control capabilities standard via a cable remote (wireless optional) which Stephan is happy about.

“The MC305CB features a wired remote as opposed to a wireless remote which I’m quite happy about. We are dry hiring these cranes to various customers all of the time and they find themselves on numerous projects across the country.

“What tends to happen with wireless remotes on these jobs? They get lost, and to replace a wireless remote is not a cheap exercise. We have had cranes return from projects and when it’s time for the next rental we can’t find the remote, it’s not with the crane…” 

“With the cabled option the operator has the ability to operate the crane remotely so he can a better view of the lift site for example, and we have the peace of mind that the remote control will be returned with the crane at the end of the rental period. It’s a win-win,” said Stephan. 

Send this to a friend