Originating in Germany in 1875 as a small family business, RUD’s chains now appear in a range of clients across a variety of industries – including mining in Queensland. Director of SureLift Crane Hire Mark ‘Chopper’ Read discusses his business and why the company consistently chooses RUD’s products.
It requires some ‘mental gymnastics’ to take a business from Germany in 1875 to Moranbah, Queensland, 2023, but that is exactly what German manufacturer RUD has done; according to SureLift owner Mark ‘Chopper’ Read, it’s for good reason.
“They’re the best chains in the industry,” says Chopper. “All of RUD’s lifting and lashing equipment consistently performs on safety and durability measures; it’s because of the way we’ve seen RUD’s products perform that we don’t buy anything but RUD.”
Chopper himself holds an extensive career in the mining industry; working in and around shutdowns in the mining industry before starting Surelift, he’s seen it all; and that’s why when he labels RUD’s chains and slings as the “best” he’s worked with, there’s an added element of legitimacy to his words.
SureLift Crane Hire was conceived in the mining town of Moranbah and began its operations with just one 20-tonne Franna crane. Since then, the Queensland-based company has expanded its fleet to include seven Franna P&C cranes, seven all terrain cranes, a 280-tonne crawler crane and a variety of truck and trailer combinations.
“Initially, when I started the business, I reflected on my time in the shutdown industry and I saw the potential for more crane hire in the market,” he says. “I decided to try it out, and we’ve eventually grown into the business we are today.”
At the core of its operations, SureLift provides crane hire and transport services to businesses and individuals in Moranbah and its surrounding regions. Frequently employed by contractors working in the mining, construction, maintenance and industrial sectors, Surelift’s team of 48 full-time employees is well-versed in the crane and logistics industry, thanks to the company’s 17 years of experience.
“The biggest problem that we experienced when starting SureLift was just attracting the work,” says Chopper. “But we kept our heads down and worked hard and eventually things fell our way; today, we own over 16 cranes and operate across a range of projects.”
Part of working across a range of projects in the crane industry requires versatile, durable, safe lifting and rigging equipment. As Chopper mentioned before, that is precisely what he feels SureLift receives when purchasing from RUD.
“Although we’re general hire, the chains consistently stand up for us no matter what environment they’re placed in,” he says. “I initially came across RUD’s chains early on in my career and they have not disappointed me.”
The other blatant testimony to the working capacities of the German manufacturer’s products is the industries they appear in. Working with a range of clients in the defence, infrastructure, energy and engineering industries, RUD’s chains offer “capacity, versatility, and unique features” that other chains “just don’t have”, according to Chopper.
Where this is most prevalent is with its ICE Grade 120 range of lifting chains. Weighing 30 per cent less than the next nominal grade chain, RUD’s ICE Grade 120 chain also possesses a 60 per cent higher breaking force than a grade 80 chain. Furthermore, as manufacturers, RUD holds the capacity to customise its lifting chains to provide customers with tailor-made solutions, dependent on their site requirements. On top of the aforementioned ICE Grade 120 chains, a RUD ICE 16mm chain – when used with a balancer – can lift up to 48 tonnes, the highest in its class.
“The balancer is a huge point of difference when compared to other options on the market,” says Chopper. “It allows us to lift at a higher capacity with the same level of safety.”
Aside from using its range of lifting chains and slings, Chopper is also highly complimentary of the lifting and lashing points that RUD supplies to SureLift. The German manufacturer offers more than 700 tested boltable and weldable lifting point variants with load ranges all the way up to 250 tonnes. Stringently tested and certified according to LEEA and NATA standards, Chopper says the versatility offered by the products is “incomparable”.
“Working in the shutdown industry, it’s imperative to get things right with dependable, durable products,” he says. “The weld on lift-points that we use are exactly that; having versatile gear that holds many applications at many ranges is essential.”
What all these products collectively feature for Chopper are two things: safety, and excellent post-sale service and support. Talking about his relationship with RUD Chains and its after-sale service, Chopper says no stone is left unturned for RUD when it comes to making sure the company supplies the right product in accordance with Surelift’s needs.
“Their post-sale service is excellent; anything you need to talk to them about – whether it be maintenance of the product, a new range that’s just come out, or different lifting solutions – they’re there,” he says. “Additionally, if we need any advice for setting up new slings or purchasing any new items, RUD are always on the other end of the phone ready and willing to give us a helping hand – or, in this case, a sling.”
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As mentioned above, all RUD’s products are manufactured, tested and maintained in accordance with Australian Quality, Environmental, and OH&S standards, as well as holding both LEEA and NATA accreditation. For the team at Surelift, this is even more important than RUD’s high-quality post-sale service: the lifting and rigging industry needs to be consistently flooded with safe, high-quality, sustainable products; with all of its products assembled and proof load tested in the company’s Brisbane-based facilities, Chopper believes RUD’s products tick all these boxes.
“At the start of the day, everyone’s got a right to go to work; at the end of the day, everyone’s got the right to go home safely,” says Chopper. “We feel that using RUD’s chains embodies that message of safety.”