C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features, Queensland

Russell Transport: Achieving the complete logistics solution

Russell Transport: Achieving the complete logistics solution

Russell Transport offers complete logistics solutions; transport, lifting and freight terminal services. With their new portable gantry system and a focus on service with safety, the business continues to grow and diversify.

Russell Transport was founded by Roy Bayley Russell in 1925 and has remained a family business for 94 years. Today, the company is run by the third generation, Ken Russell, Director of Operations and Julie Russell, Director of Support Services, and they continue to impart the same family business traditions and values instilled by their father, Philip, and grandparents, Roy and Beryl.

Russell Transport operates from various locations across South East Queensland, providing versatile solutions to customers Australia wide.

The company is structured into two divisions; Contract Distribution and Industrial Resource Services.

Russell Transport’s Contract Distribution Division has a wide range of operations covering on-line grocery deliveries, steel products, building and construction materials and liquor distribution. Additionally, they run several other regional transport operations along the east coast.

The Industrial Resource Services division provides a complete logistical solution including; heavy haulage, Freight Terminal services, Specialised and General transport and lift and shift solutions. Russell Transport invested in quality people, equipment and technology to provide lift and shift capabilities include a 200 tonne Skidding and Skating system and their brand new 320 tonne Lift-N-Lock.

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The business initially started with one truck delivering kerosene for the Commonwealth Oil Refinery in 1925 and has seen a steady growth and diversification. Over the years the service offerings have transformed into complete end to end logistical solutions across multiple industries. The drive for continual improvement and surviving the tough times has been passed down from one generation to the next.  With a focus on service with safety, Russell Transport has made South East Queensland its base of operations, with four depots. The head office and workshop services has been based in Eagle Farm since 1970 after moving operations from New Farm. At Lytton, their second depot operates to service the Port of Brisbane, and depots on the Gold Coast and on the Sunshine Coast provide the coverage for their contract distribution operations.

The Lytton facilities offers freight terminal services including full Australian Quarantine Inspection Services, such as washing, inspections, clearances and fumigation. The site is an accredited customs bond secure facility, designed to handle anything from small boxes to heavy mining equipment.

According to Isabella Burke, Assistant Operations and Key Accounts Manager, Russell Transport, the latest addition to the Russell Transport fleet is very exciting.

“We recently took delivery of our Lift-N-Lock, a portable hydraulic gantry system that can lift and shift up to 320t. With its ease of mobilisation and lifting capacity, it has the ability to provide more efficient and safer lifting and installation options compared to large mobile or crawler cranes,” she said.

“The efficiency gains can be astronomical just in the mobilisation. The system only takes four semis to mobilise it anywhere, whereas the mobilisation costs of one or two large mobile cranes can become a huge cost to complete the same operation.”

The Lift-N-Lock product arrived in July and is a US-produced system manufactured by J&R Engineering.

“It provides us with ideal lifting capabilities for applications such as installing transformers, generators and industrial machinery. Generally, places mobile cranes can’t access or would then require the use of very large capacity cranes to achieve the lift or task required.  It’s an excellent solution for heavy and specialised lifts and provides  a crucial piece of the puzzle in supporting our goal of end to end solutions,” said Burke.

“This system offers flexible solutions for controlling the final installation or unload point. With full remote control, it can remove operators from risks and dangers, and allows flexibility of vision for the crew operating the unit. However, for some sites like airports that require non-wireless operations it has a cable option,” she said.

The J&R Engineering Gantry system features the exclusive Lift-N-Lock cam locking technology, which provides true continual load protection throughout the duration of the lift.

In the unlikely event a lift cylinder would lose pressure or otherwise fail, the system will immediately engage to hold the load in place. This ensures that a suspended load is never inadvertently lowered or dropped The Lift-N-Shifts cam lock system will hold the load indefinitely.  Essentially, the system has a mechanical lock out system and not a hydraulic lock.

The Lift and Lock and Skidding and Skating service dramatically adds to the capabilities of Metro-Lift Crane Hire, a mobile crane hire business also owned by the Russell’s since 1991.

“Metro-Lift is our dry hire crane business which offers a variety of lifting solutions Australia wide. Currently, our fleet of 16 cranes, ranges from a 12t city crane to a 280t crawler. Our cranes are predominantly operating in Queensland however we have previously had cranes operating in New South Wales, Western Australia and America, if it works for both parties, we can provide a lifting solution,” said Burke.

According to Burke, across the business’s they operate, the fleet is designed to be versatile with its capabilities and capacities focused to deliver outcomes their customers require.

“Recently, we’ve seen a significantly higher level of demand from the mining sector, leading to strong utilisation of our Heavy Haulage operations which goes hand and hand with our lifting and shifting options we have within our group. Adding the Lift-N-Lock into our fleet has come at a perfect time,” she said.

Russell Transport are focussed on ensuring customers are provided with the right solution for the right application.

“My job is to confirm our capabilities with our clients and to establish what services they require and then ensure our team offers our services in a co-ordinated approach. I maintain contact and provide any KPI data they require. To build long term relationships, clients must be satisfied with our offering which includes an understanding of the required levels of compliance, maintenance and proof of delivery required,” she said.

“At Russell Transport and Metro-Lift, we talk with the client and work out exactly what they need and which of our services will be best suited to meet their requirements. For example, a client based in the city will probably do very little kilometres and spend more hours operating the crane, but cranes hired in central Queensland will spend more time travelling because the jobs just aren’t close together,” said Burke.

“As we evolve and re-shape our offering with new lift and shift options, we continue to be ready to support new project opportunities. The resource behind the equipment team includes a compliance team that maintains our accreditation standards (AS) and industry accreditations through to an in-house Engineering Support team that offers CAD drawings and simulations.  To offer end-to-end solutions, we must ensure all the pieces work together safely, on budget and in a compliant manner.  With our range of equipment and support services, we are ready to deliver a piece or the entire end to end project,” she said.

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