Gleason Cranes Sales and Rentals recently won the five crane tender to supply Zoomlion rough terrains and a 150 Tonne All Terrain for the $5.1 billion Snowy Hydro 2.0 mega-hydropower project.
Gleason Cranes have been buying, selling and servicing cranes in Australia-New Zealand and Islands since the early ‘70s. The business has had its ups and downs, but it continues to operate well to this day. According to Chris Logan the business is well known and regarded right across Australia and overseas.
“I’ve been in the crane industry for a long time and a number of the family businesses I grew up with are now being run by the next generation. I reckon if you were to pick up a phone and call half a dozen crane companies anywhere in Australia, I wouldn’t mind betting five out of the six would know exactly who we are” said Logan.
“Our core business activities haven’t changed over the 40 years we’ve been trading, we buy and sell cranes, that’s what we do and that’s what we are good at.
We were the first Australian company to import used cranes from Japan and the rest of the world back around 1984.
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We started the importation of used cranes into Australia, prior to that they were a banned import, because Australian companies were still manufacturing cranes. This was up until the late 70’s and early 80’s. It wasn’t until 1979 that the ban on imports was dropped, just in time for the recession we had to have,” he said.
The first cranes from Japan were put through various testing processes on designs and other approvals to ensure they were Australian compliant said Logan.
“Over the years, we have imported hundreds of cranes from around the world and supplied them to customers throughout Australia. We guarantee our cranes by putting warranties on them which means if we initially miss something, we are able to pick it up later.
“We’ve been bringing in cranes from Zoomlion for over 10 years. We have an excellent relationship with the factory, and they are a professional company to deal with. They also offer finance on their equipment. If a customer is interested, we can provide finance as part of the crane’s package. Zoomlion exclusively finances its own product, nobody else’s,” said Logan.
Gleason Cranes recently won the tender to supply cranes for the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project.
“We have delivered the first four cranes of a five-crane tender, which we secured recently. The order was for two RT 35, 35t capacity rough terrains, two ZRT850, 85t capacity rough terrains which were delivered at the end of July. The Zoomlion ZAT1500, 150t capacity All Terrain Crane was delivered in early September. The All Terrain will be registered for use on New South Wales roads. This is one of the largest Zoomlion all terrains to arrive in Australia. We’ve sold the cranes directly to Salini- Impregilo who won the Snowy Hydro 2.0 hydropower mega contract worth $5.1 billion,” said Logan.
“It was a very competitive tendering process and we would have tendered against every major manufacturer of rough terrain and all terrains cranes in the country. One of the main reasons Zoomlion products were chosen for the project is value for money. They are getting quality products which are now recognised for their performance and reliability, at a great price. We have sold other Zoomlion rough terrains to customers around the country. These include capacities of 25t, 35 t and 75t and the customers have been very happy with them.
“When we sell a crane, we support it Australia wide. We have a network of mechanics around Australia and they understand cranes and other types of hydraulic related equipment. If a customer has a problem, where-ever they are in the country, we organise a local guy that we know and recommend, to go in and fix the problem quickly. If for some reason they can’t fix the issue we get a specialist and fly him in straight away. Down time with a large crane can be extremely expensive in terms of lost productivity and revenue and we don’t want this happening to our customers,” said Logan.
Gleason Cranes boasts a global network for spare parts which has evolved over the years and is as a result of the different brands and models they have imported and sold. This network includes the major manufacturers and also the independent suppliers, says Logan.
“If we are in urgent need of a part and it’s not in the country, we will source a supplier who can ship the part the quickest. Again, it’s about the speed of supply and minimising the downtime for the customer. A great advantage with Zoomlion is the factory is the same time zone as Western Australia meaning we can resolve issues during our working day, we don’t have to wait over night for a reply,” he said.
According to Logan, the Zoomlion product is well suited to the Australian market.
“The Zoomlion product has performed exceptionally well and has not had a problem dealing with the Australian conditions. Firstly, we conduct a thorough pre-delivery on all cranes ensuring everything is in sound operating condition and as it should be to Australian Standards, if you provide a pre-delivery properly you don’t have any problems.
“We always offer a 12months parts and labour Warranty, where ever the crane is, but with the Zoomlion product we haven’t experienced a big call back on warranty,” he said.
Logan sees the Zoomlion brand fitting into a section of the market where crane hire businesses are looking for a reliable product at value for money pricing.
“Obviously, the Zoomlion brand is far more cost effective when compared to most of the major brands and, in our opinion, the quality of the cranes is up to speed with other brands worldwide. Back in the 70’s, I remember the Japanese cranes were not classed as a quality product. But through investing in their research and development their ability to design and manufacture a quality crane improved dramatically.
“It’s the same with Chinese product, the cranes they were making 10 years ago bear little resemblance to the cranes they make today. In my opinion, today’s quality cranes are many times better than it was 10 years ago. The cranes we are bringing in today are absolutely spot on. As I mentioned, we’re spending very little on warranty which tells you the cranes are reliable,” he said.
“Customers accept they are Chinese built cranes and I don’t think the same stigma that Chinese products had in the past are relevant today. Our customers accept the brand because it has been operating in the Australian market for between 10 to 15 years, with the backup, service and parts support readily available nationwide.
“To date, we have been selling a lot of truck and crawler cranes, these have been the most popular. However, we have seen an increase in demand for rough terrains and all terrains. This is probably as a result of people seeing more Zoomlion products operating in the market and understanding it’s a quality product,” said Logan.