Jones Equipment Sales recently announced it had been appointed as the national distributor for the SPT range of mini cranes.
Jones Equipment Sales has a strong background in civil engineering and construction and has been selling horizontal directional drills in this sector for 15 years. The business
was recently appointed the National Distributor for the SPT range of mini cranes.
Mitch Jones, director and Michael Khamas CEO at Jones Equipment Sales explain more about the development and elaborate on their plans for the brand.
“For some time, I’ve been importing, selling and supporting horizontal directional drills for numerous customers. A business associate, who works with cranes, suggested I should look at the SPT range of mini cranes as they were not represented in this part of the world.
“We had a good look at the website and then contacted the SPT factory. We had a number of conversations and meetings before accepting the role as National Distributor for Australasia, for the full range of SPT mini cranes,” said Jones.
“Being an overseas manufacturer, we obviously had a good look at the quality of the product in relation to compliance and Australian Standards. The machines are powered by Yanmar motors and
all other components are top quality. SPT are in the top three of world manufacturers specialising in mini cranes. They are good at what they do. SPT has a dealer network throughout Europe where the brand is popular. They are also represented in Malaysia,
Singapore and Korea. We can see the SPT mini crane range being a viable alternative and a competitive product to the other available mini crane brands on the Australasian market,” he said.
According to Khamas, the decision to work with the SPT product wasn’t taken likely, and both he and Jones wanted to be sure there would be demand for the product.
“With planning and due diligence and after conducting market research. We investigated crane hire businesses and end users asking which brand
of mini crane they would be most interested in, beyond the brands already on the market. Interestingly SPT came up time and again. We then entered into the agreement with SPT,” he said.
“We would have had products here much sooner, but COVID slowed down shipments of product. But we are here now and we want the market to know SPT mini cranes are here and ready to go,” he said.
Khamas confirmed there were a number of SPT units operating in Australia with crane businesses buying these direct from the factory.
“There are some units already operating in the market and we have spoken to the owners of these machines. We were reassured to hear that SPT is a good quality and reliable brand of mini crane,” he said.
“We have also been impressed with the quality of the cranes we have seen. Obviously, pre-delivery is being conducted on everything and they have been CraneSafe approved to ensure they meet Australian and also EN 13000 standards. Every nut and bolt is tagged to confirm it has been checked and every machine is tested by the crane inspectors,” said Khamas.
The full range of SPT cranes will be available through Jones Equipment Sales says Khamas.
“We will be bringing in the full range with capacities starting at 2 tonne with the SPT 199 ranging up to 10 tonne capacity with the SPT 1009 with three models in between. The SPT 199 is
only 600mm wide and will fit through a standard doorway. It has a lifting capacity of 2t at almost 2.0m and a maximum working radius of 5.9m. The SPT 1009 has a lifting capacity of 10t at 2.5m and a maximum working radius of 19m. You can also increase the reach with a jib and fly,” he said.
Remote control is standard on all models and each feature the Yanmar diesel engine and also an electric motor, says Khamas.
“You can drive the crane into a building and hook it up to a power source and there will be no concerns about emissions in enclosed areas. We can also provide non marking tracks for when the cranes are operating in more sensitive buildings. There is also a fully battery model on the way. This has already been successfully launched in Europe and we’ll see this product arrive in the coming months.
“They are extremely versatile cranes. You can work with them underground, on top of buildings and the safety features are state of the art. All of this is backed by a full two year warranty,’ he said.
Jones explains how he plans to bring the SPT range to market through the appointment of dealers in each state.
“We are in talks with a number of potential dealers across the country. Right now, we are close to securing a dealer in Western Australia. They have their own service and support set up which will be important for customers. We are also speaking to potential dealers in Brisbane and Victoria. We are close to having a comprehensive network of dealers for the product in place. All are super excited to get their hands on the cranes,” he said.
According to Jones the business will be targeting a number of markets with the new range.
“We know the hire market will be interested in the range because we have had a number of conversations with some of the larger players in this sector. We are also talking to commercial glass handling and commercial window installing companies. Plumbers and air conditioning contractors who want to fit units into hard to reach areas of industrial facilities have been in contact with us.
“We have been talking to contractors who work in the utilities sector, servicing power stations for example, during shutdowns. They need smaller mini cranes to be able access tight spaces and service various pieces of equipment which might be one or two levels high. It’s impossible to get a larger mobile crane in for this type of lift. We have been surprised at the level of interest from some fairly obscure industry sectors, and we haven’t really launched the product until now,” said Jones.
Khamas addresses the issues around bringing a new brand into a market traditionally dominated by one brand and distributor.
“Realistically, the SPT mini crawlers are extremely price competitive, but we are focusing on the quality of the product which comes with a full two year warranty. We are aware that
a number of the larger crane hire and general hire companies are very interested in this development. When one supplier has been in an industry for some time, they can get comfortable because there is no competition. Now there is competition; we think it will shake up the market a little,” he said.
Khamas goes onto explain how SuperService will be working closely with Jones Equipment and the SPT product.
“SuperService will be managing all of our pre-deliveries and also the two year warranty. They will also be managing any repairs Australia wide. Right now, anyone operating on the east coast can have their crane serviced by SuperService and they will fix any warranty related issues; not that we expect many,” he said.
“We want the market to understand we are all about meeting the customers needs. When a customer spends $200K on a crane, and if there is an issue, he wants to be confident it’s going to be fixed quickly and the crane will be back to work earning money. SuperService has facilities in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne as well as a growing fleet of service vehicles. We will be working with them to provide the quickest service we can if and when there is an issue,” said Khamas.
Khamas explains his background in cranes.
“I’m a mechatronic engineer by trade and my first job out of university was with Favelle Favco cranes, an Australian manufacturer of one of the worlds’ largest and strongest range of cranes. I also worked with Kone Cranes, so when Mitch mentioned the SPT venture I jumped at it. I love cranes.
“We are excited by the potential. Obviously, we are providing a viable option when businesses are considering purchasing a mini crane but we are just as excited about the prospect of growing the overall market for the mini cranes.
“We have been amazed at the different types of enquiries we are receiving from industry sectors and applications you wouldn’t normally think required a mini crane. We now have demonstration machines available and we have numerous bookings from potential customers wanting to put them through their paces,” he said.
According to Jones, one of the benefits of working with SPT is shortened delivery times. “We will obviously be carrying stock but it will only take four to six weeks for product to be shipped, pre delivered, CraneSafe tested and in the hands of the customer. We will also be offering a range of accessories including jibs and flys, none marking tracks and also commercial glass handling attachments. All of these will be fully tested during the pre-delivery process,” he said.