C&L, Features, Product News, Queensland

Superior Cranes extends its capabilities

Superior Cranes is a medium sized crane hire business based in Brisbane’s suburb of Gumdale, has upped its game with the purchase of the Grove GMK5150L all terrain.

Superior Cranes is a medium sized crane hire business based in Brisbane’s suburb of Gumdale, has upped its game with the purchase of the Grove GMK5150L all terrain.

Directors Lachlan Stinson and Ryan Smith have been around cranes their entire careers and founded Superior Cranes in July 2013. They recently took delivery of a new Grove GMK5150L all terrain.

“I’ve been around cranes my whole career and worked in Wagga for Riverina Cranes, and when I moved to Brisbane, I started work with Hanchard and that’s where I met Ryan,” said Stinson.

“We worked together for eight years, and over that time we could see opportunities to go out on our own. After plenty of planning, we took the plunge, left, and formed Superior Cranes.

“We set the business up with the first Franna, which was quickly followed by a 30 tonner and then a 10 tonner, and we simply kept going, buying cranes to meet specific demands,” he said.

According to Stinson, the cranes in the fleet have always determined what work the company takes on.

“In the early days, and with the Frannas, we mainly focussed on work in the residential construction sector, lifting roof trusses, for example. When we purchased the bigger cranes, we were able to move into commercial construction with the larger builders, lifting mining equipment and also relocation projects,” he said.

“We then purchased a 100t crane and started working on much heavier lifts around machinery, and, since then, it’s been a fairly steady growth. The company growth has been based on the capacities of the cranes in the fleet.”

“At Hanchard, Ryan and I drove his biggest cranes. So, we made good contacts in that bigger crane industry network around town. Now, we’ve got a couple of the bigger cranes, including the 100t Liebherr and, with the new 150t Grove, we’re able to offer more solutions.”

Over the last couple of years, Superior Cranes took advantage of some of the larger crane companies closing including NQ, Metro Lift and Hanchard.

“The demand is there, and we’ve been chasing the business and with bigger cranes we’ve been able to broaden our offering,” said Stinson.

“We’re excited about looking into our next purchase at the end of the year which will see our fleet grow into the 250t class of cranes and expand our capabilities even more,” he said.

Superior Cranes took delivery of the Grove GMK5150L in October of last year. It’s the first Grove the company has owned and according to Stinson, they’ve been really happy with it.

“There were a number of selling points with the150t machine with the main advantage being it’s the biggest crane we could get on the road in Queensland without a dolly. When you compare that to Victoria (where you can get 250 tonners on the road without a dolly), being a 150t, it’s got a bigger chart and we can get a better rate, so it pretty much sold itself,” he said.

The Grove GMK5150L features a compact design for improved manoeuvrability and an overall load chart increase of 20 per cent.

The five-axle crane has the best load charts in its class, both when working in their taxi configuration and when configured with their maximum counterweight for optimal capacity.

Maximum counterweight for the GMK5150L is 44.5t and helps the crane achieve an overall load chart increase of 20 per cent over the GMK5130-2. 1t of counterweight can be carried by the GMK5150L in its taxi configuration.

With a capacity of 11.8t with its boom fully extended to 60m, the GMK5150L is ideal for tower crane assembly or other applications where strength at height is required. Boosting the cranes’ overall reach is an 18m hydraulic bi-fold swing-away jib which can be extended with an 8m boom extension and an 8m jib extension for a total jib length of 34m. The jib also offers an improved offset of 50°.

“The crane has been busy and done a lot of hours, 1000 hours in the first eight months, and we haven’t had a problem with it,” said Stinson.

“Our operator hadn’t operated a Grove before, but he loves it, he reckons it’s the best crane he’s driven. It’s smooth, very easy to operate and he’s impressed with the safety features which include a ‘birds eye view’ camera, so he can see everything around him when he’s working,” he said.

Operator efficiency is maximised through the inclusion of Manitowoc’s Crane Control System (CCS), a standardised and user-friendly interface whose components and operating software have been designed, developed and tested by Manitowoc to ensure the highest standards of reliability. It includes the highly intuitive Boom Configurator Mode which makes it quick and easy to select the optimum boom position for a specific lift. The operator simply inputs lift parameters such as radius, load or required distance the boom should be moved, and the system calculates the best configuration. Once the operator selects the preferred option, the boom automatically extends to the required length.

“It’s really quick to set up, two trailers and the counterweight and you can be set up in well under an hour. It’s got a 60m boom, it’s a good heavy lifter and the roadability is good. The single engine provides a lot of grunt and drives really nicely on the road.  I’ve got to say it’s a really good crane. The operator is very happy with it and so are Ryan and I,” said Stinson.

The GMK5150L is powered by a single engine allowing the weight to be redistributed throughout the structure of the crane, allowing for greater strength in a lighter overall package.

The engine is a Tier IV Final/EUROMOT 4 Mercedes-Benz OM471LA 6-cylinder diesel engine with a 390kW rating at 1,700rpm and a maximum torque rating of 2,460Nm at 1,300rpm. With 16-inch tyres and an overall width of 2.75m, the compact five-axle crane can be easily manoeuvred on congested job sites.

The aesthetics of the GMK5150L crane has also been improved with a facelift that includes a new ergonomic Mercedes carrier cab. Grove features such as the Twin-Lock boom pinning system, Megaform boom shaping and Megatrak independent active suspension are all included. The cranes’ boom also benefits from the laser-hybrid welding technology in place at the Wilhelmshaven plant, which increases welding precision and creates booms that both weigh less and perform better.

“We bought the crane through the local Manitowoc dealer, TRT Australia and our contact Phillip White. We’ve been happy with the back up and support from TRTA, whenever we call, they pick the phone up and get straight onto the issue, whatever it is. Their aftersales care is tip top and the Grove technicians have been great,” said Stinson.

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