C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features

The importance of understanding your crane

Liebherr continues to make a significant commitment to its customers by offering a range of training courses. Cranes and Lifting spoke to Ben Deurer, technical trainer and Sandra Burger, training coordinator for the Mobile Crane division to find out more.

Liebherr continues to make a significant commitment to its customers by offering a range of training courses. Cranes and Lifting spoke to Ben Deurer, technical trainer and Sandra Burger, training coordinator for the Mobile Crane division to find out more.

Deurer explains the background to Liebherr training courses.

“The internal courses for our technicians start with the Liebherr Training Centre in Germany. They offer 30 different courses each year. Every technician from around the world receives their basic training there and they also attend regular training courses to keep them up to date with technological changes,” he said.

Due to the increasing number of technicians, the Liebherr factory decided to decentralise training and established more training hubs around the world. Today, there are hubs in Brazil and Australia with others to follow.

Liebherr Australia Mobile Cranes started locally 2007 says Deurer.

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“Initially, we began with operator familiarisation training and then expanded the internal training content, before offering courses to our customers.

“For this to happen, Liebherr Mobile Cranes required their own technical trainer. I was in Perth working for the Crawler Cranes and Foundation Equipment Department. After 23 years as a mechanic, I thought it was the right time for me to get ‘off the tools’ and I successfully applied for the job as technical trainer, Mobile Crane Division in 2015,” he said.

In 2016, Deurer attended several training courses at the Mobile Crane factory in Germany to gain in-depth knowledge about Liebherr Mobile Cranes and the technology they include. Since 2017, he has been conducting internal courses as well as customer training courses.

“Currently we offer three internal courses for technicians which are product specific to Liebherr cranes. These are the LICCON I with data bus, LICCON II with data bus and the Standard Software course. LICCON is the computer system controlling crane functionality and prevents it from doing things it isn’t designed to do.

“The Standard Software course introduces our technicians to Liebherr’s diagnostic programs. Imagine the engine control light starts flashing on your car’s dashboard. You take the car to a workshop, the mechanic plugs in his diagnostic tool which provides fault codes, highlighting the problem. Similarly, we can connect a laptop which uses several programs to diagnose the different systems in the crane,” he said.

The three advanced training courses enable Liebherr technicians to work unsupervised on cranes enabling visits to job sites for servicing and carrying our repairs. Internally, it’s a requirement for Liebherr technicians to have completed these courses providing mechanics with the tools to diagnose issues with the systems and then to fix them.

Burger confirms the Liebherr training program is readily available for Liebherr customers.

“Our customer training is open to pretty much anyone working with Liebherr Mobile Cranes. Our courses assist participants to understand more about the Liebherr product which will help them to operate the cranes more efficiently and enable them to service and repair their own products,” she said.

Besides the operator familiarisation training, Liebherr has four different training courses in the package offered to customers. These include:

  • Crane Service and Maintenance including an Introduction to Diagnostics.
  • LICCON I & II with data bus.
  • Influence of Wind.
  • Active rear axle steering.

The Liebherr Crane Service and Maintenance is the “starter” course, suitable for maintenance staff with little or no experience with Liebherr Mobile Cranes says Deurer.

“That’s our starter course, but people with 20 years experience can still attend and learn something new, because the crane’s technology is evolving so quickly.

“The course is designed for a customer’s maintenance technician who wants to service the crane and repair it when necessary. We go through the basics; we’ll get out in the yard and on the cranes, we’ll go through the theory and you will complete the course confident you can manage small repairs by yourself,” he said.

The next step would be to attend the LICCON I & II with data bus course which provides the customer with a better understanding of Liebherr control systems.

“For this course, I’d suggest you will need some experience with Liebherr cranes; if you haven’t seen a Liebherr crane before, the course content would be overwhelming. It’s also an advantage to have some kind of experience in vehicle electrics and electronics.

“In my view, the Influence of Wind course helps everyone involved in crane operations. The course will benefit the crane operator as well as his colleague who sits in the office conducting the lift study and lift planning,” said Deurer.

“The Active rear axle steering course targets maintenance personnel. It’s a specialised course and participants should have experience with Liebherr cranes. They are shown the possibilities for the repair and maintenance of single components within the active rear axle steering system.

Liebherr publishes a promotional flyer which is sent to all our customers and training is available in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Auckland.

“We don’t offer a statement of attainment. A participant who completes a course walks out with a deeper understanding of his Liebherr crane. He can operate the crane safely and he can repair the crane if needed,” said Deurer.

Deurer says Liebherr has been working closely with CICA over the last three years.

“We conduct one day workshops for CraneSafe inspectors. These have provided a better understanding of our products so when the assessor inspects our cranes, he knows what he’s looking at and looking for,” he said.

Burger explains how the course program is expanding.

“The Crane Service & Maintenance course is always very well subscribed to. Last year was the first time we’ve offered the Influence of Wind training course, so it might take a while to get this established. 2020 is the first time we are offering all courses in New Zealand, so it will be interesting to see how these go,” she said.

Liebherr customer training enables crane owners to be informed about the possible problems by assessing the information they have at their disposal, including the manuals and technical documentation they receive with the crane, says Deurer.

“If they can understand what’s going on behind the dashboard it makes life easier for everyone and little problems can be fixed by the customer straight away. By training and supporting the customer they are in a position to manage simple issues for themselves. We have provided the tools and knowledge they need to understand their machine better,” he said.

Interested customers can arrange courses outside of the standard dates said Burger.

“Our schedule is well planned, and we have the dates and venues available for 2020, but if a customer is interested in organising a course for their staff, they can contact us for more information. We will be happy to find a suitable date, discuss it and price for the course accordingly,” she said.

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