Case Studies, New South Wales, Products

Used Liebherr a perfect addition to Action Cranes fleet

Action Cranes recently took delivery of a used Liebherr LTC1050-3.1 to bring its fleet size up to nine cranes servicing the Sydney region. The three-axle all terrain, with a 50 tonne lifting capacity, is an ideal addition to the Action Cranes fleet for the work it specialises in.

Action Cranes was started in 1971 by Bob and Sharron Forner and originally began its life as a tow truck business before moving into the crane sector in 1985. Action Cranes remains a family- owned business, with the second generation of Clinton Forner and Dallas Robertson taking the helm five years ago.

The company serves a range of clients and requires a diverse range of cranes to suit any custom needs.

“We work in all industries, not just construction,” Forner said.

“Our customers operate in high demand industries and they want a crane company that is prepared to go above and beyond. They require a high level of service, a quick reaction time, and the ability to think outside the square when it comes to solving complex lifts. 

“We specialise in projects where access is difficult and space on site is constricted with very low tolerances. It’s the type of work most other crane companies don’t like to do. That’s why we have a large fleet of compact city cranes and Frannas; even the 100t capacity all terrains we chose had to be the most compact model available due to the nature of our work.

Action Crane specialises in projects where access is difficult and space on site is constricted with very low tolerances.

“We are known for completing extremely complex small projects. We like a challenge and so do our crews. We completed a lift a few years back where we were installing roof sheets which were 148 metres long. These were dual lifted into position using two cranes and two 60m-long spreader bars. It is our understanding that these are still the longest roof sheets ever lifted in the world,” Forner said.

Action Cranes took delivery of the 50t capacity used Liebherr LTC1050-3.1 earlier in the year.

The VarioBase support system on the LTC1050-3.1 ensures this crane suits the needs of Action Cranes. It comes equipped with outriggers that extend to different lengths, which mean that constricted conditions are not a problem for this compact crane. It carries all its own equipment and ballast, thus significantly reducing the time required for jobs.

The process for purchasing the used crane through Liebherr was facilitated by national used crane manager Tom Grady, who worked with Forner to deliver the LTC1050-3.1.

“Clinton came to me looking for a crane with a capacity of around the 50t to 60t mark. Knowing Clinton’s technical background, and that he tends to take on special lifting projects, I suggested an LTC1050-3.1. He jumped at the opportunity because I already had one of them on order as we were bringing it in for stock.” Grady said. 

“As our factory in Germany had already completed the inspection, repair, and rigorous testing process, the crane would be delivered with a six-month factory warranty. New components like a second winch, rooster, and hooks were also already installed. After Clinton confirmed painting layouts, our factory painted the crane in Action’s livery.

“When the crane arrived, the next step was to install our local roadability and safety package, carry out the pre-delivery inspection, CraneSafe, and road registration, and finish off with Liebherr familiarisation training for the Action crew. 

The right equipment for Action Cranes is pivotal to ensure it can complete a range of complex and challenging lifts

“If Liebherr is to offer a six-month warranty, we treat the used cranes similar to a new crane. We check and test everything before it is released to the customer. 

For Forner and Grady it was important to ensure all of the components would be in prime condition and it came with all the equipment required by Action Cranes.

“In Europe they don’t usually have the extra components like second winch and jibs and, in this instance, we put all brand new components on the cranes,” Grady said.

The right equipment for Action Cranes is pivotal to ensure it can complete a range of complex and challenging lifts says Forner.

“We have a large range of additional supporting equipment. This includes computer cages, goods cages, first aid cages, man boxes, kibbles, skip bins, and large steel crane outrigger pads up to 1.8m x 2.4m rated at 150t outrigger loading. Also steel plates measuring 50mm x 2.4m x 11m long, swift lifts from 1.3t up to 32t, spreader bars from 4t up to 100t and 1m up to 18m long. 

“Having such a large range of supporting equipment allows us to complete the most difficult projects with very short notice. We regularly hire this equipment to other crane companies and other end users,” he said.

Grady explained that Liebherr was able to deliver the crane to Action Cranes quicker than a new crane. This can be one of the reasons a lot of customers consider and move forward with a Liebherr certified used crane. 

For Forner, the purchase of the LTC1050-3.1 continues a long relationship between Action Cranes and the German manufacturer.

“We purchased our first Liebherr back in 1999. It was a brand new Liebherr LTM1080/1 and, at the time, it was only the second one into the country. Since then, we have owned a range of Liebherrs the LTM1055, LTM1130 and LTM1070. Our most recent purchase was a LTC 1050,” he said.

“I know the Liebherr product well and I know a number of the Liebherr people as we were all mechanics at the Australian Liebherr agent back in the late 90s.

“Tom Grady has been absolutely excellent to deal with from start to finish. It was such a headache-free way to purchase a used crane. I didn’t need to do much at all – pretty much picked up the crane and drove it away,” Forner said.

Action Cranes has been a member of the Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA) since it began, originally called the NSW Mobile Crane Owners Association.

“CICA provides huge benefit to our industry and our company,” said Forner. 

“Our latest purchase, the LTC1050-3.1, wouldn’t have been roadable in NSW 10 years ago. CICA worked hard to get the 12t per axle approved on three-axle cranes and we now enjoy fairly unrestricted road access.

“I would say we will move back into the bigger crane market once CICA gets 12t per axle on five axles cranes with a much less restricted road access. Currently access is too limited, but CICA has done well to get 12t an axle approved. It has been a long 25 year-plus fight with government departments to get this through.

“CICA also created CrewSafe and CraneSafe, and these initiatives have helped our company immensely. 

“We have always trained our crane crews very well and we place a huge emphasis on fixing procedures way before there are any issues. 

“CraneSafe has raised the level of crane quality in Australia and forced the cowboys to start maintaining their cranes 

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