A new Tadano all terrain model was delivered to a Gladstone engineering business, and after two days of training, went to straight to work. The ATF-120-5.1 passed with flying colours.
Gladstone based Xtreme Engineering recently took delivery of a Tadano ATF-120-5.1. The crane is the first of the model delivered in Australia and the first brand new crane put into Xtreme’s operation. Scott Harrington, Xtreme’s general manager and owner explains the reasons behind the purchase. “The fact that we decided on the ATF-120-5.1 was no mere chance, as we already have a Tadano TR250E and a GT550E in our fleet and are extremely happy with the reliability of the cranes. That’s why we trust the brand, not to mention Tadano’s exceptional customer service and product support,” said Harrington.
Xtreme Engineering specialises in heavy fabrication, maintenance, shutdowns and break downs across various industry sectors including oil, gas, petrochemical, coal, alumina and cement throughout Queensland. Xtreme Engineering employ 100-plus employees and run seven cranes including the three Tadano slew cranes, the others being Frannas. “We are mainly a heavy fabrication business and we bought the cranes to compliment that type of work,” said Harrington.
Harrington’s relationship with Tadano was initially facilitated by a long-term crane and rigging company, Eagle Cranes and Rigging. At the time, it was being run by Kane Davidson and Bill Wuertz. “We were using their business for our lifts and they introduced me to Tadano before they were bought out by ALE. They told me Tadano products were great, but it’s the backup, training, service and support which stands them apart. They were right, you can’t beat them,” said Harrington.
Xtreme took delivery of its first Tadano two years ago, this was a used TR-250E 25t rough terrain. The second crane, a used truck mount GT-550E was delivered six months later and the ATF-120–5.1 a few weeks later. “As I was told from the beginning, the service and support from Tadano has been exceptional, I have been genuinely impressed with the attitude of the Tadano team. They are really knowledgeable and down to earth guys,” said Harrington. “Their training and hand over processes are faultless and when there is an issue with the machine, the level of support is unbelievable. They will pull out all the stops to get someone here if we can’t fix it over the phone, or get it rectified by getting parts to us as quickly as possible. The knowledge of Tadano products, right across the team, is top class,” he said.
Jason Perry, Tadano’s sales manager QLD/NT/PNG explains more about Tadano’s approach to product support. “Scott already had the two Tadanos, he liked the product and he was happy with the way they had been performing for his business. He was very transparent and said he’d short listed two products,” said Perry. “We got talking and he confirmed he’d been happy with the performance of the Tadano products and he’d also heard positive reports about our service department and our product support. Although it was down to a choice between two suppliers, he said it was a fairly simple decision for him to make. “He had a job lined up for the crane almost straight away and asked if there was a chance of having the crane delivered before the job was due to start. I said we could. We booked it in, got it painted, got it pre delivered and up to Gladstone straight away. It made the job and sat on site for two weeks solid. He was really happy that we were able to get this done for him with short notice,” he said.
According to Perry it is standard practice for Tadano to send members of the product support team for the delivery of the crane. “With a crane like this, our product support team will conduct two days training. In this instance, the guys had other work in the area and with the crane going straight to site after the training, they were able to go out with the crane and support the operators. With it being the first job and the operators only just completing training, they were able to help with the set up and run the operators through the processes. They didn’t have any problems; they were there as backup in case of an issue,” he said. The first job was a demolition project and after this was completed the crane was moved to another site. This is where the crane hit some issues says Perry.
“Scott’s team had a bit of an issue with the crane. It wasn’t a break down problem, it was something they hadn’t done with the DPF Burn which meant the crane couldn’t operate. Scott called me at 10am that morning and explained the problem, and we had a technician on a plane and there by 3pm. It was all sorted by 7pm. The crane was back at work first thing the next morning and there was no down time, which was a good outcome for Scott and his team. It demonstrated how our product support does what it is designed to do,” said Perry.
According to Harrington, the second site was a ‘lump sum project’ on one of the local alumina refineries where it was helping to replace a new duct system into the main stack. This job was a serious test for the manoeuvrability of the ATF-120-5.1. “There were some incredibly tight tolerances with the site. We could get the crane into position in one of two ways. One option included major earthworks and engineering of the site which would take time and cost money. The second option, which we chose, was only possible because of the manoeuvrability and the narrow width, of the crane. We were able to squeeze it into position with 50mm of clearance between the boiler and the large transformers,” said Harrington. “The machine was up at about 18m and the duct weighed just over 7t. We’ve been putting the crane through its paces pretty much from the moment we took delivery of the crane and it’s performance has been exceptional,” he said.
Bob Sneek is one of Xtreme’s leading crane operators with over 40 years’ experience in the crane industry. He has worked and operated cranes for various businesses throughout Queensland and Papua New Guinea over this time. “I have a long history of operating Tadano cranes dating right back to the original 50t truck mounts with Bramble Cranes. I’ve seen all the changes in the technology right through to operating the current all terrain cranes. “I know Tadano machines well, having operated them over such a long time. I’ve been impressed with the rapid amount of change in the machines and I’m amazed at the lifts they can perform as a result of the new technology they feature. I’m very excited to take operation of this particular machine as it is the first in Australia,” he said.
Harrington goes on to discuss more benefits he is realising with the ATF-120-5.1. “Even with a long main boom of 60m, the crane is light enough to travel with the hook block installed. From our perspective, that makes it an extraordinary machine when it comes to roadworthiness,” he said. Harrington further explained how the new crane will benefit their business in the short and long term. “The ATF-120-5.1 is a cost saver to us because we don’t have to bring in a subcontractor to get the job done. This means that we’ll be able to get new major customers and tap into new kinds of business, especially since we have the only ATF-120-5.1 in Australia and are in a position to offer exclusive solutions. This crane makes us more attractive to the bigger clients because we can do the whole job,” he said. “We have already used the crane for the wharf demolition project and replacing pipes at the alumina refinery and we are looking at deploying the crane to put together a port control centre for ship loading operations,” said Harrington.