Precision Cranes, getting started in construction

Precision cranes article, scaffold, house frame

Precision cranes article, scaffold, house frame




Tell me if this sounds familiar? Working day after day, we get frustrated, see an opportunity to start a business; we sit on it for a while, daydreaming in our downtime. We chat with our colleagues over smoko (lunch), listen to everybody’s two cents worth of advice. Then the people that would be our potential clients give us the unofficial, “yeah we will give you ago.”

I am pretty sure that we all can relate from our own experience or know someone that has/or is going through the whole “startup” of their new business. Just the same as Yusuf, the founder of Precision Cranes.

Precision Cranes, Potain tower crane, scaffold in the foreground

Then it happens, on the back of everyone’s support we throw caution to the wind and get the ball rolling. Just like Precision Cranes, most guys, in the beginning, start out as a labour-hire business. Let’s face it; construction is so capital intensive that most of us are putting a second mortgage on our homes to get started.  And that is where labour hire lets us leverage the principle contractors buying power with materials, and we take a much smaller margin in return for a significant reduction of risk.

Precision Cranes startup route

And as Yusuf founder of Precision Cranes has begun his journey into the expensive, heavy lifting sector, the labour hirer route allows him to leverage the builders market position. Where the builder can dry hire tower cranes and Yusuf can arrange everything else; the operator, doggmen, lifting gear, crane installation and all the rest.

It’s like a safety net, a way that allows the principle to remain competitive while we get our foot in the door. There is a downside, and I am sure a lot of us have found this out the hard way, much like Jim did from Starbuck Excavations.

Where Jim had purchased his first digger and to get the “ball rolling,” he would do manual labour when his machine was not in use but still onsite. To the builder’s advantage, he would only charge full price for the few hours the machine was in use. And for the remainder of his time, he would charge a much lower labourer’s rate.

The true nature of construction

Entry to construction site, Precision cranes article, construction startupAnd it highlights the underlying culture of the industry, the sense of comradery, yet the dogged world we call work. Where on the one hand we are more than willing to give someone a go, yet once you have started, you are now just the same as every other construction business out; fair game, where you can be eaten alive or taken advantage of at any moment.

Yusuf is no stranger to the in’s and out’s of the construction industry working as a tower crane operator. I am sure as he grows Precision Cranes from labour-hire into equipment hire, there will be plenty of war stories to be told.

Terex Cranes have made it to Instagram

Terex Crane in Sydney

Terex Crane in Sydney


Terex Corporation started back in the early 1930’s, and over the years they have developed into the brand that we know today. They have a few subsidiary’s that are familiar in the construction site; the mobile crane brand DemagGenie working platforms; and the mighty Pick and Carry cranes or Franna for all the Australians.

But Terex is better known for their self-branded tower cranes. And that is for no other reason than the dominance a tower crane has over a construction site. As we move rapidly into the 21st century, the internet and social media are quickly replacing conventional media channels.

Terex cranes end of jib

Like everyone, big business knows there is no point in advertising where no one is watching. And now we are seeing corporations shift their marketing towards the various social media platforms.

Various industries are beginning to find their preferred social media platforms, and construction is quickly settling on Instagram. Let’s be honest, we all love to show off on occasion, and Instagram lets us do that with pictures and even short videos.

And Terex is no expectation, they have had a corporate Instagram page since 2015. And over the last few weeks, Terex has started an Instagram page dedicated to cranes (@terexcranes). So why is this good news?

Why is Terex Cranes Instagram page good news?

Terex Cranes Instagram page
Screen grab of Terex Cranes Instagram page

Well, for most people this doesn’t mean a lot, but for all the “crane spotters” out there, this is great news. As a self-proclaimed crane spotter myself, it can be annoying taking great photos and not knowing who tag. When the owner or manufacture of a crane reposts our images, it’s the ultimate recognition of our craft.

For all the fellow crane spotters out there, you might have to go back through your Instagram page and tag Terex Cranes (@terexcranes) and begin using the hashtag #terexcranes.

Sorry Terex, you are about to get spammed by a very active crane spotting community.

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Asian Hercules III and Vattenfall’s EOWDC, huh?

Asian Hercules III at sea
Asian Hercules III at sea
Image by Vattenfall




Do you want to lift something heavy? Maybe you are looking to build an offshore wind farm? Well, you are in luck, the infamous Asian Lift company based in Singapore can help.

The Swedish power company Vattenfall has been working hard to develop and construct their European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).

EOWDC location in Aberdeen BayTo summarise, the EOWDC wind farm is not cheap, to a tune of AUD 0.5 billion. Located around three kilometres off the coast of Scotland in Aberdeen Bay. EOWDC will be able to supply 23% of Aberdeen’s total power demand. The EOWDC is effectively a testing ground for the next generation of offshore wind farm technologies.

How big is Asian Hercules III?

And this is where the Asian Lift company comes in with their Asian Hercules III floating crane. Asian Hercules III is massive at 25 000 tonnes and has a lifting capacity of 5 000 tonnes. Making the floating crane perfect for Vattenfall’s EOWDC as the foundations are 77 meters tall and weigh in at 1,800 tonnes. For perspective that makes each of the eleven foundations weigh around the same weight as ten Boeing 747 jumbo jets.

 

Asian Hercules III lift chart
Image screen grab copyright Asian Lift

Some of the notable specs of this floating crane are; it has a maximum reach of 120m and is still able to lift a hefty 550 tonnes. Under full load, luffing might take a while as the luffing speed is 1m per minute. And hoisting is 2m per minute at full lifting capacity, so time best be on your side.

 

For the full specs and lifting chart, I have attached a copy of their information sheet.

Asian Hercules III is an ocean-going vessel that can accommodate up to 45 crew members. I am sure this will come into play while on assignment for the next four to six months in Aberdeen Bay region.

And for those that would like to track Asian Hercules III movements you can by heading over to fleetmon.com.

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SMCH, a new approach to looking after employees

SMCH mobile crane hire

SMCH mobile crane hire




SMCH yard and mobile crane
Image by: SMCH

Sometimes something different happens, and I am sure this doesn’t happen all too often. Earlier this week I was approached by a group of people that want to show their gratitude for their boss. They asked if I would write an article about their boss Shane, and his company SMCH.

And here we are, I am writing, and you are reading. Shane this one is for you, you have a great bunch of employees. This article is a credit to you and your business.

SMCH Favco on hire
Image by: Shane

Let’s start at the beginning, Shane has 20 employees, and no one knows how he got into crane hire and fabrication. However, SMCH started it all with the introduction of the 20t Franna.

After the 20t Franna introduction, they went on to produce a 25t version. It wasn’t too long, and they started to manufacture the Kato NK 300. Due to business growth, the need for a yard crane became critical to the fabrication side of the business. So, they built their first tower crane, the Favco STD 750. With the new yard crane, they were able to start constructing a variety of tower cranes which are now available for wet and dry hire.

SMCH begins manufacturing tower cranes

Getting to where SMCH is today took some large-scale capital investments, to which the guys are thankful. They had concerns when Shane first announced his plans to manufacture tower cranes. At the time, they had no welder, forklift or trucks to collect all the required parts and materials.

working under umbrellas
Image by: Shane

With the continual growth that SMCH has experienced over the last few years, they have continued the well thought out capital investments. First came the purchase of a nearby hotel keeping everyone hydrated, and umbrellas to help beat the Australian summer heat. However, the guys are concerned about the umbrellas as Shane might want them to work in the rain now that they have this shelter option.

SMCH show room
Image by: Shane

Shane’s approach to safety is second to none and is evident in the way that SMCH have had no incidents in the last few years. SMCH pride themselves on how they can undertake work that other contractors might hesitate over.

Heading into 2018, Shane’s Model Crane Hire has already secured an order for two new motorised tower cranes. According to the team, they are expecting big things for 2018.

Shane’s Model Crane Hire – Facebook: @shanesmodelcranes

Shane’s Model Crane Hire – Instagram: @shanoes_miniatures

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Raimondi Cranes newest crane, MRT234 flattop

Raimondi Cranes MRT234 flattop crane




Raimondi's MRT234 flattop craneRaimondi Cranes back in October introduced a new tower crane to the market, the MRT234 flattop. The MRT234 was pre-released to their exclusive agent network before October and was received well.

InterKran of Switzerland will take delivery of the first MRT234, with the second and third units going to Strictly Cranes based in Sydney, Australia.

Developing the MRT234 flattop crane

Raimondi Cranes put a fair amount of time into the developing the MRT234. Around seven months with 3200 design hours not to mention the months of manufacturing and testing that followed at their headquarters in Italy.

Installing the MRT234 cab to mastRaimondi Cranes have managed to gain some significant performance improvements for the MRT234. A 30% increase in slew speed and trolley movements, with a focus towards usability. Raimondi’s Technical Director, Eng. Domenico Ciano had this to say, “Raimondi’s newest product is heavily geared towards the user’s experience, and these UI/UX centric features pioneered by Silicon Valley’s technology companies when applied to heavy lifting machinery result in a high-performance product that boasts extreme operator ease onsite.”

It’s always great to read and hear what companies have to say, from time to time there is a level of doubt surrounding usability statements. The crane’s usability was something that I wanted to explore. And not being sure how to investigate this, by chance I stumbled on my answer.

What do the operators think?

Feet up in Raimondi's cabI was reaching out to crane operators about an article idea regarding the daily tower climb. One of the operators I was chatting too had sent me a photo from inside one of Raimondi’s cab. With the MRT234 article in mind, of course, I asked if he was a fan of the Raimondi cranes.

The response, “Ahh yeah.” That in its self-speaks volumes for Raimondi’s brand, so I throw it out there to see if he had heard of Raimondi’s new MRT234 flattop crane. I couldn’t believe my luck, not only had he heard of it, he is hoping to be jumping in the operator’s seat in the coming weeks, and looking forward to the opportunity.

For a person like myself that has heard so many different sale pitches over the years from various suppliers and contractors. It is those off the cuff statements from the guys on the ground that carry the most weight. With that, I have my answer surrounding the MRT234 usability.

Raimondi Cranes MRT234 Infographic

Just like anything, the real test will come with field use. Raimondi has been around for over 150 years; it’s clear they know what they are up too.

If you are looking for the full specifics of the MRT234 flattop, head over to Raimondi’s website (click here). I have included a copy of their infographic (click here) for those that would like to check it out.

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