Saunders International, a major manufacturer of concrete pre-cast bridge components, takes delivery of its second Zoomlion crawler.
Saunders International Ltd (SND) is an ASX – listed company providing construction, maintenance and engineering services to the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors.
Saunders International has a 65 years heritage firmly entrenched in the manufacture and supply of large steel tanks to the major petrochemical companies for the storage of diesel and petroleum products.
Three and a half years ago, as part of its diversification strategy, the company acquired Civilbuild, another family owned business, and formed Saunders Civilbuild. Civilbuild had been operating in and around the Newcastle area for 45 years when Saunders International acquired the business.
The core business of Saunders Civilbuild’s Redhead facility, located south of Newcastle in NSW, is the precast manufacture of pre-stressed bridge components including Planks, Super Tees and specialty precast. This accounts for approximately 50 per cent of the Saunders Civilbuild business. The other half is a construction business specialising in local government bridge construction.
According to Jonathon Bromilow, General Manager of Saunders Civilbuild, the Redhead yard manufactures pre-stressed planks which adhere to standard Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) designs.
“Our long line mould is 75m in length and capable of casting 6 planks per day depending on the design length. For typical RMS design Super Tees, we have two moulds ranging in depths from 1m to 1.8m in depth. Depending on the length, we can produce up to three Super T’s per day to a design length exceeding 38 metres.
“Our core business in the precast yard is the supply of products for tier one infrastructure projects. We have supplied over one thousand products for the WestConnex project which is now complete, and we have supplied a similar number to the Sydney Metro project. We are currently fulfilling orders for the Barangaroo, Marrickville and Chatswood stations. We are also producing precast sections including bridge and pier segments for the Parramatta Light Rail project” he said.
Many of the crane hire companies involved in these projects will be lifting Saunders Civilbuild products into position, not necessarily realising Saudners are the manufacturer.
“We have good relationships with a number of the larger crane companies including Borger Cranes, who complete a lot of the installs for the construction side of our business,” he said
According to Bromilow, the cranes in the yard are designed to service the moulds and precast products. The yard features three large pin jib crawlers including two 80t Kobelcos. The yard also operates a 50t Kobelco, 50tGrove, and a 20t Franna.
“We have recently procured a new ZCC750H-1, a 75t capacity Zoomlion pin jib crawler. We had been happily operating a Zoomlion crawler for the past 10 years and traded this in for the latest model. The old crane had performed well over the years, with relatively good reliability and low running cost. The new ZCC750H was delivered early September to our yard and is in the early stages of commissioning.
Features of the Zoomlion ZCC750H-1 include:
- A lifting capacity of 75t.
- Main boom length: 13-52m; consisting of 6.5m main boom pivot section, 6.5m main boom head, and main boom intermediate sections of 3m, 6m and 9m as well as tip boom.
- Fixed jib length: 7-19m; Consisting of 3.5m fixed jib pivot section, 3.5m fixed jib head and 4m fixed jib intermediate sections.
- High work efficiency.
- A series-connected multiple valve-controlled hydraulic system is applied, so all simultaneous movements can be achieved, and no deceleration will occur during the switching of crane movements.
- The single rope speed on the outmost layer of hoisting winch 1 is 129m/min. To improve lifting efficiency, hoisting winch 1 with free-fall function is available for an option.
- Operator’s cab – Spacious and full-closed cab is equipped with safety glass, adjustable seat, intermittent wiper and window water injector.
- Control boxes – The control boxes on both side of the cab are installed with various electrical switches, emergency stop button, etc. They can be adjusted with the operator’s seat.
- Safety devices – Many safety devices, mechanical, electronic or hydraulic, are fitted on the crane to ensure safe operation of crane.
- Load moment limiter – The load moment limiter can automatically detect main boom angle and lifting load, and provide feedback of these data to the operator according to the actual lifting situation.
- When the normal operating range of the crane is exceeded, the load moment limiter will send out an alarm and limit the current movement.
- 8.0-inch LCD screen can show the following data: moment ratio, main boom angle, main boom length, working radius, actual load, and permissible lifting load, etc.
- Hoisting limiter – Device to prevent any specified upper limitation of the load lifting attachment from being exceeded If the load hook comes into contact with hoisting limit switch weight during its upward movement, the hoisting limit switch will be triggered, the buzzer will sound, the crane movement “lift the load” will be switched off.
“Our first Zoomlion crawler serviced the yard extremely well and it’s performance and low life cycle cost was the reason we replaced it with the new machine. In our opinion, the Zoomlion crawler is a good performance crane that meets our requirements,” said Bromilow.
“We ensure maintenance of our equipment is done periodically as per OEM’s recommendations, and we didn’t have any major issues with the old Zoomlion. Our yard is close to the coast, so weathering corrosion is our main issue. In addition to regular maintenance, keeping the paint up to them is a priority for our maintenance and care programs.”
The previous Zoomlion was one of the first pin jib crawlers of its type to be brought into the country by the supplier over 10 years ago.
“Gleason Cranes brought the first crane into the country and they have supported us with the purchase of the new Zoomlion. To put this deal together, we’ve been working with Chris Logan and his team for the last six months. COVID didn’t help and it put the brakes on things for a while, but the import went very smoothly, it was here on time and commissioning has gone really well.
“Before purchasing the new crane, we obviously conducted our due diligence and found the purchase price was very competitive for this class of crane compared to other brands. Having had the first Zoomlion for over 10 years, and with it servicing the business very well during this time, we were more than happy to purchase a second,” said Bromilow.
“For our operation, we are typically using a 21m jib length setup, and don’t regularly extend past this arrangement. We are lifting close to the machine and the Zoomlion has always performed as it should. The crew enjoy operating the Zoomlion, and it’s always good to get a new machine in the yard. The guys are looking forward to putting it through its paces,” he said.
According to Bromilow, spare parts are extremely easy to obtain.
“Any running gear, new shoes or rollers can be easily imported direct from China and have also recently imported tracks and rollersfor our Kobelco. Keeping the older cranes up to speed through regular maintenance and servicing is very cost effective, once you know where to obtain the spare parts,” he said.
“The servicing of the cranes is managed by our in-house mechanic who also looks after the fleet of construction equipment which operates in the construction business,” said Bromilow.
“We’re pleased to have the new Zoomlion in the yard and we are grateful for the professional service provided to us by team at Gleason Cranes.”
Gleason Cranes have been buying, selling and servicing cranes in Australia-New Zealand and Islands since the early ‘70s. Chris Logan has been in the crane business for a long time.
“We’ve been bringing in cranes from Zoomlion for over 10 years. We have an excellent relationship with the factory, and they are a professional company to deal with. They also offer finance on their equipment. If a customer is interested, we can provide finance as part of the crane’s package. Zoomlion exclusively finances its own product, nobody else’s,” said Logan.