Trailer Magazine


A trusted name

  • From the May 2019 issue.
A trusted name

Nova Crane Services recently completed the 10-year inspection service for a Palfinger PK60002G HPLS belonging to Tom Lawler Transport, which insisted on using only genuine Palfinger parts. At 60 tonne metres, this is the largest Palfinger crane in Australia to have gone through its 10-year certification to date.

A crane service and transport hydraulic specialist, Nova Crane Services was started 25 years ago in Newcastle. Since the very beginning, it was a trusted service partner to Palfinger and in November 2018, the relationship between the brands went one step further, with Nova Crane Services acquired by Gough Palfinger.

In accordance with Australian Standard AS2550.11, the business regularly performs 10-year vehicle loading crane inspection services. This includes a pre-inspection report; removing the crane from the vehicle and fully dismantling it; replacing all bearings, bushes and damaged hydraulic hoses; carrying non‐destructive testing of all critical structural areas; checking the condition of all parts; testing and resealing hydraulic cylinders; thoroughly checking all safety devices; among various other checks and testing. 


Based in Rutherford, not far from Newcastle, Tom Lawler Transport has been a long-time customer of Nova Crane Services. Having grown up around commercial road transport, the company’s owner Tom Lawler, followed in his father’s footsteps and started his own general freight business in 1978. During the 1980s, he diversified and added a crane truck to the fleet.

“I got a little sick of being held up waiting for my truck to be loaded and unloaded so I decided to try my hand at crane work so I could load and unload myself,” he recalls. “Now I do a lot of specialised work. I began doing work for the mines – lifting dump truck engines in and out, and now I move all types of gear including explosive magazines and equipment for mine site blasting; along with containers; and concrete barriers and form work for bridges. I have also relocated a lot of workshop machines – lathes, drills, presses, etc.”

Nova Crane Services serviced Tom’s first crane over 25 years ago and he says he has remained a loyal customer based on the company’s high levels of service, extensive knowledge about cranes, ability to offer advice over the phone whenever it’s needed, and commitment to ensuring he is back on the road as soon as possible if there is ever an issue.

Tom’s fleet now has two Palfinger crane trucks. The larger 60 tonne metre crane was purchased just over 10 years ago and following its 10-year service, it was returned to him in early April 2019 and put straight back to work. “That’s the biggest crane I have owned. I bought it to replace a 52 tonne metre crane. That was a good crane too but I decided to go bigger and get more extensions because I lift a lot of heavy pieces. It’s always good to go bigger so you can get more versatility,” says Tom.

David Bendeich from Nova Crane Services adds that the Palfinger PK 60002G HPLS is a strong and versatile crane. “This particular crane is not only big in size, it also has a number of extensions that go out. It’s an eight-extension crane so it goes out to 20 metres. It’s quite a capable lifting crane even at distance.”

He says that the 10-year vehicle loading service is a major structural inspection. “The crane itself is stripped and everything goes through a non-destructive crack test to see if any cracks or fatigue can be identified that would be detrimental to the crane’s operation or lifting capacity.”

Tom requested that only genuine Palfinger parts were used, so to ensure downtime was kept to a minimum, Nova Crane Services pre-ordered many of these from Austria ahead of the crane being brought in. “Tom wanted only original Palfinger parts on the rebuild so we ordered these from Europe – even down to the hydraulic hoses,” says David.

“For me, it was important that the parts were all genuine because I trust in the Palfinger name,” adds Tom.

“I wanted all genuine parts to go back into the crane so I can be confident that I won’t have any issues. I haven’t had any issues with Palfinger parts before so I know that this means there are less chances of breaking down. I want to know that the crane is going to be reliable and get the job done. Genuine is the only way to go because I know it works.

“Palfinger builds a good crane – they build them strong. Nothing wears out a Palfinger and mine has done a lot of work. I do a lot of heavy lifts every week and not even the bushes wore out after a decade. Palfinger cranes work really well and that’s why I’ve stuck with the brand.”

Fast Fact
Nova Crane Services was established by Glenn Gaynor in Newcastle about 25 years ago, and is a highly regarded business that specialises in transport hydraulics, according to Gough Group CEO, Liz Ward.

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