Trailer Magazine

Service driven

  • From the April 2019 issue.
Service driven

Saddingtons Building Supplies is in the process of renewing its crane fleet. A solid reputation for reliability and strong customer support led the business to Palfinger, which has so far delivered eight new cranes, with another on the way.

Family owned and operated since 1921, Saddingtons has been supplying its products to builders and tradesmen in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter Valley regions for almost a century.

The business runs a fleet of over 60 vehicles, including crane trucks and tippers. These are used to transport everything from timber and steel, to landscape supplies from its three facilities located in Rutherford, Boolaroo and Broadmeadow.

When it came time to update the crane fleet, Saddingtons chose to work with Palfinger based on the extensive positive feedback it had heard about the brand in regards to the quality of its cranes and the high levels of customer support.

Saddingtons turned to Marc Pisani, NSW Sales Manager at Gough Palfinger Australia for advice on which crane would best suit its needs.

“When Saddingtons came to us asking which crane would be the right fit, I recommended the PK 9.501SLD5A. They have now purchased eight of this model, along with one smaller crane. Saddingtons required a crane that was under 10 tonne /metre and that would fit onto its existing trucks, so these fit the bill nicely,” says Marc.

Part of the requirement for the crane to be under 10 tonne/metre was so that all of the company’s drivers could be able to operate the cranes on a regular licence. Prior to operating the new cranes out in the field, each driver undertook training to learn the various features and functions of the PK 9.501SLD5A, including its radio remote control feature.

“The fact that the PK 9.501SLD5A cranes are radio remote controlled saves a lot of time because it eliminates the need for a second person. The operator can be away from the truck and properly see the load, which saves a lot of time – and saving time results in better profit,” adds Marc.

According to Erin Crombie from Saddingtons, there was a great deal of consultation with Marc prior to deciding on this model of crane. “There was lots of going back and forth to make sure this crane was the right fit for what we needed, including the size of the crane and whether we wanted a rear mounted or front mounted crane. We went through all of our common applications and agreed the PK 9.501SLD5A was best for the requirements of the company,” she says.

Since delivery of Gough Palfinger cranes began in late 2017, Saddingtons has been impressed with their reliability and ease of use. “These cranes aren’t full of too many buttons and aren’t difficult to learn. Utilising the radio remote control gives drivers more control while operating the crane, giving them visibility as they can be beside the load. This has resulted in safety and efficiency gains for the business too,” say Erin.

She adds that the crane’s stability monitoring system, HPSC-L is a great asset for the business from a workplace health and safety point of view. HPSC-L ensures maximum utilisation of the working range. “This feature limits the ability to overload the system, eliminating the risk of overloading the crane. The crane determines the leg position and safely operates accordingly,” explains Marc.

Along with being impressed by the features and functions of the new cranes, Erin says the service has been an asset too. “Gough Palfinger has provided amazing service, the communication has been excellent.”

And this high level of service extends to Nova Crane Services, which was responsible for fitting each of the new cranes to the company’s trucks and provides service and repairs for Saddingtons’ crane fleet. Saddingtons has worked with Nova Crane Services for several years and has been continually impressed with the levels of support.

Nova Crane Services was acquired by Gough Palfinger in November 2018, and prior to this was a long-time service partner for the brand. “We stand behind our product and our aftersales service. When selling the crane it’s my job to ensure the customer understands what features each crane offers during the selection process. After the sale, Nova provides our Newcastle customers with servicing, repairs and customer support. Palfinger has invested a great deal into supporting all of its products,” says Marc.

“It’s fine for a company to say we made a sale, but our job really begins after the crane is fitted and delivered. It’s our job to help ensure our customers are kept on the road. We need to be able to support our customers – and Palfinger’s back up service is excellent. If an error code ever comes up, we have technical experts who are just a phone call away, with the ability to fix remotely. At Gough Palfinger, we really back up our product.”

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