Trailer Magazine

Smooth operator

  • From the May 2018 issue.
Smooth operator

When it came time to purchase a new crane to handle some of its heaviest tasks, Gold Coast Crane Trucks and Transport turned to HMF’s new heavyweight, the 6020-OK-6. Its smooth operation, excellent stability and long reach are helping to tackle some of the company’s most demanding operations with precision.

When it comes to crane-work, Alberto Marques understands the business and he understands it well. He had his first taste of the industry at just 16 years of age, where he found a job as a crane operator. But by his early thirties, he decided to begin a new business venture, and launched a successful timber flooring business, which has now been running for over 25 years and is currently managed by his son.

“I still had some trucks, on and off, and also started a transport business called Marques Transport. Around six years ago I was approached by the Gold Coast Light Rail project. They asked if I wanted to put a truck and crane on site, then that turned into two trucks, then three and then four. It just multiplied from there,” recalls Alberto. And with that, Gold Coast Crane Trucks and Transport was launched in 2012. The company has a versatile fleet comprised of six rigids, and three semi trailers including a tilt tray for carrying machinery and large-scale equipment, and a drop deck extendable trailer. The rigids are all fitted with cranes, along with one of the semi trailers which features Gold Coast Crane Trucks and Transport’s newest crane, the HMF 6020-OK-6, fitted with a hydraulic FJ1200K6 fly jib. 

Alberto purchased the new piece of equipment from Tim Hill, who runs Crane Tech and represents HMF in the Gold Coast region, on behalf of Sydney-based equipment supplier and manufacturer, West-Trans Equipment. Tim also services all types of crane products throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales. Alberto and Tim have a business relationship that started around 15 years ago. “It’s a good relationship and we get along well. There’s never any job too big or too small,” Alberto states proudly. “I believe we’ve formed a good relationship because Tim and I understand each other. If I come up with something I require we have a discussion to see what’s appropriate for the particular mission. We discuss different points – from the capacity of lifting, to stabilities and what particular trucks we plan to put the cranes on. Tim and I work as partners – and we have to, because a crane is a very serious piece of equipment.”

With a reach of just over 30 metres, the HMF 6020-OK-6 is a 58-tm crane. The 6020-K series is characterised by a high working speed, both when setting up and operating the crane. Its high lifting capacity and long reach are combined with a low tare weight, to provide customers with added versatility. 

Alberto first started using HMF cranes three years ago. “One day while I was doing a particular job on a site where they were lifting water tanks, there was a HMF crane there and it was lifting quite nicely. I approached the crane operator and he said HMF had some really good gear. I had heard some really good things,” says Alberto. “When Tim came on board with HMF, he was also very pleased about the performance of the cranes – not just the cranes themselves, but also the servicing and support from HMF. We had some discussions and decided that our next crane would be a HMF. When we spoke about a big, specialised crane, I knew what I wanted, I knew what I had to lift, I knew what I had to reach and Tim suggested the HMF 6020.”  

The crane’s most important safety feature, according to Alberto, is Electronic Vehicle Stability. “That’s probably one of the greatest achievements on the HMF product. It takes out the risk of any human error because it doesn’t allow the operator to do certain things that they shouldn’t be doing,” he explains. “With its stability, the beauty is in the actual strength of the crane which makes the operation pretty smooth. We can put a steel beam that weighs 300-500kg straight into a bolt-hole 20 metres away – that’s how good it is. The smoothness is incredible, it responds really well.”

The stability of the set-up is enhanced even further thanks to an elaborate chassis sub-frame, strengthened with a reinforced top plate and large side plates. “It’s a very elaborate sub-frame so it will not twist or move. It is made to last until the end of its life,” Alberto reveals.

Gold Coast Crane Trucks and Transport uses the new heavyweight crane for a wide variety of tasks. “We can transport a 40 foot container, pick it up and turn it 90 degrees and shoot it out. There aren’t many rigid trucks that can do that. You would usually need a prime mover, semi trailer and a mobile crane. We can pick up portable 40 foot buildings and put them straight on the truck. We can also lift steel multiple stories up and place it down precisely. It’s just so smooth,” Alberto says. “When people see this thing unfolding, it is a really impressive sight.”

Along with the new HMF 6020-OK-6, Gold Coast Crane Trucks and Transport has taken delivery of a second HMF crane, the 2620, which also brings a great deal of versatility. Fitted to a rigid, it will be used for a wide variety of applications including everything from container transport, to steel beams and heavy concrete products.

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