Swanson Transport reaches for the sky

In News, Scania3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 3, 2021

The bright white and orange trucks of Swanson Transport Ltd (STL) have been a familiar sight on Auckland‘s roads for generations. With more than 60 available to offer services from metro deliveries to oversized loads and truck-mounted cranes, the chances of coming across one in the City of Sails is quite high. 

Now, you‘d be able to spot STL‘s latest fleet addition from the proverbial mile away – as it‘s fitted with the biggest Palfinger crane in Auckland. The massive PK 200002L SH crane is mounted to a Scania R620B 10×4 *6NB. The special mobile crane chassis of the Scania had to be specifically built to handle the 43-tonne tare weight. (With the unit weighing 43 tonnes, drivers must be Bridge Engineering Self-Supervision (BESS) certified and the vehicle has to operate on overweight permits/routes.)

The unit is a mobile knuckleboom crane and cannot carry any payload. But its primary benefit is to provide longer-reach capabilities to those offered by existing knuckleboom cranes in the Auckland region. It has a maximum outreach of 50m and will lift 350kg at full extension and 17,600kg at 7m. This specialist set-up has a winch, workman basket and a third manual jib to get right up and into hard-to-reach places.

STL general manager Nick Longuet-Higgins says this knuckleboom crane will provide the company‘s customers with the versatility of a truck-mounted crane and the reach capabilities of a large mobile crane. “One of the standout features of the unit is its ability to lift 500kg at 45m, as well as its ability to function as an elevated work platform with a 45m reach,” he says.

STL worked closely with Palfinger and Scania New Zealand throughout the 12-month order and build process.  

“Duncan Phillips (Palfinger New Zealand‘s national manager) and Jared Keenan (Scania New Zealand Auckland/Northland account manager) were involved from day one and were fantastic in all our dealings with them,” says Longuet-Higgins. 

“These are world-class products and Scania was able to provide the purpose-built mobile crane chassis to the Palfinger Competency Centre in Austria for the factory to complete the build of the mobile knuckleboom crane.” The unit was then shipped to Auckland and arrived late in 2020.

You may be wondering why we said it is the biggest Palfinger crane in Auckland? That‘s because this unit is the second one in New Zealand. The first one in the country – and the Southern Hemisphere – is operated by Ross McFaul from Meister Solutions and Engineering, who manages it under his hire company Frankton Hire. 

“Ross assisted us greatly in working through everything that was required,” notes Longuet-Higgins.