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The LTM 1090-4.2 is the first Liebherr machine in the McLeod fleet – and the very first of its kind to be delivered to a New Zealand customer

New Liebherr crane provides a paradigm shift for McLeod Group

Scott McLeod, managing director of McLeod Group, says the arrival of their brand-new Liebherr LTM 1090-4.2 mobile crane – the first of its type in New Zealand – is opening up brand new opportunities for their business.

Established in 1995, McLeod is a family owned and operated company specialising in cranes, hiabs, transport and drilling rig logistics. Headquartered in Mt Maunganui, they have branches in Tauranga, Taupo, Hamilton and additional fleet based in Kawerau and Tokoroa – in any one day, their distinctive blue cranes and white hiabs can be found in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Auckland and Taranaki regions.

The company prides itself on providing outstanding customer service and strives to offer modern efficient vehicles with highly trained and experienced operators. When the team were looking for a new machine to add to their fleet, it was the innovative features of the Liebherr LTM 1090-4.2 that stood out.

“I first saw the crane on the test bed in Europe and it was clear that this machine was unique. The axle spacings stood out, for a start – the distance between axles one and two and the total axle load. I could see Liebherr had made a machine that would be really well suited to New Zealand roads,” says Scott. “I also witnessed lots of innovation. We see this on the crane with built-in toolboxes and Liebherr’s logical positioning technology like VarioBase.”

With space on construction sites often being constricted, crane operators can sometimes find it impossible to extend all the outriggers of a mobile crane evenly. VarioBase from Liebherr allows the crane to be used safely and flexibly in these difficult conditions. The increased safety and ease of use take the strain off the crane driver who can concentrate fully on the hoist.

Advanced technology

Scott says their new Liebherr crane will be based in Tauranga and will replace a competitor’s model. “The difference between the two machines is really a paradigm shift,” he notes. “Greater lifting capacity, longer reach and greater on-road performance – the technology within these newer machines has leapt ahead.”

Tom Curran, Liebherr sales manager for mobile and crawler cranes in New Zealand, says Liebherr is renowned for its top technological and innovative crane concepts. “We are the global market leader for mobile cranes and set standards in the industry. Liebherr is responsible for designing and building a whole host of new technical ideas,” he notes.

In addition to VarioBase, the LTM 1090-4.2 has VarioBallast which allows the operator to choose between two counterweight positions – near or far – to decrease slew radius or increase lift radius. The LTM 1090-4.2 can also be remotely controlled using intelligent control technology, allowing the operator to work from the safest position when required. And with its ECOdrive and ECOmode options, the LTM 1090-4.2 is extremely environmentally friendly, being low on fuel consumption and with low noise.

Why choose Liebherr?

The LTM 1090-4.2 is the first Liebherr machine in the McLeod fleet – and the very first of its kind to be delivered to a New Zealand customer. Isn’t the company taking a leap of faith?

The LTM 1090-4.2 has VarioBallast which allows the operator to choose between two counterweight positions – near or far – to decrease slew radius or increase lift radius

“Everyone here is very excited to see why this brand is considered the world leader. Having visited the factory and seen the components and cranes being manufactured, I have no doubt that we have made a great decision,” says Scott.

“In selecting this crane we considered the feedback from our team – many were looking for a new challenge. At McLeod we feel that staff retention is going to be one of those long-term challenges for all crane companies as the labour market tightens over the coming years as the baby boomers retire. Having a good range of cranes adds variety to the workface.”

Scott says that in comparing their options for a new machine, the LTM 1090-4.2 was easily best in class. “The crane stood apart: its roadability with 12.7 tonne is a significant benefit to our customers. The time savings to set up without a trailer is a direct cost saving. The crane is also set up via a remote, making the process very fast. You can also road the crane with less than 10 tonnes per axle, which opens up options for travel in regions that previously were inaccessible due to heavy axle weights.

“All the technological advances are really significant, but the biggest advantage here in New Zealand has to be the machine’s roadability. It arrives on a site with a really great rating chart. It can be set up quickly and outperforms the previous machine by a long way. Ultimately, this is what the customer wants – in and out quickly with a safe lift from A to B.”

Looking to the future

Scott says they received excellent support from the Liebherr team throughout the entire procurement process. “Delivery was seamless and exceeded our expectations,” he notes. “Tom and Andy have been great to deal with. They certainly know the product and are a pleasure to work with. We spent the week with Andy training our three operators. The training was extensive, and we are looking forward to Andy returning to complete his follow-up.”

The McLeod team are now looking forward to introducing their customers to the new machine, and Scott says its capabilities are a significant step up for the company. “Working with our customers, we are looking forward to learning what’s possible. The crane’s roadability will open up new opportunities for us – we can see this machine travelling to places we would never have considered for a crane of this size.”


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