Connecting Safety With Performance

21 December 2023
Crane Connection TIDD Hero

5-minute read from Cranes & Lifting.

Having purchased a new TIDD PC28-2, AWCON’s Fleet Manager Andrew Ison discusses the expanded operational capacity of the company and the quality of service received from East Coast dealer the Baden Davis Crane Connection.

Any story that begins with being a shop assistant at Woolies and concludes with managing a large fleet of mobile equipment is one worth telling – and AWCON’s Andrew Ison has one such tale.

With industry experience entailing mobile, heavy plant repairs and maintenance, as well as a wealth of experience with stationary plant mechanic repairs, Andrew is fleet operations manager at civil works and mining services company AWCON.

Andrew’s current role at the national – and sporadically international – infrastructure company pertains to acquiring, dispatching, mobilising, and demobilising all the machines in AWCON’s fleet.

Working at the company for nearly a decade now, he said his time at the Orange-based group has brought on personal development and growth.

“I began as a mechanic in 2015, before eventually moving upwards to move into the role of fleet manager,” he said. “The job presents multiple different challenges in different environments, so I’m always kept on my toes.”

Originally established in 1998 as Australia Wide Concrete, AWCON rebranded to the name it is known by today in 2014 to better reflect the range of works the company carries out, such as underground construction, pipe and civil works, and mining services.

Working in projects of all types and sizes mainly in Australia but with jobs in Papua New Guinea and Mongolia, AWCON’s operations service the civil infrastructure and mining sectors, with its flagship project to date being a $73.6 million job with Newcrest Mining it completed in June 2022.

Today, with its head office based in Orange, NSW, and employing over 200 people, AWCON’s services are being expanded to include plant and equipment hire, a part of the business that operates “hand in hand” with the work AWCON undertakes, according to Andrew.

“Mobile plant and equipment hire is something that we’re capable of doing and spend time investing in, but our main focus is on completing infrastructure works in the civil and mining sectors,” he said.

“Most of our equipment is working on the projects we’re undertaking.”

It’s in the name of expanding AWCON’s operations that Andrew announces the company recently purchased a brand-new TIDD PC28-2 from East Coast dealer Baden Davis Crane Connection. 

TRT’s 28-tonne capacity pick and carry crane features an 18.65m, telescopic, full power boom, a 75 percent stationary chart for heavy lifts, and a 66 percent pick and carry chart.

The "compact" and "safe" machine allows the AWCON team to gain access and operate within more confined job sites, according to Andrew.

Additionally, the machine has a 1.1-tonne superlift counterweight option which provides users with a 12 percent increased lifting capacity which, for Andrew, was one of the main selling points when purchasing the machine.

“The superlift configuration provides a tangible point of difference for us, especially on road works such as the ones we’re currently undertaking in South Australia,” he said.

“Additionally, as our work also revolves around the mining sector, the crane’s narrower dimensions provide us with a higher degree of flexibility when working in underground mining sites and space is limited.”

For Andrew, however, the lifting capacities and dimensions only make up one-half of the purchase; the TIDD PC28 holds a range of safety features such as a dynamic load moment indicator for safe operation across all slopes and angles.

Its key point of difference, however, is the Slew Safe feature, which features an indicator on the lifting chart that changes between green, amber, and red.

If the machine enters the red zone, the Slew Safe will be activated; reducing the speed of the steering to 15 percent, making turning the steering wheel harder, a ‘loaded up engine’ that makes an audible sound change, and a constant alarm going off inside and outside the cabin to warn of overload.

For Andrew, the Slew Safe feature’s ability to derate the crane in a linear manner when bringing the machine back to a safe working position is clutch for the safe operation of the machine.

“As well as the roll-over protective structure (ROPS) cabin, Slew Safe was another big selling point for us,” he said. “TRT has paid a lot of attention to the safety features of the crane which, when working on undulating terrains, is imperative for safe work practices.”

TIDD PC28-2 is the second crane AWCON has purchased through the NSW-based Baden Davis Crane Connection, which supplies TIDD, Link-Belt, and Kobelco cranes.

Having had the Baden Davis experience for the second time in his career, Andrew was nothing but complimentary of the way the East Coast crane company conducted its business.

“We need our machines to be available borderline immediately in the kind of work we conduct because contracts pop up from nowhere and catch us on the fly,” he said. “The lead times for availability were incredible: we ordered a crane and, a month and a half later, the TIDD PC28-2 turned up on our doorstep.”

Conceived in 2010 by Anthony Davis and Ben Baden after the duo saw an opportunity in the market and joined forces, sales, service, and repair have always been the cornerstone of operations in Arndell Park.

Having gained experience from working under Ben’s father Gerhard in the original family business G.M. Baden., the two business owners have added refurbishment and the selling of used cranes to the Crane Connection’s arsenal – aspects of the business Andrew has already reaped the benefits of, citing the high level of thoroughness, quality, communications and affordability offered by the Arndell Park dealers.

“We’ve never been disappointed with the service received from the Baden Davis Crane Connection,” he said, “and the quality of service received when purchasing the TIDD PC28-2 is reflective of that.”