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News Release

Tutt Bryant puts Australia’s first MLC650 right to work


Australia has its first Manitowoc MLC650, which is also the first crane in the country to include the company’s revolutionary new Variable Position Counterweight (VPC). The unique VPC technology is a central component in the Manitowoc MLC650 which has been delivered to Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift – Perth Depot. Tutt Bryant has immediately put the MLC650 to work, scheduling it for a variety of projects across the country.

Malcom Smith, national crane operations manager at the company, said Tutt Bryant wanted the MLC650 for very clear reasons - increased productivity gains for end users, decreased costs, efficient operations, risk mitigation and flexible lifting applications.

“We believe in selecting equipment with a point of difference from our competitors, and the MLC650 has given us an advantage,” he said. “With the VPC, there are fewer pieces of crane to transport and it takes less time to erect the MLC650, which saves costs for us and our customers. Also, the flexibility in the crane’s configurations enables us to work on a wide range of projects with various capacity needs.”

John Stewart, vice president and general manager of Manitowoc Cranes in Australia, said Tutt Bryant is the perfect customer for the first MLC650 in Australia. 

“We know the guys at Tutt Bryant well and in many ways their business model is in alignment with our own, in that they always try to give their customers better productivity on the job site and provide them with solutions that their competitors can’t match,” he said. “Our conversations regarding the MLC650 started soon after we announced the introduction of the crane and from the outset it was clear that this crane would be a great fit for their equipment fleet.”

Smith said that before Tutt Bryant even received the crane, the company already had several projects planned for it. Its first job is at the Australian Marine Complex just outside Perth. There it’s lifting 64 pipe spools that weigh up to 250 t and measure up to 80 m in length. Each spool is trial-lifted and tested prior to being loaded onto a barge before it’s taken offshore and then lowered into the ocean for subsea installation as part of the Wheatstone LNG project. The MLC650 is working 24/7 on the 20-week job. 

“This is the perfect crane for this project and we got it set up with minimal ground preparation,” Smith said. “It’s 100 percent pick-and-carry chart and high wind speed rating have made the work much more efficient. The VPC Max enables us to perform multiple load outs in a single shift that would have been unachievable with a floating tray superlift crane. Plus the support we receive from Manitowoc Crane Care and from our dealer WATM has been second to none. Both our client and our own crew at Tutt Bryant have mentioned how seamless the crane’s performance has been. This is one of the leading crane designs in the world but really its beauty is in its simplicity.”

The Australian Marine Complex project falls right in line with what Tutt Bryant was expecting from the MLC650. In 2014 the company set about replacing one of its larger cranes in its fleet, a model that needed to fill the gap between 550 t and 1,600 t capacities. The company looked at the competition and concluded that the MLC650 would be a differentiator in the market that could help its customers save time and money.

Smith highlighted just what kind of savings the company and its customers could be looking at:

“A customer told us that if he could have used the MLC650 on a recent project just completed in Australia, he could have saved AUS$5 million,” he said. “In a place like Australia, if we can be competitive with that sort of advantage, imagine what we can do.” 

After the Australian Marine Complex job, Australia’s first MLC650 has two potential projects: lifting suction cans for the Prelude FLNG vessel (Shell Global’s floating LNG plant), and pipe spool placements for the Julimar Gas Field. 

“This crane is perfect for the installation of tunnel boring machines, infrastructure, road bridge beams, refineries, coal-fired power station shut downs, and wind tower erection and maintenance. Renewable energy is a significant market where we believe the MLC650 will succeed, too,” Smith explained.

One of the biggest advantages that Tutt Bryant sees with the MLC650 is its time saving on site. Because the VPC offers a moving counterweight to boost capacity, there is no need to constantly add or remove counterweights to account for different lift requirements. This not only saves time on site, it also eliminates the need for auxiliary equipment and contributes to a safer job site by reducing the number of reconfigurations a crane would typically require on a job site. 

“We put a lot of emphasis on safety,” said Smith. “And a crane like this gives us a lot less to worry about.” 

Tutt Bryant’s fleet includes a number of Manitowoc-made cranes, including four Manitowoc 16000 crawler cranes, and several Grove all-terrain cranes, including GMK6300L, GMK5130-2, GMK4080, GMK4100 and GMK5100 models. 

“We are constantly reviewing new products and identifying the flexibility in OEM offerings so that we can bring the benefits to our clients. At Tutt Bryant, we always make ourselves different from competition,” Smith said. “To us, the MLC650 - and also the Grove GMK6300L - have been game changers for the Australian market.”

About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 116-year tradition of providing high-quality, customer-focused products and support services to its markets and its 2018 net sales were approximately $1.8 billion. Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of engineered lifting solutions. Manitowoc, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, markets, and supports comprehensive product lines of mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, lattice-boom crawler cranes, and boom trucks under the Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane, Potain, Shuttlelift and Manitowoc Crane Care brand names.
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