The first nine arrived on 18 March and have all be sold. The second batch of seven arrived this month.

ACM was formed in October 2004 following the merger of Australian Crane Imports and National Crane Sales. Other products handled by ACM include Kobelco crawler and rough terrain cranes and the Tadano aerial work platforms.

XCMG produced 6,000 cranes in 2004 and exported about 80 of them to Africa, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. These are its first crane shipments to Australia. It expects to increase its export volume by about 50% this year. Domestic demand currently prevents any greater export drive.

Many crane buyers question the ability of Chinese manufacturers to provide product support, since they lack the distribution infrastructure of their more established international competitors. Marketing director Tang De Xin told Cranes Today that XCMG was supplying spare parts free of charge to its distributor in Australia, to enable it to support its customers.

He said it took a year to make all the necessary modifications to meet Australian Standard AS1418. ACM had to get third party certification for every model and the factory had to make modifications in response to the comments of the certifying body.

ACM managing director David Potter told Cranes Today: ‘These investigation also included samples of the steel used in the construction of the boom and revolving frame being assayed in Australia by an NATA approved testing authority to confirm the quality and strength of the Swedish made steel used.’

XCMG’s truck cranes are based on old Liebherr designs, from whom it used to have a licence agreement. Features of the Australian models include: oviform shaped booms; front jacks as standard to give a 360 degree load chart; PAT load moment limiters; and joystick controls. The customised carriers have full width lower cabins, Steyr diesel engines, Fuller transmissions, Meritor drives and have a fully sprung rear end.

‘The joy stick controls and a simple PAT computer system make operating these machine an absolute pleasure,’ Potter said. ‘Couple this with a good road speed and a great suspension system ensures driver comfort when travelling over large distances, which is common in this market.’

ACM’s first shipment comprised of five 65t capacity QY65K truck cranes, two QY50K units (50t) and two QY35K (35t) units. They have been sold to:

All of the current QY65K and QY50K stock has been sold to

Walter Wrights, Queensland

Epoca Construction, Queensland

Boom Logistics, Perth WA

Freo Machinery, Perth WA

Hornet Crane Hire, Melbourne Victoria