Incredibly, after 29 years the 1988 MK4 sidelifter is still performing well in Chile. The unit is operating beyond its normal service life expectancy, according to Steelbro’s Facebook page.
Kasawari in Malaysia regularly utilises its 1997 sidelifter around the Johor Bharu area. Pacific Customs in Fiji currently employs a recently refurbished 25 year old MK4 sidelifter from Steelbro. In Brazil, Azevedo Tranportes operates a 20 year old Steelbro sidelifter. Angelo Azevedo takes great pride in this equipment and its performance. He says the unit reliably provides efficient container movements and continues to save the company time and money even today.
Strong, well-engineered and built to last, the Steelbro sidelifter is a revolutionary concept in materials handling. It is a semi-trailer fitted with two hydraulic cranes capable of lifting a container (weighing up to 45 tonnes) onto the trailer or transferring the container to another trailer.
The secret to the product’s longevity can be attributed to superior engineering design, cutting edge hydraulics, electronics and the use of quality materials chosen for their exceptional structural strength. These have been hallmarks of the Steelbro product since the sidelifter was first developed and are still an integral part of Steelbro’s latest sidelifter models today.
The Steelbro sidelifter needs to be exceptionally strong, durable and capable of lifting and carrying up to 45 tonnes in a variety of demanding environments. Optimal sidelifter design calls for units to be manufactured from the best high strength quenched and tempered structural steel. And Steelbro has utilised this type of steel for over 20 years.
Steel is the perfect material for crane manufacture. It has a high load carrying ability whilst being a costeffective solution. Properties of steel can be altered to suit the technical demands of the application.
Quenched and tempered steel is substantially stronger than common mild steel. This means the amount of material in the cranes can be reduced which reduces the weight while still performing the same lifting operation.
Less material in the manufacture of the crane means a lower tare weight for the sidelifter. This all impacts the load that the vehicle can legally carry as well as the how much the crane structure can lift. The tare weight is massively reduced without losing any lifting capacity.
This type of steel has good ductility and is able to withstand tensile stress in low temperature environments. Also thanks to modern steel making metallurgy and heat treatment technology, these steels have outstanding toughness. The rapid cooling of hot steel by quenching generates a hard, strong material that is then toughened by warming to a temperature below the critical point for a sustained period and allowing the steel to temper.
Engineering their sidelifters to provide durability and extended service life have helped make Steelbro the well respected and trusted brand it is today. Malaysian operators share their opinions of Steelbro quality.
Kanapathy Raman Satish. Managing Director at Petaling Jaya based, SMG Mega Sappire says “Units were found to be more durable than alternatives without the crane hydraulic problems. They are a heavy-duty product and compared to the competition, low on maintenance.”
Lima A logistik’s Allan Lima says “We picked the Steelbro brand because we saw that it was cost effective, stronger and seemed more reliable than others. It’s also known for maintaining a good resale value.”
Managing Director at Viva Haulage, Tee Wah Meng says, “Steelbro are pioneers in the market. We chose their sidelifters because they are known for their durability and safety. They also seemed to be more economical than alternatives. We also liked the toughness and the low line crane design.”
Klang based container haulage and logistics company Antamegah has 18 Steelbro sidelifters in their fleet. According to owner, Lim Poi Chai, Steelbro is their first choice. “The Steelbro sidelifter is a good solid unit, with a structural integrity that beats the competition hands down. We have chosen Steelbro again and again because units are durable, reliable and affordable,” says Mr Lim. Mr Lew of Supreme Freight Services Sdn. Bhd described Steelbro as “Pioneers in the market. We chose the Steelbro based on price, durability and safety,” says Mr Lew when asked why he chooses a Steelbro unit. “It’s a tough unit – well-built.”
First published in Asian Trucker Malaysia – Trailer Special 2017 – In the Workshop