Artha Logistics goes from Strength to Strength with the help of Steelbro Sidelifters

Artha Logistics goes from Strength to Strength with the help of Steelbro Sidelifters

Ranked in the top 30 hauliers in the Port Klang, fast growing Artha Logistics Sdn Bhd has been recognized as one of the most successful total logistics companies in the region.

Established in 2008, Artha Logistics is headquartered in Port Klang, and operate through their own offices and a global services network across 52 locations. They provide a “one-stop-solution” with services ranging across multimodal routes including air, sea, rail and road transport as well as customs clearance, project logistics and warehouse services. Their commitment to customers has seen them become the preferred supplier to various companies.

In May 2011, to provide more comprehensive logistics solutions to their customers Artha Logistics formed a container haulage operation. Initially, it was to cater to existing customers, but the customer base quickly grew to include freight forwarders nationwide. The operation turned a profit within its first year of operation and continues to be a core contributor to the company’s growth rate to this day.

Artha’s comprehensive fleet of haulage trucks includes some 50 prime movers, 205 trailers, and Sidelifters, including 12 Steelbro Sidelifters.

The container haulage operation mainly uses the Sidelifters to perform short journeys carrying a variety of loads including 20’, 2×20’, 40’ containers., ISO Tank and flat racks

In the last three years Artha Logistics have purchased 6 Steelbro SB450 Sidelifters.  The SB450 Sidelifter ticked all the boxes; price, safety, longevity and stability. According to Mr.Viswanathan ”Steelbro units are worth every penny invested.  The 6 units we added in the last 3 years are a result of revenue earned from each of the Sidelifters”

The SB450 Sidelifter model was engineered by Steelbro to cope with environments where conditions are extreme and call for a highly durable Sidelifter unit with a strong lifting capacity. The environment and conditions in Malaysia sometimes require a more rugged unit such as the Steelbro SB450 which can handle transfers of containers weighing up to 45 tonnes easily within a safe working envelope.

For Mr.Viswanathan asset optimisation is key and the Steebro Sidelifters stand up to the task

“We at Artha always maximise our Sidelifter resources.  We operate 24/7 and Steelbro units keep us going for all types of projects.  Steelbro is like a bull.  Give the Sidelifter any job and it does it all”

Another drawcard for Artha was the versatility that the Steelbro units provide including trailer transfer and double stacking. All Steelbro Sidelifters can double stack both 20’ and 40’ containers. According to Mr.Viswanathan this has been a problem solver “Our space constraint issue was solved with Steelbro double stacking.” 

Artha Logistics have also used the Steelbro service centre based in Port Klang.  The handy located service centre provided “fast and efficient” service.

Artha Logistics strong growth was recognised in 2021 when they received the SME100 fast moving companies award from Business Media International.  For Artha Logistics this award was not only a recognition of their achievements, but it was a milestone in motivating the company to capture a greater share of the market to become a major player in the market.

According to Andy Ersalle, Steelbro Regional Manager SE. Asia “Steelbro is privileged to be part of Artha Logistics growth journey.”

First published in Asian Trucker Issue 64

DSC02318 edited scaled | Steelbro
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Interway Transport make the switch to Steelbro

Interway Transport make the switch to Steelbro

Interway has successfully operated a transportation business in the commercial and industrial centre of Malaysia for more than 40 years, covering all the major routes in Peninsular Malaysia.

Over the past year, the Company has for the first time added six new Steelbro sidelifters to its extensive fleet of haulage equipment, and is seeing some impressive results.

The one-stop logistics provider offers a wide range of logistics related services including the transportation of goods in container, freight-forwarding services, warehousing facilities, and shifting and positioning of industrial equipment. A forwarding and warehousing division also offers a complete package ranging from specialised packing to the handling of Custom procedures, air and sea freight formalities.

Interway’s impressive fleet of haulage trucks includes some 300 prime movers, over 1500 trailers, more than 100 specialised haulage trucks,  39 bulk tankers, as well as sidelifters.

When it comes to sidelifters, Interway made the decision in 2020 to partner with sidelifter manufacturer Steelbro.

According to Interway Director Mr. Cheok  , “Managing a fleet of heavy equipment of this size is a massive undertaking and requires all vehicles and heavy lifting machinery to be well maintained and in optimum working condition.

“And this means, essentially, choosing the right equipment is critical for us.

“Our truck fleet maintenance plan is all about preventing downtime and lengthening the lifespan of our equipment. This helps us not only maximise the return on investment on all our valuable assets, but ensures we provide the best service possible for our customers.”

“These customers include multi-national companies and large government agencies and we’re pleased that we’ve managed to earn a reputation for being reliable, efficient and giving them ‘value for money’ services.

Once the decision to invest with Steelbro was made, Interway took delivery of the six new SB450 sidelifters across 2020 and 2021.  Five units were put to work straight away on the pick-up and delivery of shipments to and from the port in Port Klang and one was set to work in Penang.   These units have shifted all types of loads from 20’, 40’, tanktainers and flat racks.

According to Steelbro, the SB450 is built to handle the most challenging working environments.  A rugged sidelifter unit with a strong lifting capacity, transfers of containers weighing up to 45 tonnes can be made easily within a safe working envelope.  Designers at Steelbro developed the SB450 unit to be able to work under the most extreme of conditions.  In Malaysia the environment and conditions call for a more rugged unit and the SB450 is often considered the best possible unit for the job.

Mr. Cheok describes the SB450 as the “famous 45 tonne sidelifter in Malaysia.”

“We decided to choose a Steelbro unit because of the price, technical specifications, lifting capacity, and longevity,” says Mr. Cheok.

“They also come with lots of additional benefits for all types of operation.

“Staging and trailer transfers are made easy.  And we can lift two 20ft containers and we can double stack containers.

“The sidelifter operators at Interway are huge fans of the new units as well”, says Mr. Cheok. “One operator described the Steelbro SB450 as ‘Safe to use, simple to maintain and runs longer without much downtime.  The Steelbro units also let you place your heavy loads precisely in tight spaces.’”

Mr. Cheok has also been impressed with the Malaysian based Steelbro aftersales servicing operation,  “We’ve enjoyed excellent service that’s always been fast, efficient, and reliable.”

First published in Asian Trucker Issue 62

VOF 6579 scaled | Steelbro
VOF 6610 scaled | Steelbro
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Remote Working Around a Trailer Improves Safety

Remote Working Around a Trailer Improves Safety

Steelbro leads the Malaysian market with advanced options available for their Sidelifters. Working remote round a trailer may not be what most of us imagine these days.

Steelbro have increased the range of remote options it is offering to customers in Malaysia. All options are cost effective and provide good functionality and control. The range includes a choice of cable remote or radio remote.

Richard Brown Steelbro Research and Development Manager says “The radio remote allows the operator a greater freedom of movement when operating the Sidelifter as they are not limited by the cable connection. The Sidelifter can also be started using the radio remote. This means the operator can easily operate the machine from any safe location. For example operating from the front of the Sidelifter is now possible rather than being tethered to the rear of the trailer with a cable remote. “

Radio remotes can either be supplied with new Sidelifter purchases or purchased separately to upgrade existing units. The operation of both the cable and radio remotes is similar, meaning no additional training is required when units are upgraded to the radio remote. The remote has two joystick controls, left and right allowing individual control of the left and right cranes respectively. The remote also allows the operator to select the mode required by utilising the dial to choose: traverse, to move cranes from 20’ to 40’ container position, stabiliser, to deploy stabilisers, or arms, to control cranes. An operator can also move between high and low speed from the remote. The functionality the remote provides enables precise control over all activities making it simple and easy to operate the Sidelifter.

An additional safety feature incorporated into the remote is the emergency stop button. When activated this will shut down the engine and stop all operations. The joystick on the remote sends varying amounts of signal depending on how far the operator moves the joystick. This varying signal is sent to a hydraulic control valve which varies the amount of oil flow to the cylinders and therefore their speed. This allows the cranes to be moved slowly which reduces the amount the container swings. There is less chance of the container over-shooting and ending up in a dangerous position.

This way of operating a Sidelifter with safe and speedy precision was developed by the engineering team at Steelbro. They found a way of achieving smoother, more stable container loading and unloading that would give more refined speed control, allow for higher speeds, and reduce stress fatigue on the crane arms. This is known as ‘Proportional Control’.

According to Brown, “Using ‘Proportional Control’, loading of a container onto a Sidelifter is possible in less than five minutes. The Steelbro design and Danfoss proportional controls built into each system provide for smooth control of the container load at all times, ensuring maximum safety and product reliability. The Steelbro Sidelifter can be used to place a shipping container with precision anywhere a truck can access. Containers are handled with fine movements and with varying amounts of speed and can be positioned accurately, quickly, easily and safely, irrespective of weight.”

The Steelbro SB450 model used in Malaysia has proportional control valves supplied by internationally recognised Danish engineering company, Danfoss. These proportional control valves are chosen for their superb handling characteristics, proven safety attributes and smooth proportional control. The Danfoss proportional control valves give the operator full proportional control of the machine and allows the operator to move their load quickly when required or very slowly to position the load precisely.

Brown comments “Other Sidelifters often use a push button system which can give a stop/start experience instead of the smooth operation that comes when using a joystick. This sends an on or off signal to the hydraulic valve. These ‘full on’ or ‘full off’ alternative solutions can provide jerky, erratic and uncontrolled movements. This can put undue strain on the equipment, can cause damage to the load and be an unsafe option. The container movement can be less predictable e.g. stopping suddenly causing the container to swing.”

Another innovation coming out of the Steelbro design department is SMARTweight. This is an additional module that can be added to analogue controlled Sidelifters. Andy Ersalle, Steelbro Regional Manager SE. Asia said that this technology is being introduced into Malaysia as a response to customer requests.

SMARTweight is a new bolt on module for analogue control SB450 Sidelifters which provides the ability to weigh containers. The container weight is displayed on the built-in colour LCD screen and can be printed (printer optional extra). The weight is taken as part of a normal lift saving time and money as no additional equipment is needed.

Included in the product is the module, sensors, wiring kit and optional printer. The module can be ordered as an option for new units or as a kit to be retrofitted to an existing Sidelifter.

Providing customers with the latest design and technology options has been cited as one of the keys to Steelbro’s success in the Malaysian market.

First published in Asian Trucker Issue 61

DSC01775 scaled 1 scaled | Steelbro
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New Metro Sidelifter – Light and Quick

New Metro Sidelifter – Light and Quick

The latest release from the New Zealand based Engineers & Design team at Steelbro is the SB303 30T lifting capacity Sidelifter.  “Our research and insight programme identified a need for a fast, light Sidelifter for use within an urban environment to deliver and pick up both 20’ and 40’ containers.  To deliver this to the market the team designed the SB303. “ said Richard Brown Research and Development Manager

This inline crane design is light with tare weights starting from just 7T.  It provides the user with fast movement of containers from trailer to ground and ground to trailer with its ability to quickly deploy and stow stabilisers.

The key to increased speed is the new Steelbro HYDRAlift hydraulic system technology which is used on the SB303. This is a fundamental rethink of Sidelifter control combined with the latest in hydraulic piston pump technology and a new advanced proportional control valve.  It provides the Sidelifter with:

  • Excellent Machine Controllability:
    The multi-function operation via proportional joystick control and improved flow sharing technology enables precision control throughout the lift.  This functionality ensures containers can be delivered safely at speed.
  • Optimal System Efficiency
    Optimised horsepower utilisation enables the efficient use of engine power. Making it cost effective to run.
  • Enhanced Speed Control
    Intelligent use of available oil flow allows for better engine and pump utilisation.
  • Ease of Service
    The single central control valve halves the number of proportional valve sections per Sidelifter which minimising servicing costs.

Quality and reliability have not been compromised in the SB303 and customers can expect the same longevity of life they experience with all Steelbro Sidelifter models.

The SB303 has a large outreach of 3.64m and is optimised to perform pick up and delivery of containers from ground to trailer and trailer to ground only. It can lift both single rear 20’, 40’ and 2x20ft containers.

The SB303 is fitted with the enhanced SMARTlift II next generation of load monitoring system.  This is the latest evolution of Steelbro’s SMARTlift load monitoring system that has been continuously improved since its release in 2005.  SMARTlift II provides users with the additional benefits of a colour display with high resolution screen, clearer messaging, simpler diagnostics and maintenance as well as environmental protection.

The SB303 offers customers an efficient simple design Sidelifter with provides low operational and servicing costs making it a handy addition to any Sidelifter fleet.

Click here for more SB303 information

or Contact us for pricing and delivery details


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Steelbro and Howard Porter strengthen support in Brisbane

Steelbro and Howard Porter strengthen support in Brisbane

Sidelifter specialists Steelbro and WA Trailer manufacturer Howard Porter are expanding their footprint in Australia with the opening of a strategically located sales and service operation in Brisbane.

Newly appointed Business Development Sales and Service Manager Malcolm Newcombe will be based in the new Brisbane facility supporting customers across the east coast of Australia for both Sidelifter and trailer sales.

The new sales and workshop facility at 130 Benjamin Place, Lytton, Port of Brisbane precinct is well located to increase direct support to customers with good access to the Brisbane Port motorway. 

The facility will provide Sidelifter servicing, repairs, and maintenance for all Sidelifter brands and models and will also stock a wide range of genuine Steelbro parts. New Sidelifter sales will also be supported by technical support and training from the Brisbane base.

“We are focussed on increasing customer satisfaction.  The new facility reflects our dedication to increase support and product back up.  We are excited to be able to offer, directly, a wide range of services and support for the Steelbro brand to customers in the greater Brisbane area. The new facility also enables us to stock a range of Howard Porter trailers for direct sale into the Queensland market.” Said Roy Lombardi, Managing Director

Malcom Newcombe joined the Steelbro team in early August in the role of Business Development Sales and Service Manager covering the territories of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria.  Newcombe has over 15 years’ experience within the trailer industry.

 “Adding Malcolm to the team with his extensive industry connections at the same time as opening the facility will enable us to deliver our strategy of increased growth and position us as a supplier of choice for customers in the region,” said Roy Lombardi.

Contact us to find out more about our September opening special

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Design innovation the STEELBRO way

Design innovation the STEELBRO way

Have you ever wondered what goes in to designing a Sidelifter Crane? In this article we unpack this with STEELBRO.

What you might not know is that all STEELBRO Sidelifters are designed in Christchurch, New Zealand.  This is the location of the STEELBRO head office and our world class design team. You may also be surprised to know that the history of the STEELBRO company dates back over 142 years to 1878 when the Steel brothers started making horse-drawn carts in Christchurch!

One of the things that is special about STEELBRO is all the elements of the Sidelifter are designed in house. This includes both the crane and chassis components of the Sidelifter.  The chassis designs are modified to meet local requirements of STEELBRO markets around the world in partnership with local branches or partners.

The design team consists of qualified Mechanical, Electrical and Mechatronic Engineers. The average period of employment of our engineering team is 16 years’ at STEELBRO. Our team members have an in-depth knowledge of Sidelifter design and our customers’ requirements. The team also draws upon the expertise of our long-term supplier partners to incorporate the latest technology developments available, be they hydraulic, electronic or power train.Design graphic 1 | Steelbro

The innovation journey for any Sidelifter design starts by listening to the needs of customers and identifying the product attributes that will help solve the problems or issues that customers are facing.

Once the requirements are clear the design phase begins with Geometry Analysis. This identifies the best crane geometry for the desired application to optimise for outreach and rated capacity.  It identifies the location of the pivot points and hydraulic cylinder size requirements. The demanding environment that our Sidelifters work in means that the different jobs required of a Sidelifter must be considered from day one.  For STEELBRO this includes trailer to trailer, trailer to ground, double-stack and Intermodal work, as well as keeping compact low-lying cranes as a signature feature of the majority of the STEELBRO Sidelifters. This is a challenging job as a small adjustment in one parameter can have a major effect on the performance of another so there are many functional trade-offs to consider.

The Mechanical Engineering team take the next step to create the overall structure and put it through its paces using Finite Element Analysis (FEA).  This is computer modelling to strength and fatigue test the designs by performing thousands of virtual loading and unloading cycles to mirror the expected lifetime of a Sidelifter. This process allows any stress or fatigue issues to be identified early in the design and rectified to ensure the structure is optimised for strength while minimising tare weight.

FEA photo3 1 | Steelbro
FEA photo 2 1 | Steelbro

The hydraulic system is then developed in detail to suit the mechanical structure and the load requirements. An example is our recent SB363 single proportional control valve technology coupled with the new load sense piston pump. This enables 30% quicker deployment speeds by making optimal use of the power available from the engine. 

The electrical system including our printed circuit board design is all done in house.  The system features easy fault tracing by LED indicators for each circuit. New improvements that need to be implemented can be done quickly and seamlessly.  The electrical team have the technical expertise plus a deep understanding of the Sidelifter product and applications it’s a win-win.

The final piece in the puzzle is the Software Engineering. For STEELBRO this is the heart of the SMARTlift Sidelifter Load Monitoring System.  This controls and monitors the Sidelifter to enable work within the safe working envelope.  It utilises intelligent software and sensors to monitor and control the Sidelifter operation.  This allows customers to have the peace of mind that their investment is being used safely and within its capabilities. There is also the benefit of being easy to diagnose faults and access data on the operation of their Sidelifters through the display screen. In an increasingly data driven world this information can be invaluable to customers.

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Author: Joy Taylor