The engineers and design team at Steelbro’s New Zealand base in Christchurch are constantly striving for excellence in design. This positive research and development drive have been key to helping Steelbro retain its position as a dominant force in the global transport industry.
May 2019 saw the launch of the latest development in sidelifters – the new SB363. This model was showcased on their stand at the Brisbane Truck Show.
According to Steelbro, the design of Steelbro’s latest model was focused on delivering a further reduction in tare weight and faster deployments of stabilisers, whilst ensuring that safety in operation and quality of materials and components was maintained. The new generation SB363 sidelifter was developed with these aspects in mind using the latest design techniques and innovative technologies.
Dave Carswell, Director at DNV Transport (Qld) Pty Ltd was quick to be one of the first transport operators to take delivery of a new SB363 sidelifter. The successful Brisbane port-based transport company has its own fleet of trucks, trailers and lifting equipment to transport standard and oversized shipping containers within south-east Queensland. Dave owns the company with his wife Virginia and together they have over 20 year’s experience in the business of container transport, warehousing and distribution, biosecurity and quarantine approved services.
Their fleet includes 12 prime movers along with 20 different trailers. Sidelifters are an important component of the fleet.
DNV Transport (Qld) Pty Ltd has 6 sidelifters in total. These are mainly used to deliver in the greater Brisbane area but occasionally head on out of town runs. Loads are generally a mix of heavy and light loads often 28 to 30 tonnes. There is a mix of 20′ and 40′ sized containers.
Dave was quick to see the benefits of the new generation sidelifter and keen to keep with Steelbro.
“We wanted something new and different this time around when we went to purchase.”
“The SB363 is lighter and quicker than the SB362. We have reviewed operating procedures and believe that this together with more training of operators will help to increase speeds even further.”
“Service and support are really big for us. We have experienced frustrations with a competitive unit when there were product issues, and the after sales service was really not up to par. We have no time to deal with issues and downtime is extremely costly for us, so I needed to be assured that when something goes wrong, it is addressed quickly with little pain to us.”
“With the new Steelbro model, we’ve been happy with the support given by the local service provider in Brisbane, Phil Nickless together with the back-up support from the Steelbro team in New Zealand.”
“Our operators have received some great training. So far, they have found the changeover to this new unit a smooth transition. Any concerns have been addressed by Steelbro.”
“We wanted fleet consistency – and to be able to run similar trucks and trailers for ease of maintenance.”
DNV Transport (Qld) Pty Ltd is sufficiently pleased with their new investment, that they have already pre ordered another SB363 unit for delivery later in the year.
According to Steelbro, the SB363 is Steelbro’s lightest model with a tare weight of just 9.6 tonnes. This will have a significant impact on payload possibilities, without any sacrifice to strength or durability.
Steelbro focused on developing a number of other improvements such as improved lift speeds. A higher flow rate hydraulic system has meant there has been a 30% increase in the speed it takes to deploy and stow stabilisers, saving valuable operator time and speeding up efficiencies.
There are now fewer components and simplified electrical and hydraulic fault diagnostics, which all help to lower maintenance costs and improve overall operational efficiency.
For ease of use, the SB363 is more operator friendly with its upgraded proportional control giving smoother operation, a more responsive joystick and improved crane synchronisation.
A superior outreach is important to ensure an efficient transfer of shipping containers to and from rail wagons and companion vehicles, thereby increasing the efficiency of the entire operation. The SB363 has a large outreach of 4.05 m which also makes easy handling of misaligned containers. The unit was also designed with the flexibility to handle different container requirements i.e. it has been optimised for 20′, 40′ and 2 x 20′ containers.
Safety and general user experience has been improved with the enhanced Smartlift II and Hydraulic systems. The next generation of load monitoring system has a colour display with high resolution screen, clearer messaging, simpler diagnostics and maintenance as well as environmental protection.
The new ISO Fuel tank was redesigned for easy cleaning and extra service indicators, and allows central mounting.
Stabiliser options include the standard “Tilt and Extend” as well as the “Bridge Leg”. The optional SB363 Bridge Leg allows a container to be placed close up against a wall with a 500 mm gap between the container and the Sidelifter.
Steelbro will continue to invest in innovation and technology, to improve speed and safety of operation, as well as improved functionality. Research is also undertaken into new material applications and manufacturing processes for reduced product weights. This philosophy of continuous product development will help to ensure that Steelbro keeps abreast of customer market needs and help them to stay at the top of the game.