A new standard in safety for Steelbro Sidelifters

A new standard in safety for Steelbro Sidelifters


The New Zealand transport industry has taken a positive step towards a safer future for the New Zealand sideloader operation industry this year, with the release of ‘The Good Practice Guide: Safe Operation and Maintenance of Sideloaders’ (TRANSPORTtalk, 2022).  

This is fantastic news for transport enterprises and operators, as it will establish a guide for best practice safety, maintaining standards within the industry and reducing risks for stakeholders (TRANSPORTtalk, 2022). The Good Practice Guide (TGPG) has been submitted for endorsement by WorkSafe, which has a key interest in improving the health and safety of New Zealanders at work (WorkSafe New Zealand, 2020). 

In conjunction with The NZ Intermodal Transport Safety Group (NZITSG) Steelbro are committed to implementing TGPG into our own best practices. As such, every newly released Steelbro Sidelifter will go through yearly testing, in accordance with TGPG. This will result in each unit being approved and stamped with certification, upon passing inspection. 

Key points from The Good Practice Guide include: 

  • Yearly certification of sideloaders, including chains and lugs, carried out by approved service agents and a certification label applied to each unit (similar to a COF).
  • Operators will receive training on principles of the sideloader they will be operating.  
  • Operators are recommended to hold NZQA Unit Standard 17679 certification. 
  • Complying with the Good Practice guidelines can help PCBUs and workers meet their duties under the HSWA 2015. Compliant operators are better positioned to prevent an incident. 

Safety and excellence are a high priority for the Steelbro brand and organisation. Therefore, we are ecstatic that our first Sidelifter to successfully pass inspection and receive its NZITSG certification label, was released in November 2022. Thus, paving the way for an even safer future for the operators of Steelbro Sidelifters.  


TRANSPORTtalk. (2022, December 1). Major step forward for sideloader safety. TRANSPORTtalk: Truck and Industry Equipment News. https://transporttalk.co.nz/news/major-step-forward-for-sideloader-safety?fbclid=IwAR3XosZ1iD2oh-DEmkDK0ang-dm9rCdC44tUWAHfdv6IXg2ttVzHFMunxEU 

WorkSafe New Zealand. (2020, November 6). Role and responsibilities. WorkSafe. https://www.worksafe.govt.nz/about-us/who-we-are/role-and-responsibilities/ 

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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

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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

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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

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