Dsc03161Based in Bo’ness central Scotland, Thomas Graham transport is a respected haulier providing a first-class specialist lorry loader service nationally. Operating a broad range of lorry mounted cranes from 16 tm up to larger 70 tm, TGT are easily recognised on the roads by their Scottish themed air brushed MAN and DAF units fitted with Fassi and Palfinger cranes. Having provided service and support on TGT’s fleet of lorry loaders for quite some time, we were aware that the transport manager had been considering a change of vehicle for the past year or so. We were delighted when asked for our advice on what Fassi crane would be best suited to the mixed work that TGT carry out with their 6 wheelers.

After an initial discussion on the crane requirements and the usual trade-offs, Thomas Graham opted for a Fassi 485RA.2.24 with 4 hydraulic extensions and continuous slewing. With this being an XE Dynamic crane it benefits from the prolink system with double linkage and 15° above horizontal for the inner boom. The crane is capable of lifting 3495kgs at 12.35m and a staggering 13,500kgs at 3.3m. This 48.5tm crane is perfect for the cabin and steel vessel work that Thomas Graham transport on a frequent basis and no matter how uneven the terrain or tight the space, the crane is fitted with the FSC/S stability control system which incorporates a tilt sensor to allow for maximum usability. Fully remote controlled and fitted with automatic dynamic control which ensures smooth operation at all times, this crane has been described as a dream to use by its operator.

Dsc03189The chassis chosen for the build was a DAF FAR 6x2 XF super space cab supplied by Lothian DAF. Internally and externally the vehicle was highly specified with a well-equipped cab interior, air kit, LED head lights and skylights. TGT opted for the 510hp engine and specified the ZF 16 speed manual gearbox. The chassis was ordered with air suspension and a 5.05m wheelbase with 2.90m rear overhang to accommodate the crane and provide the 7.9m loading that was required.

Our coachbuilding group partner PMH bodies built a 26ft cabin spec body with twist locks and bolster slots as per our standard cabin spec builds. The deck was fitted with 28mm keruing hardwood floor and we opted for our standard steel post fall arrest system with storage space for those movements that don’t require it. Painted in a bright red finish to match TGT’s fleet, the body is the standard high-quality build that PMH are known for turning out.

Dsc03205The vehicle has an exceptional payload of 8 tonne which was the target payload that TGT required, helped by the fact that we used a lightweight super strength sub frame on the crane, the front axle weighs in at a healthy 8530kgs. The perfect combination for transporting modular buildings, generators and containers. Fitted with an air operated VBG coupling to accommodate TGTs drawbar trailer this makes for a wagon and drag operation that ticks all the boxes when transporting mixed loads. The excellent reach, the powerful lift, the huge payload and the pull of the 510hp engine all add up to a build that’s perfect for mixed loading.

The stunning airbrush job was carried out by Muddy beach customs, a hugely talented chap named Gus Spence, who is the top air brush artist in the motor bike world and has picked up 1st trophies as far as Europe for his airbrushing. Featuring Linlithgow palace, the Kelpies and the new Queensferry crossing this made for a very fitting finish to a well-balanced crane build, one that you will struggle to miss on the roads.