For a project like this the shipping partner has to be carefully chosen, to ensure they have the right port facilities and can handle the job from start to finish.

The TC1885 is the world’s largest mobile cone crusher, capable of crushing quarry rock at a rate of up to 1,000 tonnes an hour. While ‘normal’ rock crushers weigh in at about 35 to 40 tonnes, fully assembled, the main component of this monster weighs 65 tonnes alone and the all-up weight of cargo shipped was close to 140 tonnes.

Amazingly, the mobile crusher is controlled by the operator from a small hand-held remote control as it moves around the quarry – just like a radio-controlled miniature model truck or a computer game console.

The rock crushing machine has been designed, developed and built in New Zealand by Screening and Crushing Solutions (SCS). The company is a subsidiary of Brightwater Group Ltd, who are world leaders in bulk materials handling systems for industrial turnkey projects and heavy mobile equipment, including rock crushing and screening solutions for the quarrying, mining and wood industries.

When it came to moving the first TC1885 from Nelson on New Zealand’s South Island, SCS turned to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) for help.

“We knew this was a cargo that had to be handled in a particular way,” explains Arthur. “Not just for the safety of those people handling it but also because of the weight and the way in which it was lifted.

“The cargo was originally earmarked to go out of Port Lyttelton, which is in Christ­church, but because of the technical handling logistics it had to be road transported to Auckland and shipped from there.”

WWL has handled rock crushers before with a typical height of 3.2 to 3.8 metres; this one was 4.1 metres even when totally stripped for transport. In addition to the main self-moving unit, there were also a couple of loads of ancillary equipment weighing in at 40 tonnes each.

“The trailer from South Island arrived very early in the morning because big transports like this are only allowed to move at nighttime in New Zealand,” explains Captain Mats Lewis, WWL’s Port Operations Manager in Auckland, who describes the TC1885 as “huge”.

“A couple of trucks carrying the accessories were unloaded first onto roll trailers but, due to the weight and shape of the units, we had to be inventive in how we stowed the pieces. A couple of the pieces were rather heavy and compact while others were long and comparatively fragile,” Lewis adds.

The main unit was lifted off the road transport trailer using two big cranes and then loaded as self-propelled cargo using its own tracks. It was a well planned operation and everything ran to schedule, according to Lewis.

The cone crusher has now successfully completed its commissioning trials in Australia and is fully operational in a hard rock mining quarry. It’s an industry where SCS sees potential for future sales as it builds a world market for this massive machine.

“We had to have close collaboration between ourselves, WWL and the end client, to make sure it was shipped safely and handled correctly; so it was great to see it arrive safe and sound in Melbourne without a scratch,” says Arthur.

“In any further exports of TC1885, I’d expect WWL would be our preferred supplier because of the very good job they did. For a project like this the shipping partner has to be carefully chosen, not just because of the unique lifting and transport challenges involved but also to ensure they have the right port facilities and can handle the job from start to finish.”

The mobile crusher was stripped and its attachments were packaged as breakbulk cargo. The forwarder TNL consulted with Captain Mats Lewis, WWL operations manager, about special requirements for securing the cargo. The good cooperation and careful handling ensured the operation went very smoothly.  The cone crusher travelled from Auckland to Melbourne on board the Talisman.