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Cleveland Brothers

Cleveland Brothers Completes Groundbreaking Rebuild of JSW Steel’s Kress Slab Carrier

By: Caleb Lay
February 7, 2024
COMPLETED REBUILD – Some of the technicians who worked on the Kress slab carrier stand in front of the completed rebuild. Pictured from left to right: Zach Varga, Austin Malec, Cody Marshall, Jake Zivkovich, Greg Miller, Mark Copeland and Blaze Conti.

The Cleveland Brothers service team is known for revitalizing Cat® machines, but our latest rebuild exemplifies how this expertise transcends the boundaries of Caterpillar equipment.

JSW Steel faced a challenging scenario—relying on two operational Kress slab carriers facing consistent use while facing the need for a third. They had a dormant slab carrier at the location, but the problem was it hadn’t run in eight years, and parts were taken from it to help keep the other two operating.

Recognizing the substantial financial impact of a third carrier, we initiated a groundbreaking endeavor—breathing new life into the dormant 1996 Kress slab carrier to expand JSW Steel’s fleet with a crucial third operational unit.

Initiated on June 1, 2023, and meticulously quoted by our dedicated Product Support Sales Representative (PSSR), Ryan Gassner, the rebuild project unfolded through collaborative efforts. Gassner noticed the machine could be rebuilt and brought it to the attention of Jim Suschak, PSSR Manager, and Jeff Holt, VP of Product Support, who both played pivotal roles in championing the project. The trio knew that the rebuild would be a large feat, but that our team could comprehensively handle every aspect of the rebuild.

The in-house rebuild not only utilized our one-stop-shop capabilities but also demonstrated our commitment to excellence. Cleveland Brothers handled the entire rebuild process in-house, utilizing their different departments and facilities to get the job done.

Kress Slab Carrier before Cleveland Brothers started the rebuild process. The machine sat dormant for at least eight years.
Kress Slab Carrier before Cleveland Brothers started the rebuild process. The machine sat dormant for at least eight years.

The process involved stripping the machine down to its bare frame, implementing extensive modifications, and conducting meticulous rebuilding by our skilled welders. Every perishable part was replaced with new components, and existing elements underwent thorough reconditioning and updating.

The collaborative effort involved various departments and facilities within Cleveland Brothers. Key contributions came from Jim Kuhl, field service technician, and Alexis Brown, shop technician, both from Erie; Ron Montali, parts and stockroom worker, who crafted the 390 hydraulic hoses essential for the rebuild, from Murrysville; Cody Marshall, technician, and Jake Zivkovich, field service technician, from Murrysville, who installed all of the hydraulic hoses.

The rebuild extended beyond restoration, incorporating safety and comfort enhancements, with a focus on the cab’s transformation. Technician Alexis Brown’s upholstery aesthetically rejuvenated the cab, which now boasts advanced features such as backup cameras, a custom-built air conditioning system, and upgraded gauges. Safety standards were further elevated with the integration of disc brakes and high-power LED lighting so it can operate safely at night.

The Kress Slab Carrier back at the job site after the rebuild was completed.

Functionally, the Kress slab carrier, integral for transporting large steel slabs, now embarks on a second life, significantly contributing to JSW Steel’s operational efficiency. With proper maintenance, the revitalized machine holds the potential to extend its service life for more than a decade.

This landmark achievement sets a new standard in equipment restoration for Cleveland Brothers, showcasing our prowess in tackling complex projects with precision and excellence.

Do you have a machine that could use a second life? Save money and elevate your performance by contacting our Parts & Service team! You can call 724-325-9460 for a free quote.