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Mobile plant distributor receives family company’s tick of approval


An Australian-based crushing and screening distributor has kept the cogs turning at a family business’s local quarries for more than a decade. Nickolas Zakharia reports.

Receiving reliable, adequate services in a quarry operation can often come down to maintaining a positive business/customer relationship.

In the age of COVID-19, this is often done virtually, but there is still great merit in dealing with local companies – especially those with the heritage to back it. 

For more than 30 years, Mobile Screening and Crushing Group (MSC Group) has been a major supplier of mobile screening and crushing equipment solutions in Australia. 

The wholly owned Australian company has continued to operate under the Barr family since it was founded in 1986. 

Operating out of its Brisbane, Newcastle and Melbourne branches, the company is now one of the country’s leading suppliers of mobile crushing and screening equipment. The company also offers McCloskey’s range of stackers and washers for
quarrying applications. 

MSC Group’s market position was elevated when it became a dealer for McCloskey International’s full range of products in 2008.

McCloskey is globally recognised for its mobile screening and crushing equipment that is manufactured in Canada and Northern Ireland, and MSC Group is the sole authorised distributor of its machines for the eastern states of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. (888 Crushing & Screening Equipment handles orders for Western Australia and the Northern Territory.)

In 2014, MSC Group was awarded the Global Dealer of The Year Award by McCloskey International. 

MSC Group’s chief executive officer Kirwan Barr told Quarry one area the company has seen major value in is the ability for customers to hire equipment before they make a purchase. 

“We see a real benefit in offering customers the option to rent equipment to decide whether it fits their requirements,” Barr said. 

Providing its services under the philosophy of fairness and integrity, MSC Group operates a large rental fleet of late model mobile screening and crushing equipment.

On top of its new and used and hire equipment services, MSC Group also has a well-stocked range of spare parts that are available for not only McCloskey equipment but all makes of mobile crushing and screening equipment.

Barr said many of MSC’s workers had been with the company for well over a decade. 

“Something that makes MSC unique is that a lot of the same people who were here when the company started are still working here,” he added. “Our senior management team has all been with us for at least 10 years.”

Barr also said the company’s direct focus on mobile crushing and screening equipment puts it at a level above competing distributors, who may only include crushing and screening as part of their services. 

“We are experts in mobile crushing and screening,” he said. “Being a local company also lets us service our customers quickly and efficiently.”

The J50 jaw crusher typically produces a larger product stockpile.


Among MSC’s long-term clients is Mawsons Concrete & Quarries (Mawsons). Mawsons has been utilising MSC’s crushing and screening services for about 10 years. 

The McCloskey equipment purchased and hired by Mawsons has helped drive quarry products for infrastructure across the country. 

“Mawsons is a quarrying contract company which produces numerous quarry products, including concrete aggregates, road-based materials and other construction products,” Gilbert said. 

The company employs a combination of fixed and mobile crushing, scalping, washing and screening plants for its aggregates products, supplying both class A and B stone. Among its other products are crushed rock and roadbase materials that can be supplied in large and small volumes. 

Gilbert said he has hands-on experience with MSC Group, having “been involved in the purchase of seven bits of gear from MSC” that have assisted Mawsons quarries to continue to produce quality materials. “In all, we have about 10 or 11 bits of gear from them over the years,” he said.

According to Gilbert, the McCloskey mobile plant includes a J50 jaw crusher with pre-screen, two J50V2 jaw crushers, two C44 cone crushers, two S190-2 screens, a single S190-3 screen, two 20m (65’) tracked stackers, two wheeled stackers, a single S130-2 screen, and two dewatering screens. 

Mawsons has bought and rented MSC Group’s equipment for its applications, with the latter being a huge benefit through MSC Group’s “try before you buy” approach. 

According to Gilbert, many of the products Mawsons purchased from MSC Group were first hired to trial the machines.

“We have bought and hired MSC’s crushing and screening equipment,” he said. “By hiring, we are able to test McCloskey’s new crushing and screening equipment and determine if we should make a purchase.

“Generally, the purchases had come from a rental agreement. So we rented a product for a period of time, and then decided to purchase it due to our needs. 

“We have also bought more equipment on the back of those original rental agreements, so we have made straight outright purchases as well.”

A mobile circuit of McCloskey mobile plant processes Class 4 materials at Mawson’s Lake Cooper Quarry, 49km northwest of Bendigo.


Mawsons have also used MSC’s crushing and screening expertise for part of its maintenance and repair work. 

Gilbert said a key advantage in MSC being an Australian company is that services and equipment delivery can be conducted quickly and efficiently. 

“I haven’t had any issues if something had to be done,” he said. “If it’s urgent, they will drop everything to come and do it, if it’s a job that’s in a week they’ll be there within a
week to do it.

“They’ve certainly always been there to help us when we’ve been in trouble. 

“If we can’t model our equipment to do jobs that we’re trying to do, they’ll be the first ones to give us advice or come and visit us to achieve the outcome we’re looking for.”

Barr also stated that the locality of MSC’s services plays a significant role in the company’s availability for its customers. 

“Being a local company with branches in Brisbane, Newcastle and Laverton allows means we are closer to the sites that use our equipment,” he said.

Due to the long-running experience of MSC’s personnel, advice and solutions can often be provided over the phone from the company’s service desk.

“We think that’s another good aspect of MSC,” Gilbert said. “We can often get things diagnosed by just calling their service desk.” 

Gilbert said that Mawsons uses McCloskey’s crushers and screens due to the value and performance associated with the brand.

“Price is obviously a factor,” he said. “McCloskey represents competitive equipment that is capable of doing the jobs that we need it to do.”

The locality and value for money that MSC and its products represent is what has seen Mawsons use its services for more than a decade. 

“There’s a lot of value there and the gear they sell is very affordable,” Gilbert said. “I think with MSC being a family-related company, it fits Mawsons’ business model. We ourselves are a family company that works with businesses locally as best we can to provide a quality service.”