The first line of defence against injury at work is to eliminate manual handling altogether. For many in the road transport industry, trailer mounted cranes are a simple, cost-efficient solution to this challenge. Manual loading and unloading of goods or equipment from a trailer presents a considerable risk to both employees and employers. Not only do accidents at work cause periods of sick leave but they can also result in a hefty fine and loss of reputation for a business.

Different Types of Trailer Mounted Cranes

Trailer mounted cranes broadly come in two varieties, electrically powered, and hydraulically powered. Electric trailers cranes have a maximum working load of 500kg, and hydraulic trailer cranes have a maximum safe working load of 1800kg.

Trailer mounted hydraulic cranes come in a range of boom reaches to handle goods of different dimensions and different sized trailers. Electric trailer mounted cranes used a fixed-reach knuckle joint construction, meaning they have pivot points to safely ‘swing’ a suspended load inside or outside the trailer. Most electric trailer cranes have a 1.5m to 2m boom extension.

The height of the crane can dictate the dimensions of goods that can be handled. For instance, gas cylinders are stored and handled in an upright position and can measure over 1.5m. This type of product requires a trailer mounted crane with a suitable column height.

Hydraulic trailer mounted cranes extend beyond the edge of the trailer to be positioned above the item to be lifted. This type of lifting equipment can be either remote controlled or controlled from the base of the crane using a three- or four-function proportional control with ECI (electronic capacity indicator) for precise and controlled movement. Electric trailer mounted cranes have a fixed-length boom with pivot points to easily swing in and out of the trailers edges, ready to raise and lower objects.

Choosing the Right Model

When choosing the right trailer mounted crane for your logistics operation, there is a need to balance the maximum safe working load of three key elements:

  • Trailer
  • Crane
  • Tow vehicle.

The crane itself needs to be as light as possible, so it does not ‘eat into’ the maximum load of your trailer. Trailer mounted crane manufacturers design to ensure the lightest possible construction, to reduce the overall impact on the trailer weight. Small trailer mounted cranes can be as light as 20kg to remain within the trailer capacity limits. Demountable crane models offer flexibility of use and offer added security benefits when a crane is not in use.

When selecting a trailer mounted crane, strike a balance between the minimum possible crane weight with the maximum crane working load, to suit the handling application. The ideal trailer crane is durable yet lightweight to minimise emissions when carrying the trailers maximum payload.

Lift and Swing: Trailer Mounted Cranes 101 – Penny Hydraulics Ltd

The Benefits

First and foremost, trailer mounted cranes remove the need for manual handling. Delivery workers can safely load and unload goods without risk of suffering injury. Vehicle mounted cranes should always be fitted with a range of safety features such as stabilising leg extensions and boom in transit warning to ensure workers can operate mechanical lifting aids without the risk of injury or incident.

Trailer crane stability calculations will be carried out by the manufacturer prior to build, with the crane tested to 1.25 times its maximum working load. A suitable sub-frame and multiple support legs will be factored into the crane configuration to ensure the trailer offers adequate stability and load capacity. Crane position will be carefully considered in relation to trailer axles to avoid altering the nose weight of the trailer.

Where to Buy Trailer Mounted Cranes

Penny Hydraulics design, manufacture and install a range of trailer mounted cranes for a wide variety of trailer types and applications. Custom configuration ensures that every trailer crane is fit for its intended use, delivering improved safety and productivity when loading and unloading goods or equipment.

Our dedicated technical support team are on hand to discuss trailer mounted crane options to develop the perfect fit.