Because every trailer needs a crane!

Whether you’re transporting your water sports equipment with you on holiday, or moving your landscaping gear with you for work, you’ll no doubt need help loading the items on and off your trailer.

When it comes to using trailers commercially, there are certain regulations and legislation that encourage the use of mechanical handling devices. With incorrect manual handling being one of the most common causes of injury at work, Manual Handling Operations Regulations state that no man should attempt to lift anything heavier than 25kg and a woman’s maximum limit is less at 16kg. The regulations state that wherever reasonably practicable, manual handling should be automated, and the use of mechanical aids is encouraged.

Responsible employers, including; Morrison Plant Services, the UK’s leading utility service provider; multinational construction company Skanska; water giant Veolia Water; Royal Mail who are characterised by a tradition of service and innovation, therefore introduce mechanical handling aids where suitable on their extensive commercial vehicle fleets to ensure a safe operation and to fulfil their duty of care to employees. It’s not then surprising that trailer crane installations are also on the up.

Small domestic to beavertail: Lightweight cranes for a wide range of trailers

Crane installations are suitable for trailers from all of the major trailer manufacturers, including but not limited to; Ifor Williams, Brian James, Bateson, Indespension, Hazlewood, Buffalo, Meredith & Eyre, and Blue Line. A wide range of trailer types can be catered for, such as; small domestic, general duty, tipper, beavertail, box van, and plant trailers.

Typical trailer crane applications: commercial

Typical applications for crane installations on small commercial trailers include; plant and machinery; construction materials and items of plant; landscaping equipment and materials such as wood chippings and aggregate; animal feed such as hay and grain; military use; solid fuel such as logs and coal; luggage transportation.

From quads to camping gear: trailer cranes for domestic use

Applications for crane installations on domestic trailer applications include; sports and leisure equipment such as quads, motorbikes and watersports gear; camping and holiday equipment; items and equipment for home improvements such as bags of cement and tins of paint.

For motor-sport use, trailers may also be installed with a winch at the same time that a new loader crane is being installed. The PH Winch Range from Penny Hydraulics offers freewheel options making the range suitable for loading motorbikes, quads and other motorised vehicles onto trailers. The PH3300 has a rolling load line pull of 3300 lbs and the PH6000 offers 6000 lbs. Full accessory kits are available including rope and hook assemblies, remote controls and roller fair leads. Boat & marine sport trailers may also benefit from the installation of a winch.

Powerful lifting and hydraulic control: PH Cranes for your trailer

Penny Hydraulics manufacture two crane ranges suitable for installation on trailers. Versatile & easy to operate, PH Cranes are designed to be handled by a single operator. Offering smooth & precise load handling, hydraulic control prevents the need to access the bed of the trailer and proportional controls ensure precise and controlled movements. The cranes are high strength & durable yet are seriously compact & lightweight. Being manufactured from the latest high-quality steels means that PH cranes are some of the lightest hydraulic cranes on the global market helping to keep vehicle emissions low, maximise fuel economy and payload. A sound investment, PH Cranes eliminate the need to use excess time and resource, resort to manual labour or rental services when moving goods on and off trailers.

Hydraulic operation is increasingly popular as it reduces the need for the operator to climb onto the bed of the trailer to position loads. PH Cranes can be operated entirely at ground level and this eliminates any unnecessary working at height. The installation of PH Cranes on a trailers is now becoming a popular step that employers are taking in order to gain compliance with Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The most popular PH Crane models for use on trailers include; PH110PH150, and PH180. The PH110 is an extremely compact crane with a very low self-weight, from only 105kg. This robust little crane stands just 1.2 metres tall but has an outreach of up to 4.5 metres. The PH150 is a lightweight crane from just 165kg. Fully rated it can lift 1300kg and with an optional outreach of 5 metres it is a serious contender for any trailer application. Packing a heavyweight punch, the PH180 has a self-weight from only 180kg and an optional boom outreach of 5 metres.

SwingLift: Demountable trailer cranes weighing from just 20kg

Even lighter than the PH Crane range, the SwingLift range offers units weighing from just 20kg. Still powerful, the range offers maximum working loads of up to 500kg and the cranes are demountable too, meaning that they can be deployed on additional trailers and vehicles or removed entirely for optimum flexibility. This award-winning, ultra-lightweight electric crane range has been the go-to solution for a wide range of applications 1982 and with new additions to the range and additional features throughout, there’s been no better time to consider a SwingLift crane for your trailer.

Some of the most popular SwingLift cranes for trailer installations include, the ML Range, KJ Range and F/FV Range. The ML Range is ideal for lifting heavy items quickly & easily off and onto trailers. The range offers capacities from 100kg to 500kg and crane weights from just 23kg. The compact crane design means that the units fold away into a small space when not in use freeing up important space on the trailer bed.

The KJ Range offers capacities from 100kg to 250kg. Weighing from 22kg the range is ideal for handling general items of plant such as whacker plates & generators on and off trailers. Having two pivot points enable loads to be positioned within an arc of up to 4 metres.

The F/FV Range offers an extremely compact design. Every crane offers a maximum working load of 500kg and a hydraulic version offers optimum precise and safe handling. The heavy-duty hoist ensures reliability and extended duty cycle.

The MC250 crane is the lightest trailer crane available, weighing just 20kg. This tiny crane is ideal for loading plant, signage or chemical drums onto trailers where space is at a premium. An additional cranked hinge option allows almost 360-degree slew.

How to install a lightweight crane on your trailer

Installation of a crane on any trailer must be carried out by a suitably qualified installer who is both competent and confident installing trailer cranes. A suitable sub-frame is required for all crane installations on trailers and multiple stabiliser legs may be required. The trailer should be of suitable structure with an adequate capacity for the load and crane installation, taking into account that the crane will be tested at 1.25 x it’s maximum working load. Care should be given to the number of axles and the position of the crane installation which will alter the nose weight of the trailer.

No stranger to the installation of cranes, Penny Hydraulics are part of a network of independent, Recognised Converters for the major commercial vehicle manufacturers including VW, Renault and Nissan – a network which offers almost limitless conversion potential for customers commercial vehicles. Becoming a Recognised Converter is no mean feat – all Recognised Converters must undergo rigorous audits to ensure compliance with stringent commercial and technical standards. The audits cover conversion design to build, delivery though to in life support – they’re really in depth to make sure that each customers conversion lives up to the exacting standards expected. Knowing that Penny Hydraulics are part of this prestigious network, trailer crane customers may also be assured that their high standards in terms of warranty, quality control and after-sales are met. Importantly, they’re also given the confidence that only experienced and suitably qualified craftsmen will be working on their trailer crane installation.

Cranes for horse boxes and beyond!

Event and vehicle logistics company Sportsview, waterways charity the Canal & River Trust, Process Control, Automation & Instrumentation specialists Culley Automation, and luxury horse box manufacturer Sovereign Horseboxes are just some of the customers to recently benefit from Penny Hydraulics crane installations on trailers. If you have a requirement for a load handling device on your trailer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our crane specialists today.

Planned maintenance: the key to maximised uptime for your trailer crane

Beyond installation of trailer cranes, in England it is a legal requirement under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) for lifting equipment to have a Thorough Examination and test by a competent person before it is put into service and at regular specified intervals during its life. For peace of mind that trailer cranes are appropriately maintained and safe for use, customers may utilise Penny Hydraulics Service Division. Penny’s ‘cradle to grave’ service means that equipment continues to be Thoroughly Examined in accordance with LOLER at regular intervals throughout its life by a dedicated nationwide network of specialist trailer crane engineers.

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