Hiab is actually an abbreviation of the brand name Hydrauliska Industri AB, a Swedish company that began manufacturing hydraulic cranes in the mid-1940s. The word Hiab has become synonymous in haulage with any kind of lorry-mounted crane or lorry loader, much like the word ‘Hoover’ is commonly used to describe vacuum cleaners of any brand. In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about the Hiab truck.

What is a Hiab?

The Hiab is a type of truck originally designed to lift and transport goods. Hiabs are typically used for loading and unloading containers or other industrial cargo at ports, factories, warehouses, and construction sites. These vehicles are made up of a truck and hydraulic crane combined in one vehicle to make loading and unloading cargo more efficient. The engine of the truck is used to power the hydraulics of the crane, allowing cargo to be transferred smoothly from the vehicle to the drop point without the need for an external crane hire to do the heavy lifting. This makes transporting heavy, industrial cargo incredibly efficient. The flexible arm of the crane can reach into areas that would be otherwise inaccessible, to collect and deliver cargo to any location, even where access is limited. 

How did the Hiab originate?

Invented in 1944 by the Hydrauliska Industri AB company, the HIAB soon after revolutionized the industrial transportation industry. Sweedish, entrepreneurial, inventor Eric Sundin had made his living through the production of skis at his first startup business in 1925.

His company, Sundin’s, grew rapidly after attracting the attention of the Sweedish Military who were regular buyers of his merchandise. In 1936, after 11 years of rapid growth, Sudin moved his operations to an industrial plant in Hudiksvall where he developed his fascination for hydraulics.

Sundin was already utilizing the power of hydraulics to manufacture skis in his facilities, and it didn’t take him long to work out that the engines of vehicles could be used to power a hydraulic system.

The fact that the crane was truck-mounted meant that his entire system could be transported anywhere for the convenience of the user. After years of trial and testing, Sundin realised his idea in 1947 idea when he presented the world’s first hydraulic truck-mounted crane and established the HIAB company which would serve to change the haulage industry forever.

The road to today’s HIAB company

Eric Sundin didn’t stop there. He continued to develop new technologies and improve upon the performance of the HIAB over the course of his remaining years. In 1952 he formed the Sunfab company, which still exists today, run by the Sundin family. The company continued to grow rapidly and by 1954 had invented its first hydraulic piston pump.

Demand for Sundin’s intelligent inventions was so high that the family couldn’t keep up with the rate of expansion and eventually sold the HIAB business to an investment company in 1965.

Since then, HIAB has changed hands many times. Initially being purchased by Partek in 1985, which was later taken over by but the KONE Corporation in 2002. In 2005 the KONE Corp split into two companies, KONE and Cargotec, with Cargotech taking over ownership of HIAB where it remains today.

What can a Hiab lorry be used for?

These powerful vehicles are incredibly versatile. After working in the haulage industry for any length of time, it soon becomes apparent how varied the work really is. No two loads are ever the same.

Almost everything that exists was at one point transported using either a truck, lorry or HIAB vehicle, particularly large or heavy objects or machines, manufacturing and industrial materials, down to the very basics, like food and supplies.

For the most part, HIAB’s are used in the transportation of abnormal loads which more often than not pertain to construction, agriculture, landscaping, infrastructure, and energy sectors.

Industries that utilise HIABs

HIAB’s are commonly used on building sites of all sizes to maneuver heavy equipment and machinery, or transport building materials such as wood, bricks, concrete, stone, and so on.

You’ll also likely come across a HIAB at farms or large-scale landscaping projects as they are ideal for transporting large quantities of soil, sand, asphalt, and other heavy materials and equipment.

Most often though, the HIAB finds its home within the transportation and heavy haul industry. Haulage companies like ours rely heavily on the flexibility that a HIAB provides in transporting and delivering cargo for a client.

The hydraulic crane on the HIAB makes the need to hire a separate crane to load and offload cargo at each site wholly redundant. The extendable cranes also make delivering goods quickly and with precision a breeze for haulage companies.

What are the benefits of HIAB truck hire?

  • HIABs can transport and deliver cargo with ease, as well as loading and offloading on-site without the need for a separate mobile crane.
  • These vehicles are able to move goods within a site from one area to another, securely.
  • They can be utilised across a wide range of sectors including construction, farming, shipping, and energy.
  • The HIAB truck exists as a single unit, which can be easily moved, unlike traditional cranes, and perform a lot better on soft surfaces, compared to a mobile crane.
  • This versatile machine is ideal for reaching into tight or restricted spaces with the loader crane capable of up to 180 degrees rotation and 16.5m in length.
  • HIABs are also more compact than traditional cranes and are easier to move making them ideal for urban construction sites.
  • Using a HIAB is a highly cost and time-effective alternative to using a standard crane, as there is no need to prep the site in advance or coordinate with a crane company to offload goods at the site. We find using HIABs helps to reduce overall costs for our clients and helps deliveries to run a lot smoother.

Dyce Carriers’ vehicles

Our HIAB’s have been known to transport a range of bizarre and interesting cargo across the UK. From industrial bridge segments to housing frames, to helicopters and even other trucks, there is no limit to what can be achieved when you have the right equipment at your fingertips.

At Dyce Carriers, we have made it our mission to continually invest in the latest road load handling equipment to ensure, not only that our clients receive the best service, but also, that our drivers and operators are working with equipment that is both safe and efficient.

Our Hiab’s have revolutionized the service we are able to provide our customers. With quick and easy mobility of the mounted crane, our operators make swift work of delivering even the most unusual loads to all those tricky to reach places.

This piece of kit also eliminates the need for external crane hire, making loading and offloading quick, easy, and highly efficient, not to mention cheaper, for our customers.

In our industry, logistics planning is an essential component of our operations. Our talented team of logistics professionals work hard behind the scenes to determine, how, when and where our trucks will be loaded and offloaded, creating route plans, coming up with innovative solutions to complex logistical problems and coordinating the use of our specialist equipment to ensure deliveries run smoothly.

Are you looking for reliable and professional transport services?

Dyce Carriers Ltd is the best choice for your transportation needs. With almost 50 years of experience in transporting goods and a range of bases throughout the UK, there is nothing our team can’t handle. Our fleet includes over 50 specialist vehicles including a number of HIAB that can handle cargo loads of any size, from small boxes to 80-tonne special type loads.

You won’t find another provider of on-road haulage with a proven track record of success like ours. In an industry where no two jobs are ever the same, our talented operators, drivers, and personnel meet every new challenge with equally unique and creative solutions. With our flexible, prompt, and efficient services, you can be sure that your shipment will arrive on time, every time without any hassle or delay. Call now on 01224 723571 for more information or send us an enquiry https://dyce-carriers.co.uk/contact-us/.

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