EVENHEIGHTS SPECIALIST TRANSPORT, WHICH HAS OPERATED A RENAULT FLEET FOR MANY YEARS, WAS LOOKING TO ADD A HIGHER CAPACITY CRANE TRUCK TO ITS OPERATION. BOB BEECH FINDS OUT HOW THE COMPANY STEERED ITS WAY THROUGH THE COMPLICATIONS OF OBTAINING THE RIGHT VEHICLE FOR THE JOB.
PHOTOGRAPHY: TOM CUNNINGHAM
Truck-mounted cranes are now an essential piece of equipment for many specialist hauliers. The ability to lift/load/transport/unload and if required, install oversize cargo is part of the range of services many clients now expect from operators. Modern cranes now offer lifting capacities that were the sole preserve of large mobile cranes in the past, the truck-mounted alternative can often operate in restricted areas, where overhead obstructions or shear lack of space would prevent a separate mobile from setting up and lifting. The unique geometry of the truck-mounted alternative often allows the larger models to reach, lift and place a load in the most obscure locations, such as right over the top of a three-storey house into the rear garden.
But, as with most things in life, increased lifting power requires a bigger and invariably heavier crane, which raises problems when mounting it on a truck chassis, this is especially so with a tractor unit. The relatively short wheelbase means that chassis space is at a premium and weight distribution becomes critical with some of the larger cranes. Many operators use three-axle tractor units with the highest capacity front axles available in order to carry the additional imposed load.