Questions & Answers

What does HIAB stand for?

‘HIAB’ (pronounced high’-abb) is often and somewhat incorrectly used as a synonym for a loader crane of any make. It’s actually a mild corruption of Hydrauliska Industri AB (Hiab) – a pioneering Swedish manufacturer of loader cranes, demountable container handlers, forestry cranes, truck-mounted forklifts and tail lifts.

Actually, the correct UK industry terminology is Lorry Loading Crane (LLC) or Lorry Mounted Crane (LMC).

How are HIABs (LLC/LMC) rated?

LLC’S are manufactured, designated & rated in tonnes, per metre (t/pm) which relates to their theoretical power to lift a mass at 1 metre from the centre of rotation. For instance a PM36 is 36 t/pm & a PALFINGER PK27000 is 27 t/pm, as you will notice, the designations vary slightly.

Importantly, a 36 t/pm will never actually be able to lift 36 tonnes due to the practicalities of the mounting & boom configurations. In reality you might lift 9 tonnes close by @ 2.20 metres radius or load anything with any volume, on to the trucks bed, weighing around 6 to 7 tonnes. When jibs are extended and radii increased, the mass that can be lifted safely, drops off dramatically. For instance the same 36 t/pm crane would, if it had sufficient extensions, lift only 1 tonne @ 17.00 metres radius.

What does RAMS stand for?

RAMS or R.A.M.S is an acronym for ‘Risk Assessment’ & ‘Method Statement’. A Health & Safety requirement for any process or task, they are especially important for lifting & transport operations and must be carried out by a suitable competent person.

What is the difference between the old Class 1 and Class 2 LGV/HGV licences?

A Class 1 licence allows you to drive category C+E vehicles- artics.

A Class 2 licence is for C Category vehicles – rigids.

NB – Once you’ve passed your Class 2, licence you can apply to take the test that will qualify you for C+E.

What is a Lifting Plan?

Lifting operations can often put people at great risk of injury, as well as incurring great costs when they go wrong. It is therefore important to properly resource, plan and organise lifting operations so they are carried out in a safe manner. Each of these elements requires a person or people with sufficient competence to be involved at each step. These people should have sufficient theoretical and practical knowledge of the work and equipment in question, as well as the requirements of the law, to be able to do this properly. For complex and high-risk operations, the planning and organisation should be extensive and meticulous.

The plan for any lifting operation must address the foreseeable risks involved in the work and identify the appropriate resources (including people) necessary for safe completion of the job. Factors to include may be any or all of the following:

  • working under suspended loads
  • visibility
  • attaching / detaching and securing loads
  • environment
  • location
  • overturning
  • proximity hazards
  • derating
  • lifting people
  • overload
  • pre-use checking
  • continuing integrity of the equipment

The plan should set out clearly the actions involved at each step of the operation and identify the responsibilities of those involved. The degree of planning and complexity of the plan will vary and should be proportionate to the foreseeable risks involved in the work.

What is the difference between ‘Offload to ground’ and ‘Offload to structure’…?

Loads that are ‘Off loaded to ground…’ have their elements taken from the carrying vehicle & placed on site, ready for use. Examples of this might be packs of bricks or blocks, awaiting use by brick layers. One that is ‘Off loaded to structure…’ is handled directly from the carrying vehicle to near or at, its final position. Such as steel members being HIAB craned off the bed & up to the bolt-up position, or glazing units being positioned & fitted into a wall.

Your transport provider will need this information to ensure the right amount of time is allowed for, plus issues such as lifting and handling kit is correct and any paperwork or lift plans can be prepared.

What is a ‘Tandem’ lift?

A tandem-lift is a lifting/craning process involving 2 (or more) lifting appliances. The planning and execution of such lifts are more complex because in addition to all of the usual criteria, aspects such as matched capacities, communication & multiple performance envelopes must be considered. Nevertheless, when performed properly, they can be used to solve some unique problems. (See case study Tandem Lift)