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Operating Instructions for SwingLift Cranes

Operating Instructions for SwingLift Cranes

by Daniel Casey

How to get the most out of your SwingLift crane

SwingLift crane is a great addition to any business that requires the movement of heavy objects, particularly lorry loaders who need mechanical support when lifting goods on and off vehicles. A SwingLift crane will also help you adhere to health and safety regulations.

However, all lifting operations have their hazards, so knowing how to safely use your SwingLift crane, as well as the dos and don’ts will be key. As well as using this guide, we recommend referring to the  Construction Plant-hire Association , LOLER and the Association of Lorry Loaders Manufacturers and Importers for advice on best practice before using your SwingLift crane.

Here, we’ll cover:

  • How to use your SwingLift crane
  • How to stop and stow your SwingLift crane
  • Dos and don’ts when using your SwingLift crane

How to use your SwingLift crane

  • 1. Before using your SwingLift crane, it’s vital that you read the operating instructions and ensure the person(s) using the machinery is trained to do so.
  • 2. Your crane will need to have a valid Certificate of Thorough Examination to be considered safe for use. These examinations should thereafter be carried out every 12 months by a competent person (internal or contracted) who is equipped with the appropriate practical and theoretical knowledge to do these checks.
  • 3. On a daily basis, you’ll also need to check the crane for any obvious signs of defect, damage or leakage. For further instruction on this, consult the operating manual.
  • 4. Scope out the surrounding area where the crane will be used for any potential hazards. This could include overhead electric cables, public roads or even underground structures like drains.
  • 5. Ensure the vehicle that the crane will be loading or unloading onto is on firm and level ground with the handbrake applied and the wheel chocks in place, if necessary.
  • 6. Turn the crane cab switch on (or for pendant controlled cranes, plug in the pendant control to the box on the side of the power unit cover).
  • 7. Pull out the stabiliser leg(s) and adjust to ground level using a suitable stabiliser pad. If you have hydraulic stabiliser legs, make sure that the valves are locked closed before using the lift.
  • 8. The wire rope should be running off the bottom of the winch drum to control crane movement.
  • 9.Brief yourself on what each of the buttons do by checking the operating manual before starting up the crane. And, be sure to use it with caution to avoid injury or damage to anybody or anything nearby.
  • 10. Put tension on the wire ropes at all times to ensure even winding when picking up and dropping off the load: the tighter the line, the better the spooling.
  • 11.Using only certified attachments, attach the hook to the load and use the buttons to direct the crane movement. But, be aware that the crane should never be going faster than walking pace.
  • 12. Pay attention to the maximum capacity stated on the crane load plate and never attempt to exceed it.

How to stop and stow your SwingLift crane

  • 1. Detach the pendant control and turn off the crane power.
  • 2. Fold the crane into a travelling position and remove the stabiliser legs — this is detailed in the operator’s manual.
  • 3. Use the rope hook and other locking points to stow the crane away properly and securely.

Dos and Don’ts when using your SwingLift crane

  • Do use a stabiliser leg if one is provided.
  • Do alert nearby persons when you’re about to lift the goods.
  • Do use the rope hook to stow the crane securely.
  • Do stow the crane before driving with it in the vehicle.


  • Don’t exceed the Maximum Weight Limit (MWL) stated on the crane’s weight plate.
  • Don’t use the crane to drag or tow.
  • Don’t expose the red section of rope as this indicates that you are approaching the end section of the rope.
  • Don’t wrap the rope around the load to secure it.
  • Don’t let the rope spool from the top of the winch.
  • Don’t leave a load suspended.
  • Don’t let anybody walk underneath a suspended load.

For any problems with your equipment or to organise an examination, visit our servicing page for more details, or check out our help guides for expert advice. If you have any other enquiries about your Penny Hydraulics equipment or are looking to find out more about us and our products, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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