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Bespoke SwingLift cranes chosen by Veolia France

Bespoke SwingLift cranes chosen by Veolia France


British lifting equipment manufacturer Penny Hydraulics Ltd has partnered with SD Services, the largest commercial vehicle converter in France, to design a bespoke crane for the Veolia fleet to assist with the management of the French water network.

SD Services are the largest commercial vehicle conversion company in France. With more than 30 years’ experience, an industrial production site, 16 regional offices and more than 300 employees, the company are the preferred choice for commercial vehicle fleet conversions for the largest utilities and highways companies in France, equipping over 28,000 vehicles per year.

One such company who recently enlisted the conversion services of the French converter is France’s leading water company Veolia. Veolia, who dominate the water market in France, boast an annual revenue of over € 5.41 billion and employ 50,480 staff. Day-to-day, the company supports French cities and industries in the management, optimisation and development of their water, materials and energy resources.

With the effective management of water networks playing a pivotal role in Veolia’s work, the company deploy and maintain the strategic infrastructure for water services throughout France in cooperation with relevant public authorities. Veolia provide a range of integrated services covering the entire water cycle, taking into account the issues related to; water preservation; the management and large-scale operation of water or treatment plants; reuse of treated effluents & preservation of the natural environment.

Such a huge task requires an extensive fleet of commercial vehicles and specialist plant. Acting as appointed distributor of Penny Hydraulics vehicle mounted cranes and hydraulic lifts in France, SD Services turned to Penny Hydraulics to develop a bespoke, light-weight crane for Veolia’s large fleet of medium roof Renault Master and Peugeot Boxer vans. The brief outlined that the crane was to be used to eliminate unnecessary manual handling of pumps and other items of plant up to 200kg in weight on and off the maintenance engineers’ vans.

Following consultation with Penny Hydraulics specialist crane engineers, the collaboration led to the birth of an entirely new ultra-lightweight crane. Named the Traversing Boom Crane, the crane has a high-speed hoist, ideal for water industry applications. In addition, the crane has a unique and first of its kind, 1 metre long traversing boom feature which allows the hoist, which is fitted to the underside of the crane boom, to be positioned at any point along the length of the crane for optimum flexibility when positioning loads within the van.

traversing boom crane

The Traversing Boom Crane is easy to operate via wanderlead control and is incredibly compact, maximising available floor space within the van for pumps, tooling and other items of plant. An overload device is incorporated into the crane design to ensure the operator cannot use the device to lift more than its rated capacity and therefore operation of the crane remains safe at all times. Fully de-mountable, the cranes can be easily removed and deployed on alternative, or new vehicles.

Thanks to the advanced crane design, Veolia can have the lifting equipment installed with minimal impact on the overall vehicle weight, to leave more carrying capacity for maximised operational flexibility and productivity. The light crane structures being so light, means fleet vehicle emissions will be kept to a minimum.

Following acceptance of a prototype unit, production of the units commenced at Penny Hydraulics purpose built manufacturing plant in the UK. The cranes were made to stringent EU standards and were designed and manufactured to comply with all relevant legislation, inclusive of a CE mark. The cranes were then dispatched to SD Services, who completed the crane installations as part of the full vehicle conversion. SD Services have now supplied over 50 vehicles fitted with Traversing Boom Cranes to Veolia to assist with maintenance of the French water network.

“Many of our market-leading products, have been designed and manufactured in response to a customer’s unique load handling problem and the Traversing Boom Crane for Veolia France is no exception,” says Richard Short, Penny Hydraulics Sales Director. “The crane is unique: it carries all the benefits of our award-winning SwingLift range, but has an adapted crane boom to suit the precise application. Benefits of having the new cranes installed are wide-ranging, but perhaps most importantly, Veolia can expect an increased level of productivity & work safety for their engineers.”

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