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Powering the fleet: PH180 hydraulic crane assists Powertec’s manned response team

Powering the fleet: PH180 hydraulic crane assists Powertec’s manned response team


​Operating from their headquarters in the UK, Powertec specialise in the supply, maintenance, service and re-manufacture of rotating equipment including pumps, motors, valves, generators and diesel engines. Customers span a wide range of industry sectors, including; fire protection, heating, cooling, flood protection, raw water, sewerage, water treatment, and petro-chemical.

Due to recent expansion, Powertec invested in 3 new commercial vehciles to support their manned response team. The company’s facilities in Reading and Manchester are backed up by strategically located Mobile Engineers throughout the UK. The Powertec after-sales team operate a callout service 24 hours, 7 days a week and 365 days a year throughout the UK, providing technical assistance and manned response where necessary.

To assist with the handling of heavy pumps and items of plant on and off the fleet vehicles, Powertec required a crane for one of their new vehicles. A key consideration when choosing the new equipment was the impact on vehicle payload - it was vital that any new equipment was ultra-lightweight to ensure minimal impact on the overall vehicle weight, to leave optimum carrying capacity for maximised operational flexibility and productivity.

Having researched Penny Hydraulics’ range of vehicle mounted cranes online, Powertec found their range of hydraulic PH Cranes – some of the lightest crane models in the world. Versatile and easy to operate, PH Cranes are designed to be handled by a single operator and are used extensively across various market sectors, including; highways, utilities, local authority, distribution, delivery, hire companies and the building and construction industry.

With crane weights starting from just 74kg for the lightest model, the PH Crane range offers environmental benefits when compared with many other cranes on the market, this is a key point for Powertec who are committed to minimising the environmental impact of their operations wherever possible.

“The crane structures being so light means fleet vehicle emissions will be kept to a minimum,” said Penny Hydraulics Area Sales Manager, Steve Brackstone.

The specific model specified by Penny’s crane experts, the PH180, is a perfect fit for Powertec’s engineers. The crane has a self-weight of only 180kg and an optional boom outreach of 5 metres. The crane has a maximum working capacity of 1450kg at it’s closest reach.

“The PH180 is a lightweight crane that packs a heavyweight punch!” said Steve. “The PH180’s weight combined with the fact that it’s so user-friendly and innovative mean it’s the ideal solution for Powertec’s light commercial vehicles.”

Powered by the vehicle battery, the PH180 incorporates full hydraulic control. Hydraulic control prevents the need to access the bed of the vehicle and helps ensure smooth and precise load handling with reduced risk of the sudden and unexpected movements that can cause accidents to users and bystanders. Importantly, the PH180 can be operated entirely at ground level, ensuring that Powertec are supplying their engineers with the necessary work equipment to eliminate any unnecessary working at height - taking proactive steps to comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Following manufacture, the crane was installed at Penny Hydraulics’ new £2M purpose-built facility in Derbyshire. Being part of an exclusive network of independent, recognised commercial vehicle converters for the major commercial vehicle manufacturers, including; Renault, Nissan and VW, Powertec were assured that that only the best, experienced and suitably qualified craftsmen would be carrying out the conversion of their vehicle.

Beyond installation of the cranes, in England it is a legal requirement under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) for lifting equipment to have a Thorough Examination and test by a competent person before it is put into service and at regular specified intervals during its life. For peace of mind that the crane is maintained and safe for use, Powertec will now utilise Penny Hydraulics Service Division.

“We only use the best, high quality, durable parts,” said Steve. “OEM spares are available on stock in the UK & our nationwide network of dedicated engineers provide planned maintenance including Statutory Inspections - this ensures full compliance with current legislation.”

Ideal for lifting heavy items quickly & easily off and onto pickups as and when required, the new PH180 crane is more than powerful enough to cope with the lifting requirements of Powertec’s engineers. Thanks to the compact design of the unit, it folds away when not in use freeing up valuable space on the vehicle bed for plant and materials.

“The new crane is a sound investment for Powertec: the need to use excess time and resource, resort to manual labour or rental services has been eliminated,” said Steve. “The investment also signifies an important step towards compliance with Manual Handling Operations Regulations.”

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