Top Converters Partner to Develop New Highways Crane
Mackworth Vehicle Conversion Specialists have partnered with award winning crane manufacturer Penny Hydraulics Ltd to develop a bespoke crane which is the first of its kind.
The new crane has been designed for Eurovia (UK), one of the leading service providers of highway maintenance services to the UK local authority market. Eurovia have a regular requirement of loading wacker plates for highways work on and off their 7.2 to 12 tonne trucks. The company’s existing lifting equipment needed to be updated as maneuvering the plates was proving difficult for the operator when the crane was loaded. Having trialled different crane options, they were too large and bulky on the vehicle and were not suitable for the job in hand. The wacker plates were lightweight at only 100kg and the general feel was that a simpler, smaller and lighter crane could be developed to suit their needs. Being longstanding customers of Penny Hydraulics popular SwingLift crane range, the company trusted Penny Hydraulics to take on the project.
Liaising with Mackworth who were responsible for the conversion of the Daf LF and Iveco Daily vehicles, Penny Hydraulics in-house crane designers worked on a design for a small, light and compact crane which could be mounted by a special corner bracket directly to the headboard end post. Several proto-type cranes were developed and the final model was decided upon when Mackworth completed a vehicle with a walk through section into the body area from a landing. The new crane had to be manufactured to size, so it fitted precisely to the headboard to allow the walk through area to be kept clear.
The crane named the “MC250/1” is a lightweight, corner mounted crane suitable for loading wacker plates as well as other plant, signage or chemical drums where space is at a premium. The new crane model is ideal for mounting inside many pod style mobile workshops or on truck headboards between the cab and the body. The crane design incorporates a high speed hoist and has a maximum working capacity of 250kg to easily handle the wacker plates. Supplied in 12V and 24V options, the crane runs off the vehicle battery.
Penny Hydraulics worked hard on the crane design to remove weight without compromising on quality or safety. The crane is therefore incredibly lightweight at only 20kg. In-house advanced CAD and finite element analysis tools were used to re-engineer existing corner crane models to reduce weight through optimised design and use of alternative materials. Eurovia can now have their lifting equipment installed with reduced impact on the overall vehicle weight to leave more carrying capacity for improved operational flexibility and productivity. Although this helps with all types of vehicle it is especially useful for those in the 3.5t and 7.5t classes where remaining within the overall weight and carrying capacity limits are always of concern to operators. This means that the crane structures are high strength and durable yet lightweight, helping to reduce emissions, maximise fuel economy and maximise payload.
The crane comes with an easy to use wander lead remote control and being fully demountable, fleet flexibility can be maintained. A built in overload device ensures operator safety is maintained as the crane does not allow lifting beyond its safe working load.
To date, twenty cranes have been installed and the vehicles are in operation throughout the UK. Andy Kent, General Manager at Mackworth who have carried out the installation work, comments on the success of the project “the new crane design really ticks all the boxes. It’s compact and easy to use. We expect Eurovia to see an increase in both productivity and operator safety as the cranes go into operation.” The cranes are designed for quick and easy installation too. Andy goes on to comment “installation is easy, we are able to either bolt or weld the corner bracket directly onto the headboard and the crane just hangs off the bracket.” Thirty further installations are now planned for the coming months as the rest of the fleet is kitted out with the new crane.
Award winning Penny Hydraulics (www.pennyhydraulics.com) design, manufacture and service lifting and load handling equipment for use in a wide range of applications. All products are designed and manufactured by the company in the UK. Penny Hydraulics has its own purpose built premises housing its manufacturing and assembly plant and carries out all the functions of a fully integrated company with design, manufacturing, quality control, aftersales support and nationwide service operation.
Penny Hydraulics Ltd is possibly best known for its market leading range of hydraulic lifting equipment, vehicle mounted cranes and vehicle mounted platform lifts as well as goods lift solutions such as the Cellar Lift drinks delivery hoists.
Raising and Lowering systems are the leading authority in the installation and maintenance of lifting and lowering systems for chandeliers and other lighting installations in the UK.