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United Utilities Turn to Award-Winning Manufacturer for Mechanical Handling Expertise

United Utilities Turn to Award-Winning Manufacturer for Mechanical Handling Expertise


The UK's largest listed water company, United Utilities Group PLC has selected Derbyshire based lifting equipment manufacturer Penny Hydraulics Ltd to specify and supply lifting equipment for their extensive fleet of commercial vehicles.

United Utilities holds a licence to provide water and sewage services to around seven million people in North West England. Between 2010 and 2015, the company invested more than £3 billion to improve the water and wastewater infrastructure and the environment across the North West, covering; over 42,000 kilometres of water pipes; 76,000 kilometres of sewers; 569 wastewater treatment works; 94 water treatment works and over 56,000 hectares of catchment land from Cumbria to Cheshire.

Since 1990, the company have made major improvements across the business, and by investing more than £4,000 for every household in the North West, the company has halved the amount of leakage from its networks, supported by ongoing investment to replace worn-out pipes.

Such a huge volume of work requires an extensive fleet of commercial vehicles and specialist plant. Having worked with UK crane manufacturer, Penny Hydraulics on previous mechanical handling projects in the past, United Utilities turned to the company to specify lifting equipment suitable for mechanically lifting and lowering pumps and items of plant up to 500kg in weight, in and out of their Ford Transit 350, panel van fleet.

Following consultation with Penny Hydraulics specialist crane engineers, Penny Hydraulics best-selling SwingLift Foldaway FV500 was specified. The FV500 is Penny Hydraulics first, fully hydraulic 500kg capacity crane model suitable for vans. The crane forms part of the company’s popular SwingLift range of lightweight vehicle mounted cranes used by the likes of British Telecom and Royal Mail.

The FV500 incorporates hydraulic slew, boom raise, lower and extension for controlled, precise and safe handling of pumps and plant of varying weights and sizes.

“Hydraulic control helps ensure smooth and precise load handling with reduced risk of the sudden and unexpected movements that can cause accidents to users and bystanders” says Penny Hydraulics Sales Director, Richard Short.

Designed for a wide range of load handling applications including service, engineering and deliveries the FV500 was also the first fully-hydraulic vehicle mounted crane available in the 500kg performance class. Compact design, robust construction and light weight ensure the FV500 can be installed on a wide range commercial vehicles, meaning the same model can be supplied even if United Utilities change their commercial vehicle specification in the future.

“United Utilities can have these devices installed with assurance of minimum impact on the vehicle weight to leave more carrying capacity for maximum operational flexibility and productivity,” says Richard “although this helps with all types of vehicle, it’s especially useful for those in the 3.5t class where remaining within the overall weight and carrying capacity limits are always of concern. The FV500’s lightweight helps to minimise emissions, maximise fuel economy and maximise payload.”

The FV500 comes with Penny Hydraulics own brand of high speed hoist, ideal for water industry applications and an integral oil tank & motor pump unit to maximise load space.

“This tried and tested crane provides both reliable and flexible load handling capabilities,” continues Richard “designed with a 500kg capacity hoist, the cranes allow vertical below-ground handling, making this model the ideal solution for water companies.”

The new contract commences in March 2017, starting with 54 units. This news comes at a great time for Penny Hydraulics, who have recently invested £1.5M in a large-scale expansion project at their Chesterfield based headquarters. The new premises and site expansion, set to open in 2017, comprises of increased production space for vehicle mounted lifting equipment, further dedicated commercial vehicle fitting bays and increased customer parking.

Penny Hydraulics are a UK manufacturer of lifting equipment with purpose built premises housing a manufacturing and assembly plant. The company carry out all the functions of a fully integrated company with design, manufacturing, quality control, aftersales support and nationwide service operation.

The company has grown to become the UK's leading lorry-loader crane manufacturer and are partnered with industry's leading professional and trade organisations. Approved commercial vehicle converters for vehicle mounted lifting equipment for major vehicle manufacturers including Renault, Nissan and Volkswagen, commercial vehicle body builders worldwide from USA to Australia and Hungary to Benelux, choose to partner with Penny Hydraulics to sell lifting applications all over the world.

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