Penny Hydraulics has been installing cranes with maximum working loads of 150 and 250kg on vans for many years. These have proved particularly popular with service engineering organisations who need to handle a variety of tools, equipment and materials. Equipped with a suitable winch the crane can also support down-hole or below-ground handling for safer and simpler access to manholes and other underground positions. Customers have recently begun to ask for cranes with maximum working loads of 500kg on their 3.5t gross vehicle weight vans. One of the reasons for this is that cranes like the Penny Hydraulics SwingLift FV500 offer fully hydraulic performance for precise and controlled load-handling which promotes safer working. They also support the ability to carry out a wider range of tasks with smaller vans while enabling operators to avoid the additional driver training associated with vehicles weighing over 3.5t.
Many operators recognise that installing a crane on their commercial vehicles makes it simpler and safer to handle loads. Using a crane removes the need to handle or lift a load manually on and off the vehicle which promotes safer working procedures. Employers can comply with current health and safety regulations and fulfil their duty of care obligations to their staff. Cranes and other load handling devices also promote productivity by enabling a person to work on their own where previously two or more people had to work together. With no need for manual lifting and handling, employees are also less fatigued which helps them stay alert and productive throughout the working day.
Installing cranes with 500kg performance on a 3.5t van is not easy. Space is always limited, the weight of the crane can restrict load carrying capacity and the device may require ancillary services such as hydraulic tanks and power supplies which take up additional space. On top of all this, many of the growing number of compact cranes on the market are not designed for fitting on the type of chassis or sub-frame generally found on the 3.5t van.
The Penny Hydraulics SwingLift FV500 avoids all these limitations. Careful design and manufacture by the company has removed unnecessary material and replaced selected components previously made from steel with lighter materials. This makes the FV500 considerably lighter than previous models, and competitive products, at just 95kg which means it can be fitted to most popular light commercial vehicle models. At this weight the loss of carrying capacity can often be justified by customers in service engineering when taking into account the added lifting performance and handling versatility of the crane.
Nor does the device take up too much space on the vehicle. The crane folds down when not in use to a stowed position just 39cm wide. The hydraulic reservoir and motor pump are fully integrated into the crane body which protects them from damage while ensuring the whole design is completely self-contained. Power is supplied by the vehicle’s normal electrical circuits. Using its long-standing experience of fitting cranes to commercial vehicles from all the major manufacturers, Penny Hydraulics has devised a wide range of installation kits that enable bodybuilders to fit the crane to most popular van models.
The FV500 handles loads of 500kg up to a working radius of 119cm. The crane is simply swung out from the rear or side door of the vehicle using its proportional hydraulic control to handle loads on and off the vehicle or, using its electric winch, down access shafts or underground positions. This means van users can handle much larger items than was previously possible and support a much wider range of applications for local authorities, highways maintenance contractors, utilities and other service engineering companies. Like other models in the popular Penny Hydraulics range the FV500 incorporates overload protection as standard and it is supplied with a proportional remote control unit which allow operators to stand safely clear when handling loads for a better all round view of the working area.