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Swarco & Penny Hydraulics lifting highways safety to new heights

Swarco & Penny Hydraulics lifting highways safety to new heights

Swarco is a growing international group providing the complete range of road marking, signage, signaling, and traffic management products, services and solutions.

The focus of Swarco’s business is keeping traffic in motion. The company do this in a variety of ways from variable message signs, traffic detectors and street lighting to fleet management solutions and highway and tunnel systems. All products and services are aimed at informing and guiding the traveller in order to support the growing mobility needs of our society.

The company mission is to help their customers to manage mobility and increase road safety with high quality and environmentally friendly solutions. Swarco are a forward thinking company who are always looking to reduce risk and improve the efficiency of their operations. Keen advocates of mechanical handling equipment, they promote the use of mechanical aids such as loader cranes wherever possible.

Having had previous dealings with Penny Hydraulics, Head of Projects and Services in Milton Keynes, Mark Hickmott contacted us to specify lifting equipment for their Vauxhall Movano highways vehicle. The new drop-side was to be used to handle data display signs on UK highways.

Following consultation with Penny Hydraulics Area Sales Manager, Steve Brackstone, a hydraulic PH Crane was specified with a maximum working capacity of 2030kg. At full reach the crane reaches 5.2 metres and at this extension can lift 400kg. The PH270L has a remarkably low self-weight of only 245kg, this was vital to Swarco as they required the crane installation to not just improve operational flexibility and productivity but also maintain minimum impact on overall vehicle weight and carrying capacity.

In order to meet with the companies’ environmental policy, considerations had to be made towards vehicle emissions and fuel economy. The ultra-lightweight of the PH270L offered reduced emissions compared to other cranes on the market, as well as maximised fuel economy and payload.

Full hydraulic control is supplied as standard on all PH Cranes and benefited Swarco by allowing smooth and precise load handling, minimising the risk of sudden, unexpected movements that could cause accidents to users, bystanders or passing traffic. In addition to being fully hydraulic, the crane controls are also proportional providing additional precision for increased control and safety.

Swarco chose additional features too; an additional boom extension, radio remote controls and a high speed hoist. The additional boom extension added a further metre onto the crane boom length for increased flexibility. Remote controls further enhanced operator safety by allowing operators to stand well clear of the load. The wireless device allows the operator to move around the work area to obtain the best view of any task being performed. The high speed hoist was added to allow below ground lifting and was supplied in 12V to match the vehicle voltage.

An electronic capacity indicator (ECI) system was supplied with the crane. The ECI system uses a LED display to indicate the percentage of load being lifted. The final red LED indicates that 100% maximum rated capacity has been reached or “exceeded.” Obviously any lift has to have a stable platform and so the crane was installed with hydraulically controlled stabilizer legs.

The installation was carried out at Penny Hydraulics facility in Chesterfield and was tested and certificated in accordance with Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). The crane installation complied with all relevant UK legislation including the European harmonized Standard for loader cranes EN12999:2009.

The crane is now in operation throughout the UK and Mark Hickmott and the team are pleased with the impact this is having on their operation. Mark Comments, “the PH270L offers low-weight as well as a long reach…this is exactly what we were looking for. We have to move signs of varying shapes, sizes and weights on a daily basis so the equipment needed to be able to handle all these variants.”

Reliability and after-sales was also of great importance to Mark and the team as he comments, “because the crane is an integral part of our operation, easy and quick access to OEM spares and after-sales support was important and knowing that Penny Hydraulics have spares on stock and a nationwide network of engineers on hand gives me peace of mind that we can always remain operational.”

Penny Hydraulics PH range of vehicle mounted cranes consists of over 470 variations. Full hydraulic control is available on cranes with maximum working loads from just 200kg to over 5 tonne metre. The company has all the functions of a fully integrated company with design, manufacture, installation and a nationwide service operation. They are partnered with industry’s leading professional and trade organisations and are approved commercial vehicle converters for the major vehicle manufacturers including Renault, Nissan and Volkswagen. In addition to this, 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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