Eurovia has a regular requirement of loading wacker plates for highways work on and off their 7.2t to 12t 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.

Penny Hydraulics said Eurovia found other crane options too large and bulky on the vehicle and not suitable for this particular job.

“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,” the manufacturer said.

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.

The crane named the “MC250/1” is 20kg, suitable for loading wacker plates as well as other plant, signage or chemical drums where space is at a premium.

The new crane model can be mounted 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.

To date, twenty cranes have been installed and the vehicles are in operation throughout the UK. Andy Kent, general manager at Mackworth said: “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. 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.