Another Look Back at HIAB – Introduction of Hydraulically Foldable Truck Cranes

The headline on the article says it all: “Hydraulically foldable”. This innovation in truck cranes was announced in HIAB Method No. 3, published in 1966.

The article was introducing the new 16-ton-foot model of the HIAB Speedloader 174, which was the lightest in its class and “without any serious rival for ease of operation”. Why? Because the change from stowed to operating position was all done by hydraulics and was completed in what, for the time, must have seemed a very speedy 20-25 seconds.

The long reach of the crane was also notable. Without a jib, it could reach 16.5 ft. (5 m) from the centre of the column or 26 ft. (8m) above the ground. The hydraulic extension of 5 ft. 3in. (1.6 m) was noted as being “well and away the longest on the market.”

It is interesting to compare what was state of the art then to what we have now. To get an idea of how things have changed, take a look at the wide range of HIAB truck mounted cranes on the market today. From light to heavy range, these cranes have come a long way since 1966!