Dateline 1966: HIAB Speedloader 177 Uses a Hydraulic Winch

Imagine trying to lower 500 kg (1,100 lb) transformers thirty feet below ground 44 years ago. That is exactly the problem an Australian power company faced in 1966. They also had to handle installations close to buildings, with shop signs and overhangs from buildings obstructing their work.

Other lifting methods either wouldn’t work (building cranes frequently had trouble with overhangs) or took a lot of effort (block and tackle required a lot of setup and blocked traffic.)

Enter the HIAB 177 Speedloader. Some forward-thinking designers at HIAB’s Australian distributor added a hydraulically driven winch to the crane, and outfitted it with 100 ft. of half-inch steel wire rope. Operators controlled the winch from two extra valves mounted above the regular control valves. And, as the article HIAB Method states, “thanks to the careful arrangement of the sheaves in the crane jib, all the movements of the crane can be used even when hoisting is in progress with the rope winch.”

Innovation has always been a hallmark of HIAB, and this is just one more example of the company’s ingenuity at work.

Our HIAB truck mounted cranes page has more information about winches and the many other options available on current HIAB cranes.