Looking Back at HIAB – Making Short Work of Long Beams

Today we take another look back at some of the innovations made by HIAB. This time, we are looking at the second edition of HIAB Method magazine, published in 1966, to see how the long concrete beams that were “increasingly coming into use in present-day building” were transported. (Funny how we take these things for granted now, but it was only a few decades ago that long concrete beams came into popular use.)

Prior to the HIAB Speedloader, there were special cranes at the factory and at the building site designated for loading and unloading building supplies. Drivers would have to wait for these cranes to become available before loading or unloading which caused delays in their work. There were sometimes further inefficiencies at the building site when the piles used in building would be discharged at an unloading site and then have to be shifted by crane to the piledriver itself.

As you can see from the pictures on page 7 of the attached PDF of the magazine, the HIAB 173 Speedloader enabled drivers to load and unload concrete beams and piles themselves, without having to wait for the special cranes. They could also do their unloading right near the piledriver to save time and improve efficiency.

The aerial shot of the truck shows just how innovative the HIAB crane was—its foot was countersunk below the deck of the truck to provide more space on the deck—a truly novel approach at the time.

HIAB is still an innovator. To see the latest in truck mounted cranes, check the models of truck cranes on our site.