Everything You Need to Know About Lorry Mounted Cranes

Everything you need to know about Lorry Mounted Cranes

Although typically referred to as HIAB training, this is definitively known as “Lorry Mounted Crane Operator Training.” HIAB is the brand name for one of the leading manufactures of lorry mounted cranes. This is an abbreviation of Hydrauliska Industri AB. The common terms for the equipment include “truck mounted crane,” “lorry mounted crane,” “lorry mounted loader” or “hydraulic lorry loader.”

History of HIAB

Founded in 1944, HIAB is a manufacture of:

  • Loader Cranes
  • Demountable Container Handlers
  • Forestry Cranes
  • Truck-Mounted forklifts
  • Tail Lifts

Lorry loader vehicles are designed to lift and move objects. From building materials, to skips and other vehicles, there is a wide variety of applications that a lorry loader mounted crane can be used for.

There are commonly two main types of vehicles used for mounted cranes, a rigid chassis, or an articulated vehicle.


This is a vehicle which encompasses the truck, trailer, and lorry mounted crane in one rigid chassis.


This is a vehicle which consists of the truck (also commonly referred as a tractor unit or trailer unit), but an addition of a lorry mounted crane permanently fixed behind the cab, along with its operator controls. Although, most units will also support a remote based control system as well. This means that the vehicle can move around as a standalone truck, or with a trailer attachment, while also having the option to use the fixed lorry mounted crane to assist with the loading and unloading of the vehicles items to be transported.

What could be lifted with a lorry loader crane

  • Farming Equipment
  • Shipping Containers
  • Construction Equipment
  • Vehicles
  • Boats
  • Display Stands
  • Heavy Duty Pumps

The options are almost limitless here, but weight and weather will play a big part in what can and cannot be lifted or moved using a lorry mounted crane.

What is a Crane Loader

A popular choice for construction sites, a crane loader is used to load and unload bulk products or waste. Also commonly used in road construction, crane loaders. Also, these can be used in “Multi-drop retailers” such as B&Q, Selco and Jewson’s.

Purpose of lorry loaders is to safely load, unload and manoeuvre equipment and goods for organisations. Primarily completed outside, using crane operating vehicles makes transporting goods easier, as it is deemed as efficient. Lorry loading operator cranes are also versatile, as they can have different types of attachments and transport various types of loads.

The crane types can also be used to transport goods indoors, which makes them more favourable for lifting tasks.

2 Start offer lorry loader training on the following crane attachment types:

Brick Grab

Designed to move many types of blocks, bricks and kerb packs.


This crane attachment is used to hook cargo. This can also be used to lift buckets of heavy materials.


Also known as bucket, this type of attachment is good for loading and unloading dirt, debris, and other loose types of loads.

Other attachment options can potentially be catered for but please speak to our advisors on 02392 123 555 to discuss your requirements.

Capacity Crane Types

Under ALLMI accreditation, crane types are rated by Tonne-Metre (TM) will have different weight limits.

What does Tonne-Meter (TM) mean?

While one manufacturer’s specification may differ from another’s, as there is no one rule for all, an example we can provide is as follows.

Let’s say a crane capable of lifting 2.5 tonnes with a boom length radius of 4 meters overall, this would be classified as a 10 Tonne-Meter crane.

So, the simple math here is [lift tonnage x length radius = tonne meter] as a rule of thumb.

Light-capacity – up to 4TM

This type can handle loads of up to 4 tonne-meters and can be fitted on small and medium-sized trucks. Typed of cranes in this capacity limit include stiff-boom cranes and small knuckle-boom cranes.

Medium-capacity – up to 20TM

These capacity crane type can handle loads up to 20 tonne-meters. These types of cranes are more specialised, as they can help with lifting mid-sized sea containers.

Heavy-capacity – over 20TM

These cranes have a capacity of over 20 tonne-meters. They provide more flexibility out of the other loader cranes. The cranes used in this category type are short-boom EP cranes.

Training you can complete

Although it is not a legal requirement to hold crane operator certification, it is a legal requirement to be trained and competent.


The operator is the one who is in control of the mounted crane. The operating mechanics can either be in the vehicle itself, or as a separate controller box (also known as a remote). The operate training is designed so that those who are in control of the crane are aware of what movements they can apply to loading and unloading equipment.


The role of a signaller is to ensure that the operator is guided accordingly with the use of hand gestures and signals (under certain conditions a phone or radio may be used). These indicate certain actions which the operator must complete. They are also known as a Slinger Banksman. Other roles they may have could also include hooking the item onto the crane.

Know your Responsibilities

Training is essential for lorry loader operating, as there are weight and overhang limits in place to reduce the risk of incidents. For example. The government distributed a blog titled “Operators and large loader cranes on lorries – know your responsibilities” which discusses the importance of compliance. It is reiterated that as an operator, you are responsible for being aware of all relevant rules.

In relation to Overhangs and weights, it is discussed how you can help make sure your vehicle is operating within the stability area limits. Points included are:

“Check the total weight of a lorry and trailer combination – the maximum for a tractor unit is 26,000kgs and the weight of the crane has a significant impact on the payload”

Opportunities in Crane Operator roles

As of 7th August 2023, the average base pay of a “HIAB Driver” is £39,589 according to Glassdoor. This has seen a maximum potential of £52k.

Many industries are reliant on lorry loader drivers. These industries include the freight sector, construction companies and waste & recycling.

Obtaining a lorry loader certification is a great way of increasing your earning potential. As stipulated earlier, although a certification is not needed, you must obtain training. Furthering this, many Crane loader jobs require an individual who has completed training.

2 Starts’ lorry loader training is accredited be the Association of Lorry Loader Manufactures and Importers (ALLMI). This means that our training promotes safe use of lorry loaders, and is also compliant with the regulated training requirements ALLMI provide.

You can complete training at one of 2 Starts training depots. We can also give you the option of completing training at your own site (permitting your facilities and equipment fit 2 Starts’ training requirements.)

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