PRODUCT PROFILE – Hiab‘s the name

In Product Profile7 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineApril 22, 2020

It can only be testament to a brand when it becomes the generic name for its type of product. Soft drinks generically referred to as ‘Coke‘; 4x4s as ‘Jeeps‘; ‘Jet Ski‘ for, well, jet skis; tissues as ‘Kleenex; ‘Tupperware‘ for plastic containers…and ‘Hiab‘ for loader cranes.

Like many of these well-established, world-famous brands, Hiab has a history that stretches back decades, the brand being founded in Sweden in 1944. Indeed, Hiab invented the world‘s first hydraulic truck-mounted crane in 1947. The name, Hiab, is an abbreviation of the 1944 company name Hydrauliska Industri AB. Over the ensuing decades, Hiab moved through various types of mergers and acquisitions and since 2005 it has formed part of the Cargotec Corporation, which specialises in cargo and load handling solutions. Cargotec used the name Hiab for its load-handling business unit that includes products and service used in on-road transport and delivery, including truck loader cranes and knuckle booms (under the Hiab brand), forestry cranes and recycling cranes, ( Jonsered and Loglift), hook and skiploaders (Multilift), truck-mounted forklifts (Moffett), and tail lifts (Zepro in New Zealand). The brand Hiab first appeared in the New Zealand market about 28 years ago and, again testament to the brand, it has become the name synonymous with loader cranes.

Photo: Zepro tail lifts from panel vans to B-trains.

It‘s little wonder then that local road transport products and services provider Tidd Ross Todd (TRT) took up the opportunity for the exclusive rights to the brand, adding it to its vast portfolio towards the end of 2018. Not only Hiab mind, (there we go using the name generically), but all of the Cargotec Hiab product range. Given TRT‘s more than 50-year history in the crane and manufacturing sector, and truck and trailer parts and service, as well as the company‘s trusted name in the New Zealand and Australian markets, Cargotec‘s products were a natural fit with the company‘s portfolio. Hiab and Zepro are specifically well suited to the markets Down Under. “The Hiab range complements the existing capabilities and products offered by TRT,” says Graham Penniket, Hiab national sales, TRT. “From its manufactured TRT trailers and TIDD Crane, to its crane dealerships of Manitowoc and Kobelco, the broad Hiab range allows customers to know that when it comes to lifting or transport solutions TRT has a product designed for just about anything and the expertise to deliver the right solution.”

Penniket says the focus has been on improving technical support and customer service from where it has been previously, and over the past year TRT has built very good momentum, exceeding support expectations across equipment sales, service and parts supply. “The growth of Hiab, Zepro and the other Cargotec products like Jonsered has been extremely positive, and customer feedback has been equally as good.” Naturally, the transport industry is the biggest consumer of Hiab products and Zepro tail lifts, but TRT‘s even gone so far as to prove the capabilities of the Hiab product by fitting a 251-4 knuckle boom sea crane on Sanford Limited‘s vessel, Pelorus Trader, which harvests mussels from farms in the Marlborough Sounds and Tasman regions. Zepro, meanwhile, has been put to the test with specialised government departments, such as with Ministry of Justice laundry and prisoner-transport trucks.

Photo: Hiab at sea, no application too far.

If mere parcels or equipment need to be moved, the tail lifts will be more than up to the task. “There‘s really no limitation,” says Penniket. “If something heavy needs to be moved or lifted, there‘s a product available from Hiab.” That‘s probably putting it mildly, with 120 different Hiab cranes ranging from less than 12 tonne capacity (for small trucks and utes) and less than 30 tonnes for mediumsized jobs, to more than 30 tonnes for real heavy lifting. They can be controlled manually or by remote and incorporate various stability systems to ensure the crane remains steady and operates smoothly, no matter the job. Up to 15 individual builtin features and systems ensure ultimate dependability. Zepro, meanwhile, is available in 17 different models for any vehicle from a panel van to a B-train, with lifting capabilities from 450 to 3000kg. Constructed out of Swedish steel for low weight and high strength means heavy loads can be handled without compromising safety.

Features such as slip-resistant platforms, optional wireless remote control, and protected hydraulics make for quick and safe loading and unloading. Strength, robustness and quality have always been synonymous with Hiab products and, with most made in Europe, manufacturing and development standards are kept high. “All products comply with New Zealand standards,” says Penniket, adding TRT maintains strong relationships with vehicle dealers, body builders and the end customer to ensure the right product and support for the job. Tying together the local Cargotec product offering is TRT‘s nationwide support network that covers all main centres, with 22 service providers around the country and growing. These service providers handle installation, equipment service and repairs, with spare parts supplied direct from TRT.