Tom Ryan Cartage Ltd are set to give their customers a real lift!

5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 8, 2017

As a result of significant growth in their truck mounted crane work, well respected Auckland transport operator Tom Ryan Cartage Ltd have recently commissioned a Hino 700 series tractor with a Palfinger 92002SH F crane fitted, the largest crane that can be fitted on a rigid truck without the need for a pilot or additional permitting.

Already operating some of the larger highway truck mounted cranes in the region, the latest addition to the fleet raises the bar yet again on what the company can offer its customers.

Photo: Lifting most of the consignment in one hit. Productivity benefits and encomonies of scale offered by this unit are soon apparent.

Owner Tom Ryan and General Manager Alan Spilhaus have overseen the crane division’s expansion which now comprises 45 units in a total fleet of 95 trucks and 18 other specialist vehicles.

For all its size no specialist training is required and the unit can be operated on the New Zealand Certificate in Crane Operation, meaning flexibility within fleet operations is not compromised.

The crane was purchased with the optional PJ125E fly jib (a lifting and extension boom) for extra capability. Key in the decision to purchase a Palfinger was the tare of the crane listed at 6780kg (not including fly jib) in the company literature (ref: side bar for detail on crane specs).

During the pre-purchase discussions, serious consideration had to be given to the truck chassis which would carry the Palfinger, ensuring that axle weights on the chosen vehicle were not exceeded.

The final decision went the way of an 8×4 Hino 700 series FY 3248 ProShift 16 Air Dana producing 360kW (480hp) at 1800rpm and 2157Nm (1590lb/ft) at 1100rpm.

The transmission is a 16-speed AMT ZF AS-Tronic Proshift transmission. Front axles on the unit are rated at 15,000kg and sit on taper leaf suspension and at the rear are the 21,000kg capacity Dana DSH44 tandem axles fitted with differential lock and cross locks (essential for site access), and Hendrickson HAS air suspension.

The purchase started out as a stock item but that didn’t last long. It was sent to Gary Douglas Engineers in Palmerston North where the PK92002 Palfinger was fitted. The company have fitted a number of cranes to truck chassis but nothing as large as the PK92002. As a result some important engineering design decisions around the fitting of a Hendickson tag axle, placement of the sub-frame, and fifth wheel position needed to be made. Additionally, the power take-off on the truck needed to be able to drive all of the operations included in the Palfinger system.

Photo: Operator Presetion Drage positions part of the load on the building site. The size of the Palfinger becomes more apparent when comparing Preston to the rear landing leg.

Another part of the project was the requirement for a mini deck on the tractor and a new 3-axle flat deck semi trailer. This contract went to TMC in the South Island, but this was no run-of-the-mill trailer.

Because of the necessity for a sub-frame to mount the crane on, the fifth wheel had to be raised by 200mm which impacted the chassis sizing of the trailer in order for it to match.


Tare on the finished tractor with the crane installed is 27,450kg and the trailer is 6,200kg. Running at a GCM of 44,000kg the unit is good for an on-highway payload 10,350kg. While that appears low it must be remembered the nature of the Hino’s loads are often massively bulky and the key component is the crane, meaning the truck will often be working on site where highway compliance is not a constraint, or trans-shipping consignments from other trucks to otherwise inaccessible places.

The end result of this complex project is an impressive sight.

Driven by Preston Drage and Shaun Murray, the unit operates approximately 100 hours per week on a rostered basis hauling portacoms, pre-nail frame and truss units, roading barriers, and roofing iron.

A large portion of its work will be on multi story construction sites in the Auckland metro region, making the most of the crane’s extraordinary reach capabilities.