From improving towpaths for cyclists and creating new wildlife habitats, to maintaining distinctive infrastructures, the charity is constantly working to make canals and rivers the very best they can, the idea being that families have space to step away from the pressures of everyday life and have space to rejuvenate themselves. The Canal & River Trust is here to protect and develop the waterway network in England and Wales and to ensure that it is protected forever.

The charity contacted Penny Engineering in January 2016 to supply and install a hydraulic crane to lift items of plant on and off their Ifor Williams trailer that they use in everyday waterway maintenance work. Following consultation with Penny Engineering, a PH50 crane from the manufacturer’s range of PH Hydraulic Cranes was specified.

The PH50 is a small, lightweight, compact crane with a wide range of variations to suit most applications including pick-ups, vans, ATVs and trailers. The hydraulic crane, which is the smallest in the PH Crane range, lifts 500kg at 980mm, but has an overall boom reach of 2470mm, lifting 200kg at maximum extension. With this level of power and flexibility, it is somewhat surprising to operators that the crane weighs under 100kg.

The crane, which is powered by the vehicle battery in 12V, is manufactured from the latest high quality steels making this crane one of the lightest on the market. Lightweight lifting equipment helps to keep emissions low, maximises fuel economy and payload. Being so compact in its stowed position, the crane takes up minimal space on the trailer, freeing up important load space too. A sound investment, the PH50 crane eliminates the need for the charity to use excess time and resource, resort to manual labour, or expensive rental services.

The cranes hydraulic control prevents the need to access the bed of the vehicle and therefore stops any unnecessary and potentially dangerous working at height. In addition, proportional controls ensure precise and controlled movement of the loaded items on and off the trailer.

Planned maintenance and Statutory Inspections for the crane are available through Penny Engineering nationwide service network. High quality, durable parts are used with OEM spares available on stock in the UK. Furthermore, specialist on-site, crane operator training was arranged by Penny Engineering through the Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers (ALLMI) accredited training provider Mentor, ensuring that operators were provided with adequate instruction on important points such as pre-operation crane checks and safe operation. The crane was installed at Penny Engineering HQ in Chesterfield in March 2016 and has been in operation ever since.

The Trust also purchased three Knuckle Joint cranes from Penny Engineering popular SwingLift crane range. The cranes are fitted to the charity’s mobile fitters vans to support fitters with onsite maintenance and repairs to plant and equipment including craft. The small and compact cranes have a maximum working capacity of 250kg and are ideal for handling general items of plant, anywhere within a two metre radius. The work equipment eliminates any unnecessary manual handling of tools, equipment and engine and gear box components.

Since making these investments, a further two cranes have been ordered. This time, the cranes will be a larger specification as they will be installed on the Trust’s Peugeot Boxer commercial vehicles. The crane model specified for the 3.5 tonne pick-ups, is the PH150.3 hydraulic crane. The PH150.3 is still lightweight at 280kg and has a maximum working capacity of 1230kg with an optional outreach of 5000mm. The latest two cranes are set to be installed in the last quarter of 2016.Michael Carrington, Maintenance Manager at the Trust comments “The PH trailer crane is already helping us work more productively. At the same time, adding lifting equipment to our fleet means that we are providing duty of care to our employees by eliminating any unnecessary manual handling. Carrying out our tasks quickly, productively and safely is essential to our work and enables us to ensure that canals and rivers remain special places to live, commute and escape to, for years to come.”

All Penny Engineering award winning cranes and loading platforms are designed, developed and manufactured to stringent quality and safety standards at a purpose built UK facility. The company’s SwingLift range of cranes starts with capacities as low as 100kg with bespoke boom lengths to suit small car-derived vans.

The PH Maxilift Hydraulic Crane range is lightweight, user-friendly and innovative; the ideal solution for light commercial vehicles. The hydraulic crane range, ideal for pick-ups and trucks includes models between 0,5 and 5 tm lifting capacity and offers a variety of optional extras and accessories including stabiliser legs, high speed hoists and radio remote controls.

Penny Engineering are partnered with industry’s leading professional and trade organisations and are approved commercial vehicle converters for vehicle mounted lifting equipment for major vehicle manufacturers including Renault, Nissan and Volkswagen. Commercial vehicle body builders worldwide from USA to Australia and Hungary to Benelux, choose to partner with Penny Engineering to sell lifting applications all over the world.

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