Lightweight trailer cranes are the best way to leave a tow vehicle free to carry its full payload. The challenge with trailers, is they are not designed to be fitted with a crane. Compared to a vehicle, trailers have little self-weight, resulting in lower stability when in use.

Choosing the right trailer crane balances the lightest possible crane whilst meeting lift capacity and reach requirements. Please visit our comprehensive Trailer Crane Guide where we work through all the key considerations in detail.  It is important that you understand the limitations of cranes being fitted to trailers.

We provide a full crane installation service for both customer supplied trailers and trailers sourced by Penny Engineering. All trailer cranes are rigorously tested before use, including stability, axle weights, hitch height and nose weight checks to ensure safe operation within the trailer and tow vehicle’s specified parameters.

Trailer Cranes – Penny Engineering

Trailer Crane Range

Hydraulic Trailer Cranes

Reach up to 6.8m
Lift from 500kg to 3000kg

Trailer Cranes | Cranes for Trailers | Penny Engineering

Electric Trailer Cranes

Reach up to 2m
Lift from 150kg to 500kg

Trailer Cranes | Cranes for Trailers | Penny Engineering

Need some extra guidance?

Simply refer to our handy help guides for more info

View Help Guides

Trailer Crane Benefits

Trailer Cranes | Cranes for Trailers | Penny Engineering
Efficient handling

Trailer cranes do all the heavy lifting. Simple to operate for fast loading by a single worker.

Trailer Cranes | Cranes for Trailers | Penny Engineering
Safe working practice

An essential tool for logistics, eliminate the risk of manual handling injuries with vehicle mounted lifting equipment.

Weight Icon | Penny Engineering
Lift heavier loads

Electric and hydraulic cranes for trailers open new possibilities to lift heavier loads faster, up to 3000kg.

Trailer Cranes | Cranes for Trailers | Penny Engineering
Compact and lightweight

Durable and lightweight design minimises emissions and reduces impact on the trailer’s maximum payload.

Trailer Cranes – Trailer Cranes – Penny Engineering

Why Penny Engineering?

UK crane manufacturer

Electric trailer cranes are designed and manufactured at our dedicated UK factory, built to customer requirements with best-in-class lead times.

Approved converters

Penny Engineering are recognised as an approved converter of leading commercial vehicle brands for the integration of lifting equipment.

Servicing, training and maintenance

UK-wide network of service engineers deliver on-demand support with an impressive first-time fix rate.

Committed to sustainability

We invest in carbon footprint reduction across operations, promote engineering and apprenticeships, and work with our local community on a wide variety of projects.

Trailer Crane Guide

Choosing a Trailer

Once you know what you need to carry you can think about which trailer to buy. Always include the weight of the crane and mounting frame as well as your required payload in any calculation of carrying capacity. A crane system can weigh anywhere between 100kgs for a 250kgs SwingLift to 750kgs for a 2.0 tonne PH all hydraulic unit.

Pay particular attention to the maximum permissible nose weight for your trailer, (the “S“ value on the trailer data plate), and the maximum loading for your vehicle’s tow bar, (usually 80kg to 150kg). This often means that mounting a larger crane at the front of a trailer can easily exceed one or both of these values and result in it being unsafe to use on the road.  Things to consider when choosing a trailer.

  • What is the physical size of the trailer?
  • What is the permissible weight of your trailer when fully laden?
  • Will it be multi-axle? Multi-axles make the trailer more stable but also makes the tow hitch height crucial to keep the trailer horizontal, see below.
  • Will it be braked?
  • What is the maximum nose weight permitted? Is it more or less than the towing vehicle. Which one will be the limiting factor?
  • What is the towing height? Is it compatible with your tow vehicle?
Trailer Cranes | Cranes for Trailers | Penny Engineering

Your Tow Vehicle

Check the data for your proposed towing vehicle. It is all published by the manufacturer and will be on a load plate on the vehicle. More information can be found on our comprehensive guide to Trailer Cranes.

  • Will the total weight of your laden trailer and vehicle be under the maximum allowable mass for the vehicle/trailer combination? Often a fully laden vehicle cannot legally also tow a fully laden trailer due to constraints placed on the vehicle by the manufacturer.
  • What weight can your vehicle pull and is your tow bar capable of handling this?
  • What is the maximum nose weight from the trailer that the vehicle and tow bar can handle? It is usually quite low and often below 100kgs.

What is the height of your tow ball? The UK and EU standard is for it to be between 350mm and 420mm when the vehicle is laden. This is particularly important for multi-axle trailers as the trailer needs to ride horizontally with each axle taking equal weight. Also, if you have to lift the nose of the trailer onto the tow ball you will increase the nose weight imposed on both the trailer and vehicle quite dramatically.

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Trailer Crane FAQs

What is the lead time for a trailer crane?


Penny Engineering trailer cranes typically have a lead time of 4 to 6 weeks from when you place the order.

What information do you need from me?


Penny Engineering will help you make sure that you have a successful crane/trailer/tow vehicle combination. To be able to specify one of our cranes we need to know the following key details:

The Load

  1. What are you lifting and how heavy is it? We can weigh items up to 4.0 tonnes for you, if required.
  2. What are its physical dimensions?
  3. How far from the base of the crane do you need to lift the load?
  4. How often will you need to lift the load? This is the duty cycle.

The Crane

The data above will help us to specify a suitable crane. We then need to see if it can be safely fitted to the trailer/vehicle combination.

  1. How do you intend to power the crane? Please note that a vehicle battery will not cope with high use.
  2. Where would you like the crane to fit on the trailer? It is likely that a large crane cannot be safely fitted to the front of a trailer.
  3. Where will the operating position be?

The Trailer

  1. What is the make and model of the trailer?
  2. What are the physical dimensions of the trailer and centre of gravity, if possible?
  3. How many axles does the trailer have?
  4. What is its empty weight and maximum load capacity?
  5. What is the nose weight when empty and maximum permissible nose weight?
  6. What is the hitch height?
  7. Does it have drop down legs to support the front and rear when being loaded?

The Tow Vehicle

  1. Will the trailer have a regular tow vehicle and if so, what make and model is it?
  2. What is the tow ball height?
  3. What is the maximum load that the vehicle/tow ball can take?
  4. What is the maximum permissible overall combined mass of the vehicle and trailer?

Find out more information here.

What British Standards apply to trailer cranes?


BS 7121-1 is the essential standard for those planning and carrying out lifting operations with cranes in the UK. BS 7121-1 gives recommendations for the safe use of cranes permanently or temporarily installed in a work environment.

BS 7121-1 covers the following for lifting operations:

  • Safe systems of work selection
  • Erection and dismantling
  • Maintenance
  • Inspection
  • Thorough examination
  • Operation
  • Planning and management.

BS 7121-1 provides guidance on complying with the requirements of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment 1998 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. This standard is also used by Health and Safety Executive and Courts as an indication of good practice.

I need help finding the right trailer crane, what are my options?

You can contact the sales office on 01246 811 475, contact your local area manager or use our handy product selector.

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