HDS cranes - these are reloading devices which, thanks to their compact design, are able to reach any place and perform many works unavailable for other cranes. The abbreviation HDS itself stands for a hydraulic truck crane, it is responsible for the functionality of the truck. Placing the crane in the loading area on the truck guarantees full mobility and comfortable movement between the loading and unloading points. Hydraulic cranes can lift loads weighing from several hundred kilograms to several tons. This equipment belongs to the group of cranes, i.e. machines used for loading and unloading goods. HDS cranes are mechanically driven reloading devices, which consist of a pivoting column on the base and a boom system mounted on the top of the column. The loading cranes are mounted on vehicles or semi-trailers. They have a wide range of applications.

HDS loading cranes are classified as portable cranes and are subject to the regulations of the Office of Technical Inspection. They are necessary to support HDS entitlements issued by the Office of Technical Inspection.

Due to their structural adaptation to various industries, HDS cranes are divided into: general purpose, having a rigidly mounted structure on the vehicle chassis, and devices used in the wood industry, equipped with special grippers, and loading cranes at the rear of the vehicle with a load box. There are also loading cranes located in the middle of the vehicle.

 What is the construction of the HDS crane

The construction of the HDS crane consists of fixed elements that are an indispensable equipment of every HDS and variable parts that are replaced depending on the tasks performed by the device. The most important fixed elements of an HDS crane include:

  • set of supports - thanks to them, the crane stays stable on the surface, supports are placed on each side to perfectly balance the increased weight of the crane;
  • crane base - a platform on which the entire crane is mounted;
  • crane column - a vertical element connecting the platform with the hoist, sometimes the column has a telescopic system, thanks to which crane works can be performed faster and easier;
  • boom - one of the most important elements of the HDS crane. Most often it is a movable part, thanks to which it can work in any, even inaccessible, terrain.

The crane's variable elements can be adapted to the current tasks performed by the devices. We include among them:

  • hydraulic system - supporting the HDS structure on hydraulic cylinders makes it easier and faster to "unpack" the equipment. Additionally, thanks to the use of a hydraulic system in HDS cranes, work is not only easier, but also more precise;
  • hook - this element is not a permanent equipment of the crane. It can be installed if we intend to move large and heavy loads based on a system of ropes and slings;
  • grapple - an element that can be an alternative to the hook. It has many advantages, it is very useful in difficult works, where it is necessary to suspend various elements with ropes. The gripper's lugs are good at dealing with irregularly shaped loads.

Crane truck - where can it be used?

  • HDS mounted on the vehicle allows loading and unloading without the need for additional vehicles and machines - forklifts, telescopic loaders or cranes. This speeds up the entire process and reduces its costs. For this reason, trucks with cranes are commonly used to transport various types of cargo, including pallets and containers. The high load capacity of the crane also enables the loading of heavy construction materials, prefabricated structural elements, and even machines and vehicles that are not adapted to moving on public roads. Hydraulic long-reach cranes can be used to transport material to great heights - e.g. to higher floors or to the roof of a building.
  • The traditional hook can be replaced with other equipment, adapted to the loading of more demanding materials - e.g. wood. As a result, trucks can be used in the forestry industry to transport timber obtained as a result of logging. Specialist buckets (e.g. for loose materials) and grippers (e.g. for sewage pipes) can also be installed at the end of the crane. Cars with HDS cranes can be used in earth, agricultural and road works. Cranes with grippers for scrap, glass and plastic are used in the recycling industry. As you can see, the number of possible uses for crane trucks is practically unlimited.

 More about the types of HDS cranes:

  • general-purpose cranes - they are equipped with a structure rigidly mounted on the vehicle chassis, the boom works in the horizontal and vertical plane
  • forestry cranes for loading wood - are equipped with grippers, thanks to which it is possible to lift the wood

In terms of the place of installation of the portable crane, the following are distinguished:

  • vehicle mounted cranes at the rear of a vehicle with a box body
  • cranes mounted in the middle of the vehicle between the driver's cabin and the gearbox

The main structural elements of the loading cranes are:

  • supports - stabilize the device
  • base - at the base of the crane
  • column - vertical element embedded on the crane's base
  • boom - an adjustable element, intended for load manipulation

HDS cranes are based on hydraulic technology - their elements are controlled by a hydraulic system.

Appropriate qualifications are required to operate reloading cranes - they are granted after attending the course and passing the state exam before the Office of Technical Inspection. During the course, participants learn everything in the context of the theory of construction and operation of the device, as well as the principles of health and safety at work, and it also includes practical exercises, thanks to which participants of the course learn how to properly operate the equipment.

HDS cranes can be used both in the open air and in closed spaces, such as halls, but with the proviso that they should be properly ventilated, otherwise there is a risk of poisoning by exhaust gases. Mobile cranes should never be used in gusty winds or storms. Work should also be suspended when visibility is limited.

The vehicle must be properly positioned and properly leveled. Details on the crane's maximum allowable tilt can be found in its technical data. The substrate must be adequately durable, in the event that it is uneven or boggy, it is necessary to use special stabilizers and pads.

Before starting work, the operator of the crane should always check that there are no bystanders in its zone. The crane's work area must be appropriately separated and marked. The vehicle must have beacons turned on, handbrake on and chocks to prevent movement of the wheels. The operator of the device must be equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment - appropriate footwear, a protective helmet, and non-restrictive clothing.

Main prohibited activities:

  • moving loads with unknown parameters
  • handling loads related to the ground
  • work without crane supports
  • work in inappropriate weather conditions
  • working in unsuitable terrain and in the vicinity of hazards, for example power lines
  • using a defective crane and accessories
  • work with the crane without a valid UDT decision and entry in the maintenance logbook
  • moving loads over people and workstations