The Benefits Of Using HIAB Crane Hire

The Benefits Of Using HIAB Crane Hire

When it comes to haulage, HIAB cranes lead the way in terms of convenience and versatility. These powerful machines are fantastic and offer much more than other cranes on the market.

In this blog, we’ll explore what makes a HIAB crane so special, and why you should consider hiring one for your project.


What is a HIAB crane?

When talking about HIAB cranes, we are referring to lorry-mounted cranes. HIAB, short for Hydraliska Industri AB, is a Swedish brand name that has become synonymous with lorry-mounted cranes over time.

As the name suggests, it’s a crane fitted on a truck that has transformed haulage operations across multiple industries: such as construction and shipping. Workers can reap the benefits of a two-in-one lorry and crane as it lifts, transports goods, and hauls heavy loads across site.

There are two types of HIAB cranes available, the rigid HIAB and the articulated HIAB.


What’s the difference between a rigid HIAB and an articulated HIAB?

Within the haulage industry, there are two HIAB models available: the rigid HIAB and the artic HIAB. Both use their lorry’s engine to power the crane hydraulics, but there are subtle differences between the two.

A rigid HIAB is an all-in-one structure with the crane fixed at the rear or front of the vehicle.

They’re nimble and can fit into tight spaces as any trailer attached is removable. A rigid HIAB is best for operations in a smaller, condensed yard.

An articulated HIAB has the crane mounted behind the lorry cab and can capably perform a tandem lift. This is where two artic HIABs work together to lift even heavier loads.

Articulated HIABs are best for those projects that require extra heavy lifting and loading.

Both cranes boast a long reach to lift around obstructions, have precision controls for more accurate lifting and have more payload room for loading.

At JB Rawcliffe, we operate a fleet of HIAB cranes, meaning we’ll have one perfectly suited to your project.


What is a HIAB crane used for?

HIAB cranes are highly versatile due to their all-in-one loading and lifting capacities, making these cranes a popular choice across multiple industries.

Haulage and logistics 

HIAB cranes are ideal for lifting and transporting loads across the UK. Heavy, wide appliances that can’t be lifted by a forklift can be transported using a HIAB. They include hot tubs, boats, and heavy machinery such as excavators.


HIAB cranes are frequent at construction sites as they can lift, and transport heavy loads needed for building projects.

Examples of materials/structures that HIAB can lift, and carry include porta cabins, building materials such as bricks and timber, generators, railway tracks, heavy piping, and metal structures.

Container yards and ports

You’re likely to come across a HIAB at a container yard. This is because they can lift heavy shipping containers, load heavy objects into containers, place them around site, and transport them across the country.

Skips and recycling facilities

It’s not just glass and plastic that gets disposed at skip yards and recycling plants. Big bulky appliances such as fridges and washing machines can be left too. HIAB cranes are used to haul these objects as well as lift skips and containers.


The benefits of HIAB crane hire

The unique selling point, (USP) of a HIAB is that you get two features all in one; it can lift AND transport goods.

So, what are the other benefits of HIAB crane hire?

Fewer vehicles needed on site

The two-in-one package HIAB cranes offer means that there’s no need for extra vehicles on site.

This crane takes care of site logistics, meaning that stand-alone trucks are not needed, freeing up space in the building yard.

No need for a stand-alone crane 

With a HIAB doing all the lifting, a stand-alone tower crane isn’t always necessary on-site. This saves money as only one machine is required, saving space around site too.

Compact in nature

Unlike large, traditional cranes, HIAB cranes are compact and can squeeze into smaller congested areas on site for a more accurate lift.

This attribute makes them perfect for urban construction in cities that are tight for space.

Precision lifting

HIAB cranes boast a long reach, enabling the crane to lift and load from the most suitable distance. In addition, thanks to a 180° rotation, lifting is even more precise.

Perfect for tight deadlines

As HIAB cranes usually don’t require dedicated road closures for loading and transporting, they are excellent for short-notice projects and narrow deadlines.


Consider a HIAB crane for your upcoming projects

HIAB crane hire can help your project run more efficiently by combining hauling and transportation capabilities. Not only will this free up more space on your site, but it helps to make site operations more convenient.

Make your life easier by opting for HIAB crane hire with JB Rawcliffe. It’s a brilliant way to reduce your overall costs and ensure that your deliveries and lifts run smoothly.

Contact our experts today to discuss your project requirements. You can call us on +44 (0)1695 737880, get in touch via our online enquiry form or email us at

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How Do Transport Companies Plan Routes For Abnormal Loads?

How Do Transport Companies Plan Routes For Abnormal Loads?

Every day, transport and logistics companies are seeking ways to improve the efficiency of their routes and schedules, especially with the rising fuel costs.

Whilst it’s crucial that hauliers have a fleet of specialist vehicles at their disposal – ready to be dispatched at a moment’s notice – they also need to determine a suitable hauling method for oversized (abnormal) loads.

Taking the time to plan and execute the logistics for abnormal load transport will ensure goods reach their end destination safely and on time. However, there are a few factors that need to be considered when it comes to route planning.

Let’s take a closer look at these.


What type of load needs moving?

To identify the best truck for the job, haulage companies need to assess the shape, size and weight of the load that needs moving.

Armed with the basics, they can then decide on a suitable route to take – making sure there are no obstructions (i.e. low bridges, narrow streets, parked cars, etc.) along the way. This will ultimately ensure the safety of your cargo, the driver, other road users and pedestrians.


When does the load need to be moved?

Whether you need to transport goods within the UK or to destinations overseas, it’s a sensible idea to consider the time of year.

For example, if you need to move machinery in December – ready for the new year – bear in mind that the roads will be much busier as people travel home to spend the festivities with their loved ones.

Similarly, when transporting an abnormal load in adverse weather conditions, hauliers are likely to drive slower and take more frequent breaks, especially when making long journeys. Taking additional precautions, as such, is likely to increase the time it takes for goods to arrive, but the risk of accidents and injuries will be significantly less.


Is a vehicle escort required?

Depending on the type of load you need to move, you may need to notify the police, highway authorities and bridge and structure owners.

Although a vehicle escort is not compulsory for abnormal load transport, when planning the route and executing the logistics, your chosen haulage company may recommend using an escort service.

Escort vehicles can either ride ahead to ensure the route is safe for the long or wide vehicle, or behind to help control passing traffic. Either way, they will alert other road users to the presence of an abnormally large load.


Make JB Rawcliffe your first choice today

Whether you need to move heavy, industrial machinery or portacabins that are too wide to fit on a conventional lorry, JB Rawcliffe can handle it all!

We have specialised in abnormal load transport for many years and guarantee a professional solution for all clients. We use only the most reliable vehicles to transport unusually large loads across the country and beyond.

Our team will always conduct a route survey to ensure it’s safe for your goods to be transported. And when planning the route for abnormal loads, we can arrange a private escort service, if necessary.

To find out more about the services we provide and what’s involved in route planning, give us a call on 01695 737 880.

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Benefits Of Using Vehicle Escort Service For Abnormal Load Transport

Benefits Of Using Vehicle Escort Service For Abnormal Load Transport

Do you need to transport an abnormal load?

Whether it be a train carriage to a railway station, a new aircraft to the airport or an industrial machine to a factory, the team at JB Rawcliffe & Sons can help.

As a leading transport company in the UK, we will make sure that your load reaches its end destination safely and on time.

But the question is, do you need to take advantage of a vehicle escort service?

Let’s take a closer look at the importance of escort vehicles for abnormal load transport and their benefits.


What is an escort vehicle?

An escort vehicle often rides ahead of the vehicle transporting the load to check the route is suitable. However, in some cases, it may drive behind to control passing traffic – ensuring they give a wide berth when overtaking.

The purpose of a vehicle escort is twofold. It alerts road users to the presence of an abnormally large load so they can adjust their speed accordingly – reducing the risk of accidents – and allows the driver to navigate the route in the safest way possible.

Most escort vehicles are equipped with flashing beacons and they can drive for help or raise the alarm in an emergency.


Is a vehicle escort strictly necessary?

Abnormal loads don’t always need to be escorted. However, depending on the load you’re transporting and the route it will take, the police force and local authorities may suggest otherwise.

Arranging a private escort for your abnormal load will help to keep your goods that little bit safer, which is especially ideal if they need to be transported on busy motorways or areas with restrictions such as overhead cables, low bridges, narrow streets or parked cars.


3 reasons to use an escort for abnormal load transport


  1. Alert other road users – sometimes, it’s not always obvious that a vehicle is carrying an abnormal load. For example, it may hang slightly over into the second lane on the motorway or be slow-moving.


Without an escort, passing motorists can easily misjudge the space available and collide with it, causing damage to the load itself and/or the vehicle transporting it – not to mention damage to their own vehicle.


  1. An extra pair of eyes and hands – whether it be to identify potential challenges along the way, seek help in an emergency or stay with the load until assistance arrives, having a trained and experienced person close behind or just ahead can be a real boon.


When the load arrives at its destination, it’s also helpful to have an extra pair of hands to help with loading and unloading the goods – especially if they’re fragile or difficult to handle.


  1. Seek approval faster – often, the police and authorities will look favourably on your route if you take advantage of a vehicle escort service. This is because you reduce the risk of accidents and injuries by making sure the route is carefully planned out – factoring in any potential challenges or obstacles on the way.


Arranging for your abnormal load to be escorted will give you the peace of mind that it will reach its destination safely and efficiently too.


Contact JB Rawcliffe & Sons to find out more about abnormal loads

Here at JB Rawcliffe, our team are experts in abnormal load transport and will ensure that every aspect is taken care of properly.

We will work closely with you to establish the most suitable haulage solution for your needs – taking into account the goods you need to transport and your timescale.

To discuss your requirements in more detail with the team, and reap the benefit of a private vehicle escort service for abnormal load transport, give us a call on 01695 737 880 or email


Benefits Of Using Vehicle Transfer For Abnormal Loads FAQs

Yes, a vehicle escort is provided if required as part of our heavy haulage service, meaning you won’t have to hire an escort vehicle separately.

Our private escorts ensure other road users are alerted to the presence of a slow-moving load, make sure the driver is aware of tight bends and is on hand to call for help in the unlikely case that an accident occurs.

Not all abnormal loads require a vehicle escort to get from A to B safely – we will use the size requirements outlined by National Highways to determine if your abnormal load requires a private escort.

Loads below 4.12m wide, 30m long and 100 tonnes don’t legally require an escort vehicle.

We have over 45 years of invaluable experience planning vehicle escort routes and executing safe heavy haulage transportation - so you can be sure your load is in safe and knowledgeable hands.

Over this time, we have planned vehicle escorts for loads of all shapes and sizes that have reached their destination safely and securely.

The safety of our drivers, other road users and your load is incredibly important to us - this is why we rigorously plan all our routes.

We perform load movements according to the official guidelines for escort vehicles set out by National Highways, the body responsible for maintaining our roads.

For example, all our vehicles meet the lighting and signage requirements outlined in the code of practice.

JB Rawcliffe will notify local authorities and police forces that an abnormal load is being transported, increasing the likelihood that the haul gets approved.

There are several compelling reasons why you need an escort vehicle whilst hauling heavy loads across public roads.

1. Escort vehicles alert road users to the presence of a slow-moving abnormal load, reducing the chances of accidents - motorists can adjust their speed in plenty of time and are less likely to overtake dangerously on tighter country roads.

2. If an accident occurs, the escort convoy can raise the alarm and call for help if the lorry driver is hurt.

Whilst waiting, they can stay with the vehicle protecting the load and alerting other road users to the upcoming obstacle by placing cones.

3. Escort vehicles alert the load driver to upcoming dangers that must be approached carefully, such as tight and sharp bends. The vehicle also alerts oncoming traffic to the upcoming lorry with a flashing amber light, meaning they can approach cautiously.

4. Using a vehicle escort demonstrates responsibility and commitment to the safety of other road users to police forces and local authorities that are more likely to approve the haul.

It’s a legal requirement to have an escort vehicle if abnormal loads exceed particular dimensions and weights.

National Highways code of practice states that if an abnormal load meets the following criteria, it will require a vehicle escort;

• If the vehicle or load width exceeds 4.1m for roads and 4.6m for motorways, it requires an escort vehicle.

• Loads reaching 30.5m long will need a vehicle escort, except on motorways.

• If vehicle gross weight exceeds 100 tonnes for roads and 130 tonnes for motorways.

Police forces have the right to vary these measurements and have the final say on whether a load requires an escort vehicle.

For further information regarding our abnormal load transport services, feel free to call us on 01695 737880 or email us at

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What Is The Difference Between Haulage And Freight?

What Is The Difference Between Haulage And Freight?

‘Haulage’ and ‘freight’ are often used interchangeably in the transport industry.

Whilst they both have something to do with transporting goods from one area to another – and are essential to the economy and society – they are not the same.

Here the heavy haulage experts at JB Rawcliffe & Sons take a closer look at the meaning of the two terms and outline the key differences between them.


What is haulage?

Haulage in the UK is the process of transporting items via road and rail, using trucks, vans, lorries, buses and trains.

Haulage services are typically employed by businesses to transfer goods from the production centre to a consumer or distributor. It could be anything from industrial machines and equipment to furniture, food, oil, and other supplies.

There are nine common types of haulage in the industry that are vital for keeping things moving. These include:

  • Abnormal load haulage – used to transport unusually long, wide or high loads, such as wind turbines, bridge sections and cranes.


  • Fragile load haulage – used to transport delicate and perishable items, such as glass and screens.


  • General haulage – used to transport various goods for retail, healthcare, agriculture, construction and more.


  • Hazardous haulage – used to move hazardous substances such as gas, chemicals and explosives.


  • Heavy haulage – used to transport large or heavy loads safely without the expense of using multiple smaller vehicles.


  • Plant haulage – used to transport plant machinery and vehicles, such as cranes, trucks and diggers.


  • Parcel delivery haulage – used to move parcels and packages in bulk for major retailers, including (but not limited to) Amazon.


  • Vehicle haulage – used to carry vehicles from one place to another (i.e. from a manufacturer to the showroom).


  • Waste disposal haulage – used to dispose of waste and recyclable materials, including solid and liquid waste items.


What is freight?

Freight is where cargo and commodities are transported by land, sea and air, using trucks, trains, aircraft and boats. It’s usually associated with the bulk transportation of goods overseas.

Large companies use freight transport to forward goods over long distances – either to be processed, sorted or consumed.

There are three main types of freight transport, including:

  • Air freight
  • Sea freight
  • Inland freight

Air freight delivery is the transfer and shipment of goods via an air carrier, travelling out of aviation gateways to virtually anywhere planes can fly or land.

The process of transporting large quantities of products via cargo ships is known as sea freight. Goods are loaded onto the vessel and sailed to their destination country.

Inland freight (or road freight) refers to the transportation of goods over land using motor vehicles. In some cases, road freight is the only way of transport in/to rural areas where other modes of transport are unavailable.


How do haulage and freight differ?

As we’ve already discovered, freight and haulage are very similar – but there are a few subtle differences between them.

Haulage uses roads and railways to deliver consignments, whilst freight uses road, rail, ships and aircraft.

Unlike freight where goods are transported over greater distances, across country borders and overseas, haulage generally refers to the national movement of cargo (in other words, it doesn’t leave the UK).


Want to know more?

If you have any questions about haulage and freight, or you’d like to take advantage of our professional haulage services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with JB Rawcliffe today.

As a leading transport company in the UK, we have vast experience when it comes to heavy haulage, airport cargo handling and boat port cargo handling. We ensure that all consignments reach their end destination safely and efficiently, whether it be here in the UK or overseas.

To find out more, give us a call on 01695 737 880 or drop us an email at

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