Haulerman designs innovative van cranes with Strenx® high-strength structural steel

Improving work efficiency, safety and efficient use of commercial vans and vehicles – these are the goals the new Haulerman van crane meets. By using Strenx® steel in the vehicle’s loading crane, the company turns an ordinary commercial van into a vehicle that can load, transport and unload heavy, cumbersome items in a versatile way.

The idea for the new Haulerman van crane came from a practical need. The father of the idea, owner and present CEO of Haulerman and long-time engineering works entrepreneur Raimo Kiviniemi, was getting new welding gas cylinders for the workshop using the company van. The cylinders had an impractical shape, plus they were heavy and needed to be handled safely. In an “aha moment,” Kiviniemi wondered how he could do this job better. Therefore, the idea for Haulerman van cranes was born.

From back-breaking to ground-breaking: Crane design for a light structure that’s still safe and strong

Now, as a result of years of product development and an eye for innovative crane design, Haulerman produces a range of cranes that offers a solution to ergonomics issues. Not only can one person lift these welding gas cylinders ergonomically and safely. Haulerman is not only for lifting of welding gas cylinders, thanks to lifting attachments Haulerman cranes can handle nearly any other item that would be too heavy to lift by hand.

A commercial van crane must naturally be light so that it does not jeopardize payload capacity. Still, it has to be safe and meet all the standards set for loading cranes. The material used plays a key role in meeting all these needs.

Haulerman teamed up with SSAB to find a solution. They made the crane using SSAB’s high-performance Strenx® 700MC structural steel. Thinner material thickness to gather with high strength is used to reduce vehicle weight while retaining lifting capacity so that the van crane can be used to lift the required load safely.

Thanks to the cleanliness and production to strict tolerances, high-performance Strenx® structural steel is an extremely reliable material that guarantees exceptional performance without any extra safety margin. It offers outstanding workshop properties, making welding and bending easy.

Less weight – and higher operational and environmental performance – in loading cranes

Because the crane can be made lighter in Strenx® performance steel, the operator or owner can reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption and thus carbon dioxide emissions. In terms of the environment, SSAB has taken a stand to reduce its emissions from steel production. In an extensive project called Hybrit, it has committed to manufacturing fossil-free steel and renewing the entire production process. Hybrit aims to create a fossil-fuel-free value chain from mine to finished product.

Technical development manager Sami Nummela at SSAB’s Special Steels division praises the collaboration with Haulerman that resulted in a product that weighs less but delivers high operational performance.

”It’s amazing that SSAB has customers like Haulerman who can put our skills and steels to the test in loading cranes,” Nummela says. “Haulerman’s requirements on lightness, durability, and suitability for forming as well as the final design suitability for mass production methods set a challenge for SSAB. However, we could meet this challenge by working in collaboration to use Strenx® 700MC. Because Haulerman needed an extremely tight bending radius combined to high strength, they could only use hot-rolled steel. Strenx® 700MC in thickness 2mm combines high strength and great bendability and 33% weight reduction possibilities in boom profiles compared to alternative options. This gives Haulerman a substantial competitive advantage. ” he says.

A loading crane that stands on its own two feet

The van crane is supported by its own frame. It is attached to the floor of the vehicle according to the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions. The weight of the items to be lifted determines the strength needed for the frame and the crane. Thanks to its modularity, the crane can be easily turned into different versions for other lifting requirements in addition to vanload lifting.

“The manufacturing process is in place, and the steel can be formed into a crane in the desired way,” Kiviniemi continues. “The most challenging part of the manufacturing process has been the need to learn how to bend high-strength steel but now that works well, too.”

Approximately 2 million commercial vehicles are sold every year in Europe, and there are around 10 million commercial vehicles in use that are under 5 years old. The tasks performed by many vehicles and their operators could be made more efficient with Haulerman’s invention.

“The market is huge,” Kiviniemi says. “Now the next generation of Haulerman cranes is ready and the natural next step is to start increasing sales by investing in the marketing of this excellent product."

Haulerman Oy’s owner and CEO Raimo Kiviniemi is thrilled with the result of collaborative product development: a new product made in Strenx® performance steel. “It provides a solution for lifting difficult items safely,” he says.

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Haulerman van crane

Haulerman produces a range of cranes that offers a solution to ergonomics issues. Not only can one person lift these welding gas cylinders ergonomically and safely.

Haulerman van crane

Haulerman is not only for lifting of welding gas cylinders, thanks to lifting attachments Haulerman cranes can handle nearly any other item that would be too heavy to lift by hand.