All About Hiab Trucks

vintage photo of a hiab crane transporting items in the 80s

All About Hiab Trucks

All About Hiab Trucks – History to Uses of Today
25th July 2017

Reef Group has long been known as a leading provider of container transport in Perth, and we’re constantly improving our inventory. Today, we’re proud to announce that we’re expanding our selection of HIAB trucks for hire in Perth. Our new HIAB is going to make our fleet stronger and more impressive than ever. 

The first HIAB truck was created in Sweden all the way back in 1947. The word ‘HIAB’ is actually an acronym for the company that invented it – Hydrauliska Industri AB. Their new invention introduced the world to the possibility of mounting a crane on a truck for easy transportation. In short, it was a major breakthrough, and it’s every bit as important today as was in the late 1940s.

In this post, we’ll tell you a bit more about this iconic truck and explain why the team at Reef Group is so excited to be able to offer this new truck to our clients.


The History of the HIAB Truck

vintage photo of a hiab crane transporting items in the 80s

Previous to the invention of the HIAB crane, virtually all loading and unloading was done on the backs of men. The advent of hydraulics gradually changed. One of the pioneers of hydraulics was ski manufacturer Eric Sundin. He invented a hydraulic crane that he could use to move the cumbersome roundwood required to manufacture skis.

Sundin founded Hydrauliska Industri AB so that he could do more with hydraulic machinery, and it didn’t take long for this operation to eclipse his ski manufacturing business entirely. His first HIAB model was the 192. This truck mounted crane was powered by the truck’s engine, and it had sold upwards of 13,000 units by the mid-1960s.

His next big breakthrough was the HIAB ‘Elefant’, which went on sale in 1956. This saw the debut of the HIAB ‘knuckleboom’ crane. Hydrauliska Industri AB continued to grow and went on to acquire Jonsered forestry cranes from Jonsereds Fabrikers AB.

From its creation, the HIAB truck has gone from strength to strength. Since the first model was manufactured in 1944, no fewer than 500,000 loader cranes have been manufactured. And they have been delivered to a world-spanning base of customers.

How the HIAB Truck Has Changed the World

In 2017, it’s easy to take for granted what an innovation the HIAB truck was. But in the 1940s, this new type of loader truck was nothing short of revolutionary. It completely changed the way construction firms and transport companies operated. That’s why you’ll now find HIAB trucks at work in more than 120 countries.  

This is certainly the most popular articulated truck crane found in Australia. A HIAB truck in Perth allows you to accomplish more for less. They provide outstanding value for money by simplifying transport jobs and cutting out many of the steps formerly required to move heavy goods.

Without a HIAB, you would be forced to hire a secondary crane to use with your transport vehicle or platform. Mounting that crane on the truck allows you to take it with you wherever the truck goes, with it ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice. You simply won’t find a more practical means of loading and transporting machinery and heavy equipment.

At Reef Group, we’ve specialised in moving heavy loads around WA and greater Australia since our founding in 2002. From our perspective, adding another HIAB truck to our fleet was the ideal way to enhance our service offerings and provide our clients with even more cost-effective solutions.

Here’s What Makes the HIAB Truck Stand Out

Image of the hiab crane truck delivering a sea container

There are many strong selling points of this crane mounted truck, not least the fact that it’s built to top specifications. This is a tough piece of machinery, and it’s capable of pushing boundaries and delivering astonishing results.

Our newest HIAB has a bigger and stronger crane than our previous model, and it’s capable of lifting and loading up to 6.5 tonnes. We can also couple it with a trailer, which means you can use this truck for multiple container moves or even to transport generators. This is a great benefit for long-haul or even cross-country jobs.

We should also note that a HIAB’s hauling capacity exceeds its lifting capacity. As powerful as its crane is, it can haul more weight than it’s capable of lifting at once. If you’re preparing for a lift and haul job, we can help you with the calculations to ensure you make the most of this incredible truck mounted crane.  

The HIAB is also amazingly adaptable. It offers pinpoint accuracy, which means that you can retrieve and deliver cargo to and from hard-to-reach places. When other loading apparatuses are unable to access cargo due to its precarious location, the HIAB truck powers on.

When to Hire a HIAB in Perth

The HIAB truck is perfectly suited for a wide range of jobs. They’re certainly the go-to truck for heavy-duty loading and transport jobs, and our clients use our HIABs to transporting construction equipment, freight containers and all manner of heavy machinery.

If you are planning to move any of the following types of cargo or machinery, then a HIAB truck is precisely the machine you are looking for:

  • Building and construction supplies
  • Generators
  • Forklifts
  • Heavy-duty pumps
  • Portable ablution units
  • Earthmoving equipment
  • Construction site dongas
  • Shipping containers
  • Elevated work platforms (EWP)
  • Tractors and other farm equipment
  • Power poles


Whether you’re looking for local site-to-site transport or long-haul container transport in Perth, Reef Group has the equipment and machinery needed to make your job easier. All of our HIAB truck drivers hold dogman and crane operator certification, which means they’re qualified to handle all of the operational logistics of your loading and transport project.  

We are proud to introduce this newer and more powerful HIAB truck to our fleet. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to get in touch with us via the contact form on our website. Or call us on (08) 9454 7871 for a free, no-obligation quote.

vintage photo of a hiab crane transporting items in the 80s

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