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The Evolution and Impact of HIAB

The Evolution and Impact of HIAB: A Deep Dive into the World of Load Handling

If you would like a shipping container delivered for storage we often use a Hiab vehicle to lift your container in to the location required.  

Hiab vehicles can also be used for carrying out the lifting and delivery of various loads.

What is HAIB?

When it comes to on-road load handling equipment, few names carry as much weight as HIAB. This legendary Swedish company, whose full name translates to Hydraulic Industry Inc. in English, has been a game changer from the get-go.

The Birth and Growth of HIAB

HIAB’s impressive journey began in the early 1940s when it launched the world’s first hydraulic crane. The firm’s innovative spirit quickly gained traction, and it didn’t take long for it to become an industry leader.

A peek into HIAB’s illustrious past:

  • 1944: HIAB pioneers the first hydraulic crane.
  • 1950s: HIAB introduces the first loader crane, creating an entirely new industry.
  • 1960s: Expansion across Europe with its hydraulic loader cranes.
  • 1970s: HIAB enters the North American market.
  • 1980s: The company diversifies, adding forklifts and demountables to its product line.
  • 2000s: HIAB becomes a part of the Finnish corporation, Cargotec, propelling its growth even further.

Hiab’s Strategic Acquisitions: Galfab and Olsbergs

In September 2021, HIAB made a significant move by acquiring the US-based company Galfab. Renowned for manufacturing roll-off hoists and related equipment for the domestic waste industry, Galfab added a unique facet to HIAB’s product offering. Employing approximately 100 individuals at the time of acquisition, Galfab has since become an integral part of HIAB’s operations.

This strategic acquisition not only broadened HIAB’s demountable portfolio but also strengthened its sales and service network across the United States. By incorporating Galfab’s equipment, HIAB was able to extend its reach in the market, particularly within the waste handling sector, and provide customers with a more diverse range of solutions.

Following the Galfab acquisition, in 2022, HIAB embarked on another exciting venture: acquiring the Swedish industrial group Olsbergs. This family-owned business has established itself as a technological leader in the design and manufacture of hydraulic valves and remote control systems.

Olsbergs’ solutions, often used to manoeuvre HIAB’s truck-mounted loader cranes and forestry cranes, have played a crucial role in enhancing the functionality of these machines. The acquisition, which officially closed on 1st January 2023, not only deepened HIAB’s expertise in hydraulic technology but also underscored its commitment to offering advanced, high-quality load handling solutions.

These strategic acquisitions of Galfab and Olsbergs reflect HIAB’s pursuit of growth and innovation, propelling it further into the global load handling industry. They demonstrate HIAB’s commitment to bolstering its product portfolio and services, with a focus on meeting the evolving needs of its customers.

Today, the name HIAB is synonymous with high-quality load handling solutions. Its products – including truck-mounted cranes, forklifts, and demountables – have been key to shaping global operations within the transportation and logistics industry.

Unpacking the Impact of HIAB on the Industry

HIAB’s influence extends far beyond its Swedish origins. Over the years, the company’s ingenuity has revolutionised the load handling industry, setting the bar high for both quality and performance.

In particular, the company’s truck-mounted cranes have had a significant impact. With their exceptional precision, flexibility, and safety, these cranes have improved productivity, making complex operations seamless and reducing the risk of accidents. The truck-mounted cranes, together with other HIAB innovations, have been instrumental in reshaping the industry’s dynamics.

A Closer Look at HIAB’s Product Range

HIAB offers an impressive array of products that address diverse load handling needs. The company’s truck-mounted cranes, for example, are renowned for their combination of mobility, strength, and ease of use. They allow operators to handle heavy loads in various conditions, reducing operational timelines and boosting productivity.

Similarly, HIAB’s forklifts offer a compact but robust solution to material handling needs in various contexts. The company’s range of demountables further augments its product line, enabling flexible transport solutions.

Moreover, HIAB ensures its products’ optimal performance and longevity by providing comprehensive services and spare parts. This holistic approach underscores the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction and equipment safety.

HIAB and Cargotec Corporation: A Powerful Partnership

In the 2000s, HIAB became part of the Finnish corporation Cargotec, marking a significant milestone in the company’s journey. This partnership has allowed HIAB to leverage global resources, expand its reach, and deepen its impact on the load handling industry.

Cargotec’s vast holdings, including brands like Kalmar and MacGregor, provide a valuable platform for synergistic collaborations. This enables both entities to drive innovation in load handling technology and foster business growth.

The Future of HIAB: Continuing to Shape the Industry

As HIAB looks to the future, it continues to revolutionise the load handling industry with pioneering solutions. With a keen focus on emerging technologies and market trends, the company is committed to pushing the boundaries in product development and customer service.

However, the path forward isn’t without challenges. With the industry’s evolution

towards digitisation, sustainability, and automation, HIAB will need to adapt and innovate accordingly. It will also need to respond to changes in regulatory landscapes, market demands, and customer expectations.

The story of HIAB is one of relentless innovation, tireless commitment to quality, and a steadfast vision for the future. From its humble beginnings as a pioneer in hydraulic cranes, the company has grown to become a global leader in on-road load handling solutions.

HIAB’s rich legacy, combined with its ambitious future-facing strategies, underscore its pivotal role in the global load handling industry. 

As we anticipate HIAB’s next wave of innovative solutions, it’s clear that the company is poised to continue shaping the industry, creating robust, efficient, and sustainable solutions for load handling around the globe.

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