Make the Most of Your Hook Lift Trailer
Stronga believe in sharing our knowledge to help our customers succeed in their logistics, handling and transport applications. This handy guide covers Stronga’s knowledge related to producing hook lift flatbeds and special-mounting frames. While hook lift flatbeds no longer form part of the standard Stronga product range, we would be happy to assist HookLoada customers specify optimal flatbed solutions for their transport application.
If you have further questions relating to hook lift trailers, hook lift flatbeds or ISO skeletal frames; please email us today to discuss your project – email@example.com.
Universality & Flexibility
Hook lift flatbeds offer one of the most universal and useful pieces of kit available to HookLoada trailer owners and operators. One key aspect of the hook lift flatbed is the ability to load heavy plant onto ground-demountable platforms, including telehandlers, tractors, cultivators from the rear of the tractor and any other wheel-driven machine.
The ability to ground-demount the hook lift flatbed adds significant value and safety to your operation when handling and transporting heavy plant.
Safety has become a paramount consideration in modern times. Working from height continues to be one of the most prevalent forms of accident in the workplace with falls from height causing a significant number of accidents throughout the year. In the UK alone, out of the 693,000 non-fatal injuries every year, nearly 10% (55,440) are known to be falls from height. That’s 151 every single day; a scary statistic.
With hook lift flatbeds demounted at ground-level, as shown below, they become really safety to load and allow the operator to work from ground-level.
As well as improving the ease at which plant and other materials are loaded, securing equipment using lashing equipment is also far easier and safer at ground-level than at height. With the hook lift flatbed ground-demounted, the operator can safely access the platform to strap or chain down the equipment.
Well-appointed flatbeds have multiple securing / lashing points around the frame, both at the headboard and on the sides and floor, as required. Customers can specify the locations of the lashing, chain or rope hooks in convenient places to easily secure specialised equipment.
Avoiding the Use of Ramps
Most well-designed hook lift flatbeds allow operators to load tracked machinery onto the platform from the sides or the end; the major benefit being that there are no ramps required at any stage of the loading process. Most operators recognise the issues and safety concerns associated with using ramps:
• Ramps on traditional low loaders can often become slippery and icy in wet conditions; metal tracked equipment can make this even worse;
• Ramps are often very heavy which can pose a handling risk and adds significant weight to the low loader;
• Ramps are often awkward to stow on the low loader; increasing loading and unloading time and extending cycle times;
• Because the hook lift flatbed is completely straight (there is no beaver-tail required), the whole of the hook lift platform becomes useful.
Comfortable Picking-Up Angles
HookLoada trailers are designed to offer the lowest picking-up angle in the hook lift trailer market with features such as the telescopic hook tower, precision-designed chassis and market-leading AirLoada™ suspension system. With a low pick-up angle, the power required to lift the load is minimised, allowing the operator to safely pick-up the heaviest loads. With any HookLoada trailer in the range, the pickup angles are really comfortable.
What’s more, flatbeds are generally longer than standard hook lift containers and therefore, together with the low roller height of the HookLoada trailer, the pick-up angles are super low and comfortable for the operator.
Strength & Payload
Hook lift flatbeds are built in different duty configurations. Stronga advise that customers pay close attention to the load limit the flatbed is designed for. Well-respected producers will have design calculations for the strength of the chassis, headstock and whole flatbed arrangement. You should inform your flatbed manufacturer of the payload maximums that you intend to use so they can ensure correct stiffening of the frame and correct safe working loads on lashing points.
Flatbeds are designed to have “flexing” integrated into the overall arrangement. While Stronga no longer produce standard-type flatbeds, we have many years’ experience in designing high strength flatbeds using Hardox and other high tensile steels.
Permanently Mounting Special Equipment
There are many situations where permanently or semi-permanently mounting “special equipment” onto the flatbed can bring rapid deployment advantages for the owner and operator. Pumps, for example, can be installed onto the flatbed for flood control while there are also opportunities for installing cranes for the purposes of loading timber, pipework and more onto the platform.
Stronga have supplied hook lift equipment for a wide range of high level, civil resilience government programmes in the past. One particular job involving mounted firefighting equipment onto the hook lift flatbed, allowing the operator to set it down in emergency situations for the firefighters to easily and rapidly deploy the equipment. The special demountable unit shown in the photo below was designed for emergency flood control programmes.
Following on from the point above, ground-demountable hook lift flatbeds can be set down on and off road in emergency situations such as during flooding or fire incidents. The beauty of the hook lift flatbed is that it can be deployed using hook lift trailers or hook lift trucks (see photo). The particular project shown below required that the flatbed was equipped with twist locks to enable international deployment by inter-model means – rail, road and sea.
Secure from Theft
Compared to tipper trailers, hook lift flatbeds offer better security from theft because correct-type hook lift equipment is needed to pick up and transport them. This gives the owner added peace of mind in the security of the valuable flatbed equipment. What’s more, clients can also invest in special container locking devices to be secured around the banana bar.
Notice on the photo below the multiple side lashing points, manual-locking rear ramps and spacious front-mounted toolbox.
Efficient handling is becoming increasingly important with rising labour and fuel costs and harmful environmental issues associated with inefficient operation. Businesses have no choice but to explore solutions offering efficient operation with unlimited potential.
Hook lift flatbeds offer supreme flexibility across a wide range of sectors and applications but they are just one of the many tools available to the HookLoada owner. Stronga have produced other hook lift container guides to allow you to imagine the incredible potential when working with the versatile, well proven HookLoada trailer.
Design Your Perfect Hook Lift Flatbed
Take inspiration. In the section below, discover some of the key features and options you may want to consider when specifying your new hook lift flatbed. We hope you find these details of use in your hook lift project.
The photo on the left below shows a “combination” style flatbed with a rear ramp and standard flatbed. Notice the horizontal stowage of the bolsters on the headboard. The photo on the right shows useful headboard lashing rings for chains or straps, securing items to the main A-Frame.
Incorporating twist-locks offers excellent potential. When they are in their down-position, they are flush with the platform so they don’t get in the way of the load; in their up position they allow safe and secure locking of ISO containers to the platform.
When mounting ISO containers, pay close attention to the safe working loads of the flatbed and the container to avoid over-loading the equipment. The photo on the right below shows side-mounting lashing rings which should also have a safe working load indication. They should be conveniently spaced depending on the equipment you are looking to mount. With these arrangements, you can often specify the flatbed slightly longer than usual because you would rarely tip the flatbed in this situation.
The photos below show two different types of ramp designed for loading heavy plant:
• Drop down, permanently mounted flip ramp – with removable bracing
• Removable type aluminium ramps – with fixed bracing
The photos below shows small, permanently mounted ramps in a fixed position.
Clients have a choice of specifying wooden decks in either soft woods or hard words, or metal decks. There are pros and cons of each type and these should be carefully considered in the design phase. Metal decks tend to be more slippy than wooden decks, for example. The photo on the left shows longitudinal boards with gaps in between the boards to allow muck to fall through. The photo on the right shows cross-boarded decking over a metal platform. This flatbed also has carefully positioned mounting points on the platform for loading special equipment.
The photo on the left below shows a drawbar mounted fold-up system, enabling small amounts of movement around tight yards. Whilst they cannot be seen, this flatbed had 4 nylon type rollers for moving the flatbed back and forth, generally in straight lines. The flatbed on the right shows the same ramp shown earlier in the article. The ramp can be levelled out to extend the length of the platform for applications such as bale handling, timber forwarding and more.
The flatbed below comes together with a bale extension and bale ladder, extending the platform capacity for bale handling. It is advisable to consider the size of the bale you are handling before specifying your flatbed so you can optimise the length of your flatbed.
The photos below show additional mounted features such as LED lighting on the frame of the container for working in the dark. The photo on the right shows Stronga’s unique securing lock system, offering anti-theft protection for your hook lift equipment.
Another consideration when designing your new hook lift flatbed is whether to mount poly rollers or steel rollers. Again, there are pros and cons of each type – poly rollers for example tend to be quieter around the yard. High quality made flatbeds should generally have greasable rollers for long service life.
Hook lift flatbeds can be customised in length to suit the operator’s individual application – whether that be bale handling, timber forwarding, pipe holder transport; heavy plant transport; pallet handling; potato box transport; power harrow transit; fertiliser bag transport; liquid tank mounting; ISO containers with twist locks; or other. See below a few of the many hook lift flatbed projects Stronga have been proud to support over the recent years.
The photo below shows a hook lift flatbed with bolstered sides and multiple side position load lashing points. Flatbeds of this type can be used for round wood forwarding when there is a crane mounted onto the hook lift trailer or tractor. Biomass is becoming a huge sector; the HookLoada trailer opens up many opportunities for the owner to easily and efficiently transport round wood, wood chip, wood shavings and other woody biomass products.
Care should be taken when loading big bags and other heavy materials to balance the load across the flatbed, carefully considering the centre of gravity. Failure to do so could result in equipment damage.
Hook lift flatbeds are highly economic; when properly constructed they are long life and will maintain a high resale value for many years. When matched with the right HookLoada trailer, operators can easily pick up and drop off loads from 12 to 30 tonnes.
The above photos are just examples of various type hook lift flatbeds. There are many creative pioneers leading the progress in hook lift applications and there are many different ways to get the job done using a HookLoada trailer, together with correctly-specified hooklift containers and flatbeds.
If you have any questions about any of the information in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact our sales team using the following details. We look forward to hearing from you.
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo – 01992 519000