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Our Pioneering History

We created this industry. The pioneering spirit of our founders lives strong in Hiab today as we lead the industry through transformation, developing solutions to drive our customers’ businesses.

Up until about the middle of the last century, almost all loading and unloading was done with muscle power. But that changed rapidly in the decades to follow, thanks to the remarkable progress in hydraulics and its application.

Eric Sundin was a ski manufacturer and inventor from Hudiksvall, Sweden. Eric saw the potential of hydraulics and discovered how to use a truck engine to power loader cranes with the help of hydralics. He created a hydraulic crane to move the heavy roundwood he needed for his ski production. In 1944, he established Hydrauliska Industri AB (Hiab) and not only would it become more successful than his original business, the Hiab Method was born.

This method revolutionised load handling. The first HIAB model 192, powered by the truck’s own engine, sold close to 13,000 until 1964. The same Hiab Method is still being used by crane operators all across the world on a daily basis. When Hiab presented the “Elefant” loader crane in 1956, it was the breakthrough that introduced today’s “knuckleboom” crane standard.  Since 1944, no less than half a million HIAB loader cranes has delivered to customers in over 120 countries. In 1979, Hiab acquired the Jonsered  forestry cranes  from  the now defunct Swedish manufacturing company Jonsereds Fabrikers AB.

Our total offering answers to current challenges

The industry we operate in is transforming together with our customers’ business environment. To serve our customers, we change from an equipment to a solution provider. The way things have been done is no longer enough to answer to today’s challenges, and we increasingly make use of developing technology both in our hardware and software solutions.

Our total offering combines world-class load handling equipment, intelligent services and connected solutions. Through this we serve customers across the lifecycle, creating value with new solutions and solid benefits from reliable uptime, safer operation and a business that runs efficiently.

The award-winning HiVision™ control system that uses camera-based 3D vision technology was introduced in 2016. It created a new standard for the industry, significantly improving efficiency and operator safety. The HiConnect™ connected service was launched in 2017 for customers to enhance the productivity of their equipment.

True to our pioneering path, we enter a new era. Our founders’ spirit is as valid as in our early days. As pioneers we provide our customers the means to keep everyday life moving, empowering progress.


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