Hiab is one of the most well-known brands in the world of load handling. The roots of Hiab’s global load handling business are deep in the Swedish engineering industry of the 1940s with the start of production of Hiab loader cranes.
Built to perform since 1944
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
From loader cranes to market leader in load handling
The foundations of Cargotec’s Hiab business area were laid in 1977 when Partek Corporation bought Multilift Group. The acquisition marked the beginning of a series of investments within the load handling industry. In 1985, Partek acquired Hydrauliska Industrier Ltd (Hiab) and Jonsered forestry cranes. At the time, Swedish Hiab was one of the leading producers of loader cranes in the world.
A couple of years later Partek strengthened its forestry crane expertise by acquiring that particular Loglift business line from Fiskars. The next major moves within the load handling business took place in 2000 when the Partek bought tail lift operations from Waltco and Zepro and the truck-mounted forklift producer Moffett.
In 2002, KONE Corporation acquired Partek and KONE Cargotec was established, and three years later a demerger resulted in a new listed company, Cargotec. Since 2004, Hiab has been the name for the whole load handling business in Cargotec. In 2008, the DEL UK tail lift business became part of the Hiab product range.
The pioneering spirit continue to drive the future industry
During 70 years Hiab has grown into the leading provider of a full range of on-road load handling equipment, with the elephant as a symbol of our strength, innovation, service and performance. Our strong innovative heritage challenges us to continue to develop products that last even in the most extreme conditions, but at the same time are both safe and easy to use.
Today the Hiab product range includes HIAB loader cranes, JONSERED recycling and forestry cranes, LOGLIFT forestry cranes, MOFFETT truck mounted forklifts and MULTILIFT demountables, as well as DEL, WALTCO and ZEPRO tail lifts.