An Explaination of industry wording – Jargon Buster

This jargon buster aims to give simple, plain English explanations of typical words and phrases used in the haulage and crane lift industry – to help us all understand what we read or hear day-to-day. If you’ve heard a word or phrase you don’t know, check to see if it’s on the list below.


The Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers (ALLMI) was founded in 1978 at the request of the Health and Safety Executive, and it remains today as the UK’s only Trade Association devoted exclusively to the lorry loader industry. It serves, represents and promotes the interests of its members and the industry at large, and it is the natural focus and authority on all issues involving the design, manufacture, application and use of lorry loaders.

CONTRACT LIFT (including appointed person)

Further to regular crane hire, we offer a Contract Lift service, which will see us take on further responsibilities. Phelan Haulage will plan the lift, select a suitable crane, will designate an Appointed Person, supervise the lift and arrange the slinging and signalling.


Hiab is actually a brand name.  It’s a word that has become common place in the haulage industry when referring to a lorry mounted crane or ‘lorry loader’ (see below).  These vehicles are made up of a truck and crane combined in one vehicle and help to load and unload trucks by using the vehicle engine to power the hydraulics of the crane.  The beauty of these vehicles is that they can deliver goods to site as well as lift them on and off the truck which can often reduce the need for a separate mobile crane.  They can also be used to move goods within a space.  For example rather than delivering goods they can move containers, generators or other items from one space to another within a building site which is a common request for us. 

There are two common types of HIAB truck.

Rigid HIAB – A rigid Hiab is a vehicle which is a made up of the truck, trailer and lorry mounted crane all in one rigid structure. 

Articulated HIAB – An artic Hiab is a vehicle which is made up of a truck with the lorry mounted crane situated behind the cab.  These trucks can move around unit only or can pull a variety of trailers.

Lorry Loader (HIAB)

A lorry loader is a piece of heavy machinery that uses hydraulic attachments to pick up and deposit material onto a long bed at the rear of the vehicle. The loading and unloading of the lorry is a swift process which helps minimise delays and waiting times during a construction project. A lorry loader takes on the tasks of moving large amounts of material to, from and around construction sites. Their usage saves a lot of time and also multiple trips, allowing labour to be focused on other areas of the project. Lorry loaders are large vehicles, with the beds of the trucks reaching six metres in length. The entire truck usually weighs around 18 tonnes with an empty bed. The size of these loaders means that great care has to be taken when using them for a project. All access routes must be wide enough to accommodate the lorry, and there must be no obstructions whatsoever.


The Special Types rules permit “abnormal indivisible loads” to be carried which exceed the weight and/or dimensions contained in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and Road Vehicles (Authorised Weight) Regulations 1998. A variety of unusual vehicles such an engineering plant or military vehicles, whose design and function prevent compliance with the Construction and Use Regulations, can be used on public roads in certain circumstances. The rules are contained in s.44 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Motor Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) (General) Order of 2003 (“STGO”).