I refer to your recent article entitled “Loader Confusion” (CT, January 2005, page 34), and would like to offer some comments on a number of the points mentioned.

1. B57121 Part 4 actually defines a lorry loader as ‘a combination of a loader crane fitted to a commercial vehicle or trailer which normally has a load carrying capability’. It does not state that it must or should be commensurate to the load carrying capacity, and the word ‘normally’ is quite pertinent in view of the fact that although larger cranes on this type of duty are becoming more common, a conservative estimate would be that this is still no more than 3-5% of the loader cranes in service within the whole UK.

2. The operators carrying out work with this type of vehicle/crane combination are operating on sites where the same rules are applied for all contractors carrying out lifting operations i.e. that they must carry out risk assessments/method statements, and have appointed persons, and so on.

3. Since 1995, all loader cranes sold within the UK have had to comply with the Machinery Directive, which requires them to be fitted with rated capacity indicators and emergency stops – the same as any other type of crane.

In view of the above, we as an Association regard there to be a level playing field and consider the current wording of BS7121 Part 4 to be perfectly adequate in relation to this particular issue. These are points we have made in person to Mr Oram at an Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers (ALLMI) technical sub-committee meeting two or three months ago, and we agreed at that same meeting that ALLMI would play a considerable role in any future review of this Standard; as has been the case on previous occasions.

ALLMI is establishing a new division for operators to create a uniform approach on this and a number of other Issues. This is the subject about which I will speak at the Amsterdam conference organised by Cranes Today in June.

We would be pleased to hear from any operators who are interested in joining this new division.

Alan P Johnson


Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers