From the start, the units have been powered by a diesel power pack, or the prime mover’s PTO.
The engineering team at Hammar Australia looked at the current state of play for powering sideloaders and thought about powering the sideloader some other way.
“With so many vehicles moving to electric or hybrid electric systems these days an electric drive unit was an obvious choice for consideration,” said Peter Levison, the company’s Managing Director.
The concept really caught the imagination of the team for the efficiency that this could offer and its environmental friendliness.
“We set about to develop an electric system to drive the sideloader. After all, the functional (operational) cycle time for a sideloader is only about one hour per day. That allows for up to say 16 movements. Think about it, at three to four minutes each time that only comes to 60 minutes,” Explains Peter.
He says unlike engine-driven sideloaders, when the electric sideloader is not cycling, the motor shuts down. This saves energy, prolongs hydraulic component life and creates a silent environment.
“Even during the crane cycle, with an electric driven sideloader, the user gets very low noise levels,” he says.
“With increased urban density, noise pollution can be a problem however, this is no longer a consideration with an electric sideloader.
“And, we note that the user gets a lighter unit, which means greater payload capacity and savings in fuel usage, not only that, as there is less fuel used, there is also less pollution so one gets a greener alternative.”
Additionally, he says, the user gets lower cost through the life of a sideloader. Admittedly, he says there is a slight premium to purchasing the new electric alternative. But, with lower operational cost, greater payload and lower fuel costs, the small premium is paid for in only a few years.
He states however when more electric units come on-stream Hammar Australia expect the premium (approximately 10%) will drop in the coming years.
Peter also notes that in line with company’s policy of supplying solutions to individual requirements, the user will have the choice of mains-charging batteries, primemover charging or even generator charging.
Introduced at the 2013 Brisbane Truck show this year, the first electric sideloader was delivered to MT Movers in June. According to MT Movers’ Alan Erlandsen: “We are very happy with the sideloader, which is brilliant for use in inner-Brisbane, where noise is a consideration. With trickle charging from the truck during the day we’re finding typically that we are pretty well covered for around 15 movements each day and that the batteries only need a full mains charge on the weekends, so we really couldn’t be happier with the unit.”