Palfinger AG: Loader, Container & Marine Crane Manufacturers

photo showing Palfinger AG

First established in 1932, Palfinger AG was originally a metalworking and repair shop in northern Austria. The company's original founder, Richard Palfinger, turned the business over to his son Hubert in the 1960s. Hubert specialized in designing hydraulic lift cranes; a skill that would transform the small company into an international giant.

Palfinger went on to further expand its business into all sorts of materials handling equipment. After fully penetrating the Austrian market the company began exporting in earnest in the early 1980s. By 1990 they were exporting 90% of their production to more than 75 different countries.

If you look around you'll find Palfinger products on construction sites, at rail yards, in shipping yards, on boats and barges, and in manufacturing environments. Between all of the different cranes and lift systems there's virtually no industry requiring heavy lifting that Palfinger can't be a part of.

Palfinger Crane Categories

With the exception of Marine and fixed industrial cranes, all of Palfinger's models are mounted on commercial trucks. The company doesn't make all-terrain, rough terrain, or crawler cranes. For their purposes they categorize their cranes as follows:

  • Loader Cranes - Palfinger's loader cranes are designed for materials handling needs in urban environments. These cranes are typically mounted on a small to mid-size cargo trucks hauling things like tyres, utility cabling, building materials, or light construction equipment. Due to the size of the vehicles the cranes are mounted on they are very efficient for city use.
  • Container Cranes - These cranes are specifically designed for a single purpose: loading and unloading truck-mounted containers. More often than not these containers will be commercial dumpers, but they can be any type of truck mounted container.
  • Timber Cranes - The timber industry has some unique needs including cranes with a lot of raw power and good flexibility. Palfinger's timber cranes offer just that. They can be mounted on the back of a flat bed trailer or the cab of a tractor.
  • Railway Cranes - Palfinger makes a line of railway cranes used to maintain rail road lines all over the world. These cranes are mounted to a specially designed vehicle that glides along the rails just like a train. They are used to lift broken pieces of track and put new ones in place.
  • Marine Cranes - Materials handling on the water requires a special sort of cream. Palfinger makes cranes for both materials handling and salvage. Marine cranes can be mounted on barges, cargo ships, or even platforms at sea.

Popular Palfinger Cranes

Palfinger PK-11002 Loader Crane

Palfinger PK-11002 Loader Crane

Palfinger's PK 11002 High Performance crane is a favourite for both residential and commercial construction because of its flexibility and manoeuvrability. The crane utilizes something Palfinger calls the "knuckle boom" to achieve an upward angle of as much as 15°. At the same time it is incredibly compact so it's out of the way when not in use. It's common to see the PK 11002 delivering construction materials, lifting trusses in place, and unloading home construction modules.

Palfinger PK-53002 Loader Crane

Palfinger PK-53002 Loader Crane

Among the company's heavier cranes is the PK 53002 SH High Performance model. This is a 50 metric ton lifter especially loved in Europe where taller construction projects are the norm. Even with its compact size the boom has an impressive vertical reach of 32m thanks to its knuckle boom and telescoping extension.

Recent News Featuring Palfinger Cranes

In early October Palfinger participated in the Lesdrevmash 2012 timber fair in Moscow. The gathering is considered the most important timber industry event and all of Eastern Europe. Palfinger brought along its new Epsilon M100L97 timber crane with separate operator cab. Spectators got to see it in action and voice their opinions.

While timber representatives were in Moscow officials from Palfinger's Marine division were paying a visit to Alaska's Dutch Harbor. Though Dutch Harbor is rather remote, it is one of the most important ports for Alaska's crabbing and fishing industries. Dutch Harbor port owners will be installing several Palfinger cranes to be used for unloading fishing vessels.

Palfinger is a solid company providing unique cranes for niche industries; cranes not made by most of the worlds other manufacturers. Being firmly in control of those markets means Palfinger should be around for some time to come.

Find out more about their cranes at Palfinger AG