Australia, C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features, Projects

Humma pick and carry cranes power is “second to none”

HHI owns four Humma pick and carry cranes.

Hedland Harbour Industries (HHI) has been operating in the Pilbara iron ore region of Western Australia as a crane hire and mine services company for over 10 years; recently, HHI deployed all four of its Humma pick and carry cranes to assist in the installation of a 200t dual hoist Eilbeck overhead crane.

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HHI operates two Humma UV 35-25 35t capacity cranes and two Humma 55-25 55t capacity cranes, the largest capacity pick and carry crane available. 

Allan Buchan, HHI’s Operations Manager explains there were several complicating factors with the lifts. 

“Having such a small area to work within and very limited headroom made things a little complicated. This was coupled with having to install one girder first and have that literally tied into place whilst we set up the offset lifts of the two hoists and got them into place. 

“These were held there with our 35t Hummas whilst the two 55t Hummas were then able to navigate the second girder into place with the dual lift off the Rhino Hook. We had to use this as the main blocks would not allow us the headroom,” said Allan.

“All of these moving parts meant that we had to ensure we had everything accounted for without error, not just the practical lifts but the preparation of the personnel in key places. We also had to ensure we had the right documentation in place to ensure all bases were covered from a safety perspective,” he said.

Detailed and meticulous planning was required to ensure the lifts were completed safely and on time, said Allan.

“With the two main girders being the heaviest lifts at 11 tonnes each, and given the lack of room, we had to manoeuvre the Hummas and the lack of headroom – we planned every eventuality with the lifts.

“Ensuring the lift plans were on point was key to the success of such a technical installation. Because we spent time assessing the site and planning and preparing the correct sequence of lifts, we were in a position to ensure we were good to go without needing our operators to go through ‘dummy runs’. The operators and crane crews were well briefed prior to the lift, ensuring we completed the install in a timely manner,” he said.

HHI owns four Humma pick and carry cranes.
The Humma 55-25 55 pick and carry has an impressive 55t lifting capacity with advanced dynamic hydraulic suspension, which allows the Humma to operate in places never thought possible. Image: HHI.

Allan goes on to discuss the Hummas and what the company and the operational staff like about the cranes.

“We operate two 35t capacity Hummas and two 55t capacity Hummas. What HHI and our operational staff appreciate is the power and capabilities the Humma pick and carrys offer. It is second to none.

“This power, coupled with the benefits of being able to mobilise them to work in small areas, and with that lifting capability and power, HHI has significant advantages over our competition – allowing HHI to consistently work in niche areas of the market where others simply can’t,” he said.

“The strength of the Hummas provides HHI with opportunities to tender for and complete technical, out the box scopes, which means our operators and crane crews are always working on something different. They absolutely love the look of the Hummas, they are so different from the regular Frannas going around and they are certainly a head turner in the area.

“Since taking delivery of the Hummas, we have absolutely no complaints, they are a very well designed, engineered and manufactured piece of kit. The power we have in such a relatively small machine is testament to the DRA Group. Having the confidence in our fleet allows us to ensure complete compliance onsite and 100 per cent satisfaction from our clients,” said Allan.


The Humma 55-25 55 pick and carry cranes has an impressive 55t lifting capacity with advanced dynamic hydraulic suspension, which allows the Humma to operate in places never thought possible. With automatic levelling engaged, the Humma can pick and carry over uneven ground, up to 5 degrees side slope, without need for deration charts – and is fully road registerable in all states on annual permits.

Made by privately owned company DRA Engineering, which celebrated 50 years in 2021, the Humma cranes  are made entirely in Australia. All fabrication and assembly is completed in Perth with all major components – cylinders, winch, lighting, hydraulics imported from Europe, while other components are from Australia. 

Humma has the same footprint for all models. The chassis loadings are always in the same position and the design eliminates twist, which in turn eliminates weld cracking and maintains crane stability as it articulates from 0° to 42°.

Humma drivers with experience with Tidd and Franna cranes find Humma is very safe when articulating with a load.

Peter Dalla Riva, Operations Director for DRA Engineering, is rightly proud of the Humma range.

“Apart from the structural design of the chassis and booms, the performance and reliability of a pick and carry depends on using quality componentry proven in plant such as loaders, where loads are lifted, articulated and moved on rough surfaces.

“Bearings and axle selection is important, as is the engine. Humma is the only crane with ADR 80/02 automotive diesel engine with low emissions and fuel usage of up to 25 per cent lower than industrial diesel engines,” said Peter. 

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