Hydrauliska Industri AB (HIAB) is a Finnish manufacturer of loader cranes, demountable containers, forestry cranes, truck-mounted forklifts and tail lifts. In some countries, 'HIAB' (pronounced high'-ab) is used as a synonym for a loader crane of any make. The company is owned by the Cargotec Corporation.
The name, Hiab, comes from the commonly used abbreviation of Hydraliska Industi AB, a company founded in Hudiksvall, Sweden 1944 by Eric Sundin, a ski manufacturer who saw a way to utilize the truck engine to power loader cranes through the use of hydraulics. On the other side of the Bothnian Sea in Raisio, Finland about the same time, three brothers, Mikko, Mauno and Martti Terho developed a system to demount the whole truckbed through the use of a hydraulically powered hook. In 1949 they started Multilift to manufacture their innovative load handling equipment.
The roots of today's Hiab Company lie in a series of acquisitions from 1977 onwards, when Partek Corporation embarked on a comprehensive diversification and internationalization strategy. Founded in 1898, Partek Corporation was one of the oldest industrial companies in Finland, originally producing limestone and later a versatile range of materials for the construction industry. In 1977, Partek decided to expand into the engineering industry and thereby decrease its dependence on domestic construction when it first bought the 'Multilift' brand. Eight years later, 1985 the company bought 'Hiab' with its forestry crane subsidiary Jonsered. 1988 they bought Loglift, as the name implies, also a forestry crane manufacturer.
During the late 1990s, Partek strategically restructured itself into an engineering company, fully divesting its construction materials business and making several acquisitions in the load handling equipment business.
The load handling side of Partek's business was expanded in 2000 with the acquisition of the Zeteco Group (including among others Zepro and Waltco tail lifts). During the same year the truck-mounted forklift business was acquired bringing today's Moffett and Princeton PIGGY BACK brands into the company.
KONE Corporation acquired Partek in 2002. In 2004 the load handling business area was renamed after its most valuable product brand, HIAB. June 1 2005 KONE Corporation demerged into new "KONE" and "Cargotec Corporation" (listed in Helsinki Stock Exchange). Cargotec consists of Hiab load handling, Kalmar container handling and "MacGregor" marine cargo handling solutions.
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