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Bedford RL with Hiabs


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I'm just doing some research and wondered if anybody has got any decent photographs of RLs fitted with Hiabs. I've attached a picture from a book I have but it's not very good, it would be nice to see a side on photo to see how close to the cab and the headboard the crane has been mounted.


I've had a look at my 550 and from the picture I think the crane bases are different, I think the army ones are narrower, I can quite easily loose 6" off the hydraulic tank and re-weld the end and mount back on, I just need to check there's no internal supports in the tank.


The only reason I'm wondering about this is that I picked up an MJ body and I don't want a ridiculus overhang at the back, it would be nice to retain the 14' bed. Also if anybody's got any pictures of an RL with the later bodies I would like to have a look. I've looked on the pictures in the gallery of the RL but it hasn't got a cab on so is hard to judge whether it would look right with it's full width or if I should take it down to the original width.


Rambling complete!!!



RAF RL 550 HIAB.jpg

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Maybe just a case of mounting Hiab round 180 degrees there easy to alter to get arm swing so its facing right way. Apart from lever positions i thought all 550s were the same. Just a thought some of tank would then be under cab ????

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It's not fitting the crane, I was just curious about the military spec crane, to be honest by the look of that picture you can't fold the crane up behind the cab you have to leave it open, which isn't going to be any good to me.


From the back of the chassis hard up to the back of the cab is 16'3" and the body I have is 14' leaving me with 27" to fit the crane which is going to roughly take about 30". My hiab has an integral hydraulic oil tank with a chassis mounting is welded to the end of it, I don't think there is an internal support so hopefully it will just be a case of cutting the tank down by 6" and re-welding the support. Obviously I'm going to need to replace the volume of the tank that I will remove and re-routing the hydraulic pipework round the kingpost as otherwise it will rub on the headboard all the time.


At the end of the day I'm just trying to get it so it looks right ie as it came out of the factory and not like some nutcase has been at it with a gas axe. And then I can get on and find my Humber box, but as usual I'll most probably end up with another Bedford.:nut:

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Honest that 550 will fit in a 27in envelope and fold dont chop it i will do a bit of research for you and dig out some photos. I am 100 percent sure the only 550 that was different was the marine versions which had stainless pins. Two versions of extending booms fitted one was oval and the other was square as per you photo both fitted in same envelope when fitted

Edited by cosrec
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cosrec - I saw the Unimog one when I was searcing, could be quite useful if it was in English, what would be handy would be a copy of the manuals for the 550.


Dave - if I get a chance I'd love to come and have a look but I haven't got the time at the moment, but if you could measure from the back of the cab to the headboard that would be interesting to see how much space the crane takes. Yours is the speed loader isn't it? Was yours the one on Ebay not long ago?


Tony - I don't know how it happens, I go and look for a truck, usually an ERF and somehow I always manage to end up with a Bedford so it's obviously fate and I'm going to end up with a succession of Bedfords.:-D

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