Stertil Koni has supplied three sets of wireless mobile column lifts as part of upgrades to the Bracknell workshop of Courtney Coaches. As a successful bus and coach company, operating routes throughout the Thames Valley, Courtney Coaches recently scooped a Bronze award in the Top Independent Operator category at the 2019 UK Bus Awards.
“Our lifts work around the clock, day after day. They really don’t get any rest but are proving to be extremely reliable,” says Sunni Cheema, Head of Engineering at Courtney Coaches. “Also, we had experience of working with Stertil Koni lifts at other companies in the past so we knew they offered excellent value for money. They also look very smart in our new clean and open workshop!”
Established in 1973 as a taxi hire business in Bracknell, the company moved into coach hire during the 1980s. Steady investment and expansion followed and, as a subsidiary company of Reading Buses, Courtney Coaches now operates a network of commercial and contracted local bus services and school buses in Berkshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire. The company is also heavily involved in the local community with sponsorship of the Bracknell Bees ice hockey team and worked with members of staff to install a defibrillator within Bracknell Bus Station.
To cope with an increasing workload, and as part of a major upgrade to its workshop facilities, Courtney Coaches decided to replace existing vehicle lifting equipment with three sets of Stertil Koni wireless mobile column lifts, type ST1075FWA. Each heavy duty lift provides a lifting capacity of 7.5 tonnes so, when used as a set of four, the combined capacity is 30 tonnes to ensure safe, smooth and controlled lifting.
A varied fleet of over 60 buses and coaches comprising Volvo, Scania, Mercedes, Optare and ADL vehicles, both single and double deckers, operates out of the Bracknell site where the Stertil Koni lifts simplify a wide range of servicing, repair and maintenance work. The ST1075FWA provides an impressive maximum lifting height of 1.85 metres which is reached in just 75 seconds, making it one of the fastest commercial vehicle lifts available. Also, each column is fitted with the eBright smart control system which enables workshop staff to operate the columns individually, in pairs or in any other configuration from a single location.
Incorporating wireless mesh network connectivity and full-colour touch screen consoles, the eBright smart control system has been designed and developed to simplify operation by providing maximum visual information about every lifting operation - all at the fingertips of the technician. For added safety and performance, the eBright smart control system also shows how many columns in the set are being used, the battery status of each column and when the independent mechanical locking system is engaged.
Long-life deep cycle batteries will power the lifts for at least a week on average before recharging is necessary. The batteries can then be charged overnight via a 230v single phase supply. With no cables on the workshop floor, the risk of tripping is removed, providing valuable health and safety benefits and, with no power supply necessary, the system can be used safely inside or outdoors.
The absence of power and communication cables also means that set-up time is drastically reduced thereby making the system fully operational much more quickly. Significantly, the lift’s unique synchronisation system ensures a smooth lifting and lowering cycle, even in the event of extremely uneven load distribution.
To meet heavy demand and to ensure maximum reliability from its fleet, Courtney Coaches’ Bracknell workshop operates three shifts a day, seven days a week. Up to 25 vehicles pass through the workshop in a typical week and the three sets of Stertil Koni wireless mobile column lifts, which comprise a total of 12 separate columns, provide complete flexibility and optimum space utilisation at all times.