Following Stagecoach West’s recent takeover of South Gloucester Bus & Coach Company, Stertil Koni was approached to supply 26 heavy-duty wireless mobile column lifts to the company’s workshop in Bristol. The 7.5 tonne lifts, type ST1075FWA, were supplied and commissioned within seven days thereby ensuring a seamless takeover and no interruption to passenger services.
“It was imperative that the new Stertil Koni lifts could be on site quickly,” says Tom Large, Engineering Director at Stagecoach West. “We needed to ensure that passengers were not adversely affected by our recent takeover of the previous operator. So, to have all 26 lifts up and running within a week was fantastic. We have a group contract in place with Stertil Koni which was agreed based on our previous experience of their excellent track record on reliability and service support.”
Stagecoach West provides local bus services across Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Swindon, South Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Bristol with some journeys extending into Wales and Oxfordshire. Each year, the company carries out over 25 million passenger journeys covering more than 13 million miles. A fleet of 90 vehicles operates out of the Bristol depot ranging from five tonnes minibuses up to 15 tonne tri-axle Megabus coaches.
When used as a set of four, the combined capacity of the Stertil Koni lifts is an impressive 30 tonnes. However, when lifting tri-axle vehicles, a set of six lifts is used which increases the total capacity to 45 tonnes. Each column incorporates Stertil Koni’s revolutionary ebright Smart Control System which allows workshop staff to operate the columns individually, in pairs or in any other combination from any column in the set. Positioning of the wireless columns is also totally flexible, enabling them to be used in any configuration around a vehicle. Crucially, the ebright’s wireless mesh networking system eradicates any possibility of communication problems between individual columns when numerous sets are used in the same building.
Featuring , 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 workshop engineers. For added safety and performance, the ebright Smart Control System also shows how many columns in the set are being used plus the battery status of each column. Safety is further enhanced by an independent mechanical locking system, incorporated into each column, which allows engineers to securely lock the lift to prevent a vehicle from being inadvertently lowered.
These heavy-duty lifts are powered by long-life deep cycle batteries which provide optimum performance for at least a week on average before recharging is necessary. Also, battery life is prolonged due to the fact that, unlike a screw-lift, power is only used to raise the vehicle therefore less time is spent recharging the lift which is carried out via a 230v single phase supply. Importantly, with no cables on the workshop floor, the risk of tripping is removed, providing valuable health and safety benefits.
The absence of power and communication cables means that set-up time is greatly 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. The ST1075FWA provides a maximum lifting height of 1.85 metres which is reached in just 75 seconds thereby making it one of the fastest commercial vehicle lifts available.
Stagecoach West has steadily built a fleet of buses and coaches that are either low floor or wheelchair lift equipped to provide easy access for the elderly, disabled and buggies. All vehicles are inspected by engineers at least every four weeks and are maintained to higher standards than the legal minimum to ensure safety and comfort. In fact, Stagecoach West recently introduced a new proactive maintenance programme designed to reduce the overall number of vehicle breakdowns. This programme is supported by the recently supplied Stertil Koni wireless mobile column lifts.
In addition to these latest 26 Stertil Koni wireless mobile column lifts, Stagecoach West also took delivery of 30 heavy-duty axle stands to simplify a wide range of repair, maintenance and servicing operations.