Previous successful use of Stertil Koni vehicle lifts was a crucial factor when Abellio decided to opt for four sets of wireless mobile column lifts to support operations at one of its newly-extended bus workshops.
As a member of the NED Rail Group, Abellio has 2,100 employees and operates over 610 buses to deliver 81 routes across central, south and west London and north Surrey from six depots. Abellio is recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing passenger transport companies and, to meet increasing demand, recently upgraded and extended its Abellio London workshop at Battersea. Previous experience of Stertil Koni lifts by the company’s senior engineering staff, prompted the purchase of four sets of wireless mobile column lifts, type ST1075FWA-4.
The bus fleet based at the Battersea depot comprises a mix of 241 vehicles including the latest Routemasters (Boris Buses) and a variety of hybrid buses that are all Euro 6 compliant. Each of the Stertil Koni ST1075FWA-4 lifts 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.
The ST1075FWA-4 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 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.
The Abellio London Battersea depot operates 24/7 to provide comprehensive support to the bus fleet. Each week, a minimum of 84 buses undergo a range of workshop operations including scheduled inspections, servicing, mechanical and body repairs plus general maintenance.
“Both myself and our engineering director had previous experience of Stertil Koni vehicle lifts so we were aware of their superior build quality and performance,” said Mike Harvey, Engineering Manager at Battersea. “We wanted lifts that would be safe to operate and robust enough to cope with our relentless and demanding requirements. Of course, we were already confident about the reliability of the Stertil Koni lifts and, because the lifts are completely wireless, we have also eliminated any worries about our workshop engineers tripping over trailing wires and cables.”