Ensuring that your commercial fleet is operating at maximum efficiency is crucial. So, Stertil Koni’s lifting solutions provide a safe and reliable solution to a company’s servicing needs. Three businesses – Go-Ahead Ireland, Courtney Coaches, and O’Connor Utilities – explain how Stertil Koni has helped them.
Established in September 2018, Go-Ahead Ireland is the Dublin’s newest bus company, trading as a subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group. The company’s Ballymount depot in Dublin opened in July 2018 and operates 24 routes in the Outer Dublin Metropolitan Area (ODMA). The business has a team of over 450 colleagues – based at Go-Ahead Ireland’s second depot in Naas, Co. Kildare – who ensure the smooth travel of over five million passengers annually.
Following the successful use of 12 sets of Stertil Koni 7.5 tonne wireless mobile column lifts at the Dublin and Naas depots since 2018, Go-Ahead Ireland realised that the introduction of a drive-on lift would ensure greater flexibility within the Dublin workshop. Accordingly, the company specified a 25 tonne capacity heavy duty Skylift – model SKY250-10 – which, due to its compact design, occupies minimal floor area, thereby ensuring maximum use of valuable workshop space.
The surface-mounted Skylift simplifies a wide range of duties including servicing, maintenance, repairs, and the checking of wheel alignments on the Go-Ahead Ireland’s fleet of 140 single- and double-decker buses. Versatility is assured by the lift’s ten-metre long platforms which offer an extremely low drive-on height of just 350mm and a generous lifting space of 1.75 metres. Also, with no base frame, no cross beams and only a lifting leg at each end of the platform, the Skylift provides engineers with unobstructed access to raised vehicles from all sides.
In common with all Stertil Koni products, safety is paramount and the SKY250-10 incorporates an independent mechanical locking system which is always active. Each leg also has an individual measuring device, ensuring smooth and level synchronisation to within 15mm. Furthermore, to safely accommodate low- floor buses, the Skylift was specified complete with three-and-a-half-metre long approach ramps. These safety features are welcomed by Go-Ahead Ireland which is always keen to conform to a Group policy that promotes the use of lifts rather than inspection pits for health and safety reasons.
Andy Cross, Engineering Manager at Go-Ahead Ireland, comments: “We rely on the Skylift to help our engineers meet a demanding work schedule. In a typical day, the lift is in use for up to 12 hours to simplify seven daily inspections, three full services, and as many as 20 unplanned tasks. Based on the performance and reliability of our existing mobile column lifts, we had no hesitation in adding the Skylift to our list of Stertil Koni equipment.”
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.
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.
Sunni Cheema, Head of Engineering at Courtney Coaches, is very pleased with the performance of the Stertil Koni products. He says: “Our lifts work around the clock, day after day. They really don’t get any rest but are proving to be extremely reliable. 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 1994, O’Connor Utilities has its headquarters in Manchester and provides a nationwide service via a network of strategically-located depots and offices in Manchester, London, Leeds, Newcastle, Stockton-on-Tees, Sheffield, and Hull, together with North and South Wales.
With a workforce of over 950 site operatives, supported by back office and management structures, the company provides comprehensive utility contract services across numerous sectors including electricity, gas, water, wastewater, telecommunications, directional drilling, and concrete supply. Essential to this operation is the use of hundreds of vehicles ranging from 3.5 tonnes vans and trucks to super-heavy construction equipment weighing in at 80 tonnes.
Typical use of Stertil Koni mobile column lifts is evident throughout the company. At all locations, a set of six ST1085FSA heavy duty mobile vehicle lifts is used to simplify a range of maintenance, repair, and servicing operations. Each of the Stertil Koni ST1085FSA heavy duty columns provides a lifting capacity of 8.5 tonnes which means that, when used as a set of six, the combined capacity of 51 tonnes ensures complete safety during workshop activities.
Featuring full-colour touch screen consoles, each column incorporates the ebright Smart Control System, which has been designed and developed to simplify operation by providing maximum visual information about every lifting. An integral advanced hydraulic lifting system incorporates a microprocessor-controlled synchronisation feature to ensure safe, smooth and precise movement at all times.