Working with water

Working with water

Operating heavy duty machinery in wet conditions comes with serious safety risks. Stertil Koni knows as much so offers solutions that minimise potential equipment damage or injury. Here, CVW looks at instances where Stertil Koni wash bay lifts have ensured a safer working environment.


Wash bay

Denbighshire County Council recently purchased a second set of ST1075FSA columns to support a new wash bay facility at its Kinmel Park depot in Bodelwyddan. The wash bay columns lift a range of vehicles including road sweepers and gritters, plus two- and three-axle refuse collection lorries weighing up to 26 tonnes.

“We find that the versatility of the lifts ensures excellent accessibility whilst steam-cleaning vehicles without needing to climb up and down ramps, which can be a real health and safety risk for our wash bay operatives,” said Workshop Manager, Mark Crompton.

The columns incorporate Stertil’s maintenance-free, synthetic runner wheel system, which is self-lubricating, and the system is covered by a lifetime guarantee. An integral advanced hydraulic lifting system incorporates a microprocessor-controlled synchronisation feature to ensure safe, smooth and precise movement at all times.

Safety is further enhanced by an independent mechanical locking system, incorporated into each column, which allows operatives to securely lock the lift to prevent a vehicle from being inadvertently lowered. The lifts were also supplied complete with a set of heavy duty wash bay covers to ensure safe and reliable performance in a challenging environment.


Stertil Koni recently installed a customized 35-tonne capacity Skylift to support wash bay operations for WH Malcolm. The lift was installed onto a sloping slipway within the quayside of a former shipyard located on the River Clyde in Glasgow. In order to safely accommodate the gradient of the slipway, Stertil Koni engineers devised a solution, which involved recessing the drive-on end of the lift to a depth of 350mm. In addition, the front end of the lift is built up onto 350mm concrete pads with the result that the lift is completely level and, when fully extended, the front of the lift is over 2.5m high.

The SKY350 was specified complete with a platform length of 14.5m to safely accommodate the wide range of vehicles in the WH Malcolm fleet. The platforms are fully hot-dip galvanised, and all lift supports benefit from an extremely resistant coating to provide reliable protection against the moisture and debris generated from day-to-day wash bay operations.


Wash bay

As part of a reconstruction project to replace workshop and vehicle washing facilities destroyed by fire, Wm Hamilton & Sons Ltd specified a Stertil Koni Skylift 350 to simplify operations within a purpose-built wash bay.

Wm Hamilton & Sons Ltd is one of Scotland’s leading providers of logistics solutions to the UK’s construction and waste industry, plus many local authorities and highway agencies. With the nature of the fleet and in order to help keep the fleet in optimum condition, the Stertil Koni Skylift is used on a daily basis within a programme of scheduled safety inspections and maintenance operations.

The Skylift 350 was installed in a shallow pit, flush with the wash bay floor, to simplify the positioning of vehicles on the lift’s 14.5m long parallel platforms. These hot-dip galvanised platforms also feature an anti-corrosion coating and full LED lighting. Located in an outside wash bay area, the heavy duty, electro-hydraulic Skylift is operated via an adjacent stainless steel control console.

Best practice advice

Simon Laffoley, National Accounts Manager at Stertil Koni, provides some best practice advice on operating wash bay column lifts: “It is unwise to put any electro-mechanical, screw-thread operated lift into a wash bay as, no matter how much a user tries to protect the lift, the degreasant in the chemicals and the fine grit washed off the vehicle with high-pressure lances will eventually cause premature wear to the nut and shaft.

“It is primarily for this reason that we always recommend an electro-hydraulic operating system in a wash bay environment, and for mobile lifts, we recommend the use of protective covers over the columns and control box – it is not enough to simply galvanise the columns themselves.

“We also recommend quarterly service visits from the manufacturer’s engineers and the implementation of a daily/weekly/monthly ‘house-keeping’ schedule by the operator to prolong the working life of any vehicle lift in the challenging environment of a wash bay.”

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