Handling it Together: Bott and Penny Hydraulics
The combination of Bott in-vehicle storage and Penny Hydraulics vehicle-mounted cranes and platform lifts has provided customers throughout Ireland with highly effective solutions to their commercial vehicle storage and handling requirements. The two companies work together to enhance commercial vehicles with Bott fitting some of the best products on the market for customers in sectors such as construction, civil engineering, utilities, local authorities, distribution and delivery
Some customers have always understood the need for safe and efficient load handling. But recent changes in manual handling and health and safety regulations are now forcing more companies to consider using mechanical lifting tools. There is also an increased awareness of “duty of care” to provide employees with equipment that is appropriate for the tasks they are expected to perform.
Although cranes and platform lifts help improve safety there are plenty of other business reasons for using them. Many handling tasks are more efficient with a crane or platform lift which means a single person can undertake what would otherwise require two or more people. This can have a significant effect on payroll and the equipment can pay for itself in a relatively short time. Equipment and plant items that are handled properly are less likely to get damaged which means lower maintenance or replacement costs and fewer disruptions to work. Imagine the problems on site if a generator or compressor was broken.
The need for good health and safety practices is perhaps more accepted in the public sector and it is no surprise that Bott has been working with local authorities throughout Ireland. The company has converted vehicles for a number of county councils including Kerry, Donegal, Cork and Dublin.
Although the largest Penny Hydraulics cranes can lift 2000kg the most popular cranes with local authorities are the 250 and 500kg capacity Swing Lift models. These are ideal for most general handling tasks and are especially useful for plant and machinery, tools and building materials. Fitted with an electric winch they are essential for handling items below ground level. A major advantage of Penny Hydraulics cranes is that they are designed for the type of arduous working conditions found on remote locations such as building sites. Simple design is combined with robust construction to produce an extremely reliable product. There are no complicated hydraulic systems or electronic components to go wrong.
Gratton Fireplaces of Cork use a 500kg Swing Lift crane to handle stoves and granite blocks on and off its delivery vehicle. This avoids the need for employees to struggle with heavy and valuable items, some of which weigh up to 400kg. Elsewhere a number of construction companies have Penny Hydraulics cranes on their tyre service vehicles for handling large and bulky wheels and tyres. Many of these companies run their own maintenance fleet and the cranes make it easier to support difficult locations.
The reliability of the Penny Hydraulics cranes means they often outlast the vehicle. This is not a problem because they can be removed from the old vehicle and fitted to the new one very easily. Many of the cranes can also be mounted in a socket on the chassis which allows them to be removed easily and transferred between vehicles. A company could share a crane between a number of vehicles to spread the investment. Removing the crane when it is not required provides more space for loads on the vehicle.
Bott installs many Penny Hydraulics cranes on tippers, dropsides and pickups. When it installs a crane or platform lift on a van it will often fit out the interior with shelves and racking from its extensive range of in-vehicle storage products. This promotes safety by ensuring items such as tools, equipment and components can be stored neatly and securely when the vehicle is moving. It also promotes productivity because items can be found and accessed more easily.
Another range of Penny Hydraulics products which is proving popular with Bott customers are the rear and side mounted platform lifts such as the Load Lift. Bott recently installed a Load Lift on a Volkswagen Caddy for a catering company for handling a mobile trolley used at outdoor events. The trolley is rolled onto the Load Lift and lifted into the vehicle while still on the platform. The task is completed by a single person and no manual handling is required. The Load Lift is used by a number of tyre companies for handling heavy wheel and tyre combinations on sites and at the roadside. It can also be used for general load handling to support applications such as engineering, maintenance and home deliveries. One of the advantages of the Load Lift is that it is installed securely inside the vehicle behind the rear or side doors, offering complete flexibility to the user.
Bott is the sole agent in the Republic of Ireland for the complete Penny Hydraulics range (Birmingham CV Show, Stand 4261) and runs two special demonstration vehicles which can visit customers’ sites.