QI Van Systems & Penny Hydraulics Join Forces on Siemens Highways Project
Prestige commercial vehicle convertor Qi Van Systems (Qi) and award winning lifting equipment manufacturer Penny Hydraulics Ltd have partnered to create a bespoke and innovative hydraulic van mounted lift for engineering and technology company Siemens.
Siemens is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years in the UK. They have around 348,000 employees in more than 200 countries, including over 14,000 in the UK and generate global revenues of over €75 billion. When the company acquired a new van fleet for their Intelligent Traffic Systems division, they selected Qi to carry out all the commercial vehicle conversion work.
Qi has been trading successfully from their Telford premises, for over 32 years. They offer customers a full range of conversion products and manage the whole vehicle conversion process, from the manufacturer through to delivery to the customer. They have full VCA Type 1 approval for all services, thus providing a cradle to grave conversion supply chain service and they own and operate two sites in Telford, with a total storage facility of over 7 acres, both with 24/7 security.
Having worked with crane and loading platform manufacturer Penny Hydraulics on lifting equipment projects for over 10 years, Qi turned to Penny Hydraulics to design and manufacture a bespoke lift to load highways equipment, in and out of the rear doors of Siemens Vauxhall Movano and Ford Transit Jumbo commercial vehicle fleet. The previous specification of lift incorporated features to allow the transportation of traffic light poles, but this latest brief was to carry cable reels and control cabinets for traffic light highways projects.
Through close collaboration, a proto-type unit was developed and on approval from end-user Siemens, the order was put into production. The design, which was based on Penny Hydraulics bestselling “LoadLift” van lift, incorporates a unique platform folding action which means that it can be stowed without obstructing access into the van. The low product weight of 100kg offers minimal impact on the vehicle payload giving Siemens optimum carrying capacity. Although this is important in all commercial vehicles, it is especially useful for those in the 3.5t class where remaining within the overall weight and carrying capacity limits are always of concern to operators.
The lift was designed to have a maximum working capacity of 350kg to suit the application and built in overload protection ensures optimum operator safety by not allowing the maximum rated capacity to be exceeded. A single lifting arm built into the design, allows the cable reels to be carried and be un-wound on the arm. The arm also accommodates different diameter drums for flexibility. Two fixed, low level toes enable the cabinets to be easily rolled on and off the platform and one person control is available via a wander-lead handset. Being hydraulically powered, the lift operates with a smooth and safe action.
Following the proto-type, all lifts were dispatched from Penny Hydraulics to QI on a supply-only basis and Qi carried out the installation in accordance with Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). This comprehensive installation service ensured safe installation of the equipment and minimised vehicle movement and downtime.
To date, 75 Siemens fleet vans have been kitted out with the new specification LoadLift since July 2014, with further units on order.