Taking the Weight out of Load Handling
Many tyre service companies now routinely fit devices such as platform lifts and cranes on to their vehicles to provide engineers with a safe and efficient way to complete their tasks without manual handling. The benefits in terms of lower industrial injury rates, fewer accidents and improved overall productivity outweigh the costs but there remains the perceived problem of reduced carrying capacity on the vehicle. The ability to transport a complete set of tyres, wheels, tools and equipment to a job means higher first time fix rates and avoids the need for repeat visits and unnecessary and costly additional mileage. Load handling equipment should not get in the way of this requirement.
Penny Hydraulics has responded by undertaking a review across its range to design and engineer weight out of its products without compromising on performance and reliability. The company has used advanced 3D modelling and stress analysis techniques, believed to be unique in the sector, to analyse every aspect of its designs and create new components with different shapes and profiles that are much lighter than the originals. At the same time the company has developed a range of new platforms for its Single Wheel Lift, Easyloader Tail Lift and Step Lift models including new lightweight aluminium and galvanised mesh, offering a wider choice to customers.
The result is a new range of tyre changing and handling equipment that offers the same robust and safe performance with the same maximum working loads but which is significantly lighter. For example, the original Single Wheel Lift weighed 99kg but the new lightweight version weighs in below 50kg. This 50 per cent weight saving means that the vehicles can carry more stock, tools and equipment without exceeding their safe and legal loading capacities. This is most important on the increasingly popular three and half tonne class vehicles where space and weight limitations can be particularly tight.
The Single Wheel Lift is a popular choice for tyre service applications, a vehicle mounted platform lift originally developed by Penny Hydraulics for ATS Euromaster. With a maximum working load of up to 350kg it can be fitted inside the rear or side door of a van for handling tyres of all sizes including those from large commercial vehicles, forklifts and mobile cranes. Mounted inside the side door it enables repairs to be made on the hard shoulder or at the roadside eliminating the risks associated with working at the rear of the vehicle. Its unique rollered platform and easy to operate locking device creates the ideal environment for repairing and re-grooving tyres inside or outside the vehicle.
Working inside an enclosed vehicle ensures service technicians have easy access to tools, equipment and spare parts and can undertake repairs safely, efficiently and with added protection from the elements when at the roadside or customers’ premises. During transportation a wheel and tyre can be locked onto the lift for additional safety and to reduce the risk of damage to load, device or vehicle.
For added versatility the Easyloader and Step Lift tail lifts are ideal for general handling of loads weighing up to 550kg on a range of vehicles including vans, pickups, off-road and 4x4s.
Penny Hydraulics designs, manufactures and service lifting and load handling equipment for use in a wide range of applications. Products include the Swing Lift range of medium duty cranes for use on pick-ups, drop-sides and flat-beds and the Step Lift, Load Lift and Tail Lift lifting platform ranges for use on pick-ups, drop-sides and vans. The company also manufactures the Mezz Lift for handling loads between ground floor and mezzanines and specialist equipment for handling wheels, tyres and barrels in vehicles and at customers’ premises.