In the demanding world of bus maintenance facilities across North America, new technologies in heavy-duty vehicle lifting are beginning to re-shape not only the industry itself, but greatly accelerate many of the most common repair operations while contributing significantly to enhanced shop safety and performance.
First, control systems are becoming smarter with the introduction of human-to-machine interface technologies. Consider what heavy duty vehicle lift expert, Stertil-Koni, is doing. The company has recently introduced what it calls its “ebright Smart Control System,” currently available only on Stertil-Koni mobile column lifts. According to Dr. Jean DellAmore, president of Stertil-Koni, “This approach consists of a full-color touch screen control console, inspired by today’s most advanced tablet computers, and is now being widely deployed on wireless mobile column lifts at multiple facilities.” Here’s what’s so special: It provides intuitive, ease-of-use while placing maximum lifting information directly at the fingertips of the person who needs it most – the busy technician on the shop floor.
The benefits of the ebright Smart Control System include:
• A high resolution, brightly illuminated, full-color, seven-inch screen;
• Touch screen control, even when the technician is wearing gloves;
• Owner/user configurable options to protect against unauthorized use;
• Presentation of all relevant information at a glance; and,
• Up to 32 mobile columns fully synchronized in a single lifting set.
On another front directly impacting bus maintenance facilities, there are thousands of old, single-stage hydraulic lifts literally rotting away in America’s workshops that have long outlived their useful life and possibly present safety and environmental hazards. In response, one approach gaining a lot of traction is the Diamond Lift “Frame” version from Stertil-Koni. It is based on the company’s widely used Diamond Lift “Cassette” version (steel frame) but in this instance it is specifically engineered for concrete foundations, making it ideal for replacement situations.
This lift is ALI-certified, thus fully complying with National Safety Standards, and manufactured right here in the United States in Streator, Illinois. Also, it uses an existing concrete vault, features telescopic pistons with a capacity up to 96,000 pounds in a three-piston configuration, requires less than five gallons of hydraulic fluid per piston and features a corrosion-free durable aluminum trench cover system with full driver-over load capacity.
In sum, noted DellAmore, “Tomorrow’s lifting technologies are already here, and they’re already making a substantial contribution to how bus maintenance facilities operate, achieve higher levels of efficiencies and, of paramount importance, ensure greater safety for everyone in the shop.”