Northern Irish Fire and Rescue Service installs heavy-duty vehicle lifts

Published:  10 September, 2019

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) has installed seven Stertil Koni heavy-duty vehicle lifts at its new Service Support Centre in Belfast.

Built at a cost of £8.2 million and employing 50 staff, the bespoke facility brings together key fire and rescue support functions under one roof including fleet and engineering, supplies, operational equipment and communications workshops plus research and development.   

Located alongside the existing NIFRS training facility, the new centre supports all NIFRS activities throughout Northern Ireland utilising a spacious, modern 16-bay vehicle workshop. The seven heavy-duty Stertil Koni vehicle lifts used within the workshop comprise a mix of six recessed-platform Skylifts plus a 2-post lift, type SK2070-33.

Five of the Stertil Koni Skylifts, type Sky 250, are used to simplify servicing and maintenance work on appliances and a wide range of other operational vehicles. This versatility is assured by the lifts’ ten metre long platforms which offer an extremely low drive-on height of just 350mm and a generous lifting space of 1.75 metres. The 25-tonne capacity Skylift is the ultimate heavy-duty lift in terms of efficiency, versatility and safety.  

An interesting feature of the Skylift models is the incorporation of special floor plate infill sections that rise up from beneath the lifts when they are deployed, ensuring that there is no exposed hole thereby removing the risk of an accident. Also, with no base frame, no cross beams and only a lifting leg at each end of the platform required, the Skylift provides unobstructed access from all sides.

The other Skylift supplied to NIFRS is used in an outdoor wash bay to provide unobstructed access to the underside of vehicles during regular chassis cleaning operations. For this application, the Skylift is constructed from galvanised steel for maximum strength plus resistance to water and degreasing solutions. In common with the other Skylifts at the Belfast site, the wash bay Sky 250 relies upon an electronically controlled hydraulic system which uses inclinometers to monitor vehicle weight displacement and ensure smooth synchronisation between its four lifting points.

Completing the set of Stertil Koni heavy-duty vehicle lifts at the new Service Support Centre is a seven-tonne capacity 2-post lift, type SK2070. With its baseless design, folded steel columns and the asymmetric positioning of the double-telescopic lifting arms, access to vehicles is completely unrestricted. A pick-up height of just 90mm makes the SK2070 ideal for handling a variety of NIFRS vehicles including vans, trucks and 4x4 off-road rescue vehicles. Also, the SK2070 provides a maximum lifting height of 2020mm which is reached in only 25 seconds thereby ensuring shorter work cycles and faster workshop turnarounds.

Engineered to provide rugged and reliable, low-maintenance performance, the SK2070 electro-hydraulic lift operates from a 3-phase power supply as standard although a single-phase option is available. Significantly, this lift incorporates specially designed footplates that not only ensure exceptional stability but also allow fast and simple installation on concrete floors of just 13cm thickness.

‘We were delighted when Lowry’s, our main contractor, proposed Stertil Koni as the supplier of the vehicle lifts. We knew that Stertil Koni was a leading name in heavy-duty vehicle lifts and other Fire Services were pleased with their products,’ commented Ian Grimes, Head of Fleet, Engineering and Supplies at the new Service Support Centre. ‘I’m pleased to say that the lifts are living up to their reputation and our workshop engineers find them extremely easy to use and trouble-free.’

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