Getting a Lift: Fleets Weigh Lift Equipment

Getting a Raise: Fleets Weigh Raise Tools

In some areas, Penske makes use of two- and four-post lifts for heavy-duty autos. Penske)

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Penske Truck Leasing has a easy technique for heavy-duty car lifts in its store community: Cell is healthier. Adam Sands, the trucking firm’s supervisor of tooling, service bay expertise and optimization, mentioned cellular column lifts supply ­larger flexibility and adaptableness and will be moved to totally different bays, and even to a buyer’s location.

“Shifting it round would permit us to be extra productive with much less gear doubtlessly the place, for instance, we may elevate the car to desired peak with a cellular column raise, put it on particular jack stands for that software, after which use it in one other software,” Sands mentioned.

These benefits have enabled Penske to achieve its productiveness targets. They’re vital qualities for an organization the place 10,400 technicians preserve 416,000 autos at greater than 900 truck leasing areas in North America.

Penske, which ranks No. 15 on the Transport Matters High 100 checklist of the most important for-hire carriers in North America, does use stationary two-post and four-post lifts at some areas, however these are primarily for autos aside from heavy-duty ones. The corporate didn’t attain its conclusions by happenstance. Numerous raise sorts have been examined at Penske’s Expertise and Training Middle (PTEC), in Studying, Pa. The info confirmed cellular column lifts finest met its wants.

Michael V. Rozzi, product supervisor for heavy-duty lifting gear for producer Automobile Service Group, mentioned cellular column lifts are the most important and quickest rising raise market phase for heavy-duty trucking. Their reputation has grown due to their flexibility. Cell column lifts don’t need to be put in or bolted to the ground. They can be utilized to create an out of doors bay on a sturdy concrete pad, and will be saved when not in use.

“These actually don’t have the monetary affect in your backside line as a result of lowered set up prices,” Rozzi mentioned. “You should purchase these, wheel them into your store and begin utilizing them.”

Platform lifts and four-post lifts have their very own benefits, together with ease of use and comfort, he added. Automobiles will be pushed onto and off of them, so they’re good for preventive upkeep and inspections.

Two-post lifts are a bit cheaper and versatile. They’ll deal with a wide range of autos inside a fleet, and likewise give technicians easy accessibility to wheels and brakes. Nonetheless, they aren’t as handy for inspections and preventive upkeep due to the time required for setup.

Rozzi identified that lifts, no matter their sort, have benefits over old style creepers. Lifts are extra ergonomic and might cut back technician accidents. Fleets with lifts will discover it simpler to search out certified technicians at a time when these are in brief provide, he defined.

R.W. “Bob” O’Gorman, president of the Automotive Raise Institute (ALI), mentioned there have been many adjustments within the lifting business the previous few years. Extra producers are providing two-post floor lifts to serve medium-duty vans. Producers are incorporating extra electronics so as to add options.

There additionally has been an elevated emphasis on annual inspections. ALI recommends annual full inspections by an ALI-approved inspector, however fleets ought to think about producer suggestions and their use patterns to find out in the event that they want nearer intervals. A complete Check360 Licensed Raise Inspection — performed by an ALI-­licensed raise inspector — will meet all ALI security customary necessities. The inspector will apply to the raise a serialized label indicating it handed.

O’Gorman encourages fleets to purchase solely ALI-certified lifts which were independently examined by a nationally accredited testing laboratory. Putting in uncertified lifts is a violation of the Worldwide Constructing Code, in addition to state and native laws.

Whereas Penske is way alongside in its lift-purchasing technique, Yellow has began shifting in that path. The corporate generally known as YRC Worldwide till 2021 has been reorganizing and streamlining its upkeep practices after buying a number of regional carriers. It ranks No. 10 on TT’s High 100 for-hire checklist.

Mike Grima, Yellow’s vp of kit companies, mentioned the corporate is planning a significant funding in lifts within the coming years after it evaluates which of its amenities can accommodate them. It at present is utilizing primarily creepers and jacks.

Grima mentioned Yellow might be including four-post lifts all through its community to create a drive-on, drive-off meeting line surroundings just like the one he operated at a earlier service. Vehicles will drive ahead onto twin ramps with out having to again on or off.

Chris Carter, vp of upkeep at XPO, mentioned when his firm selects a raise, it considers each its present and future wants. Factoring into the choice are ease of operation, ergonomics, the flexibility to reposition cellular lifts, and different issues. XPO ranks No. 3 on TT’s High 100 for-hire checklist, and No. 6 on the Transport Matters High 100 checklist of the most important logistics corporations in North America.

“Most significantly, ask the technicians what they like since they’re those working with the gear and perceive what’s wanted to service autos most effectively and safely,” he added.

Raise Tools Issues

Rozzi mentioned fleets buying lifting gear ought to perceive what companies are required of their store. The store supervisor may need a totally different sort of raise in every bay that’s devoted to a sure sort of service — for instance, a platform raise for preventive upkeep in a single bay and a two-post raise for wheel work in one other. They need to search for a producer with a community that may present service after the sale and, if attainable, has a service location close by. The producer ought to supply coaching earlier than the raise is commissioned by its installer community.

Rozzi mentioned fleets ought to think about the place their enterprise might be going, not merely the place it’s at that time.

“The varieties of companies that your facility performs or will carry out sooner or later are vital issues when selecting your lifts,” he mentioned. “Usually, what we see is the gear is getting greater and heavier and might do extra, so should you’re trying three, 5 to 10 years down the highway, chances are you’ll wish to look the place your store needs to be at then, since you’re going to be proudly owning this gear for some time.”

A future consideration for some heavy-duty fleets — and a rising present one for some medium- and light-duty fleets — is how a lot they plan to make use of electrical autos. Lifts that work with inner combustion engine-powered vans received’t essentially be an excellent match for electrical ones due to the battery’s location beneath the cab, Rozzi mentioned.

Penske has already began utilizing light-, medium- and heavy-duty electrical autos, together with Class 8 Freightliner eCascadias, which can be being serviced at its amenities. The PTEC facility works with producers to resolve the way it might want to adapt earlier than the product hits the sphere.

As soon as a fleet has chosen and put in a raise, it should preserve and function it correctly. Raise producers embody preventive upkeep time frames of their operations manuals. As a part of Grima’s earlier firm’s routine upkeep schedule, inspections have been achieved by firm workers skilled by raise producers, whereas repairs have been vended out. Technicians have been searching for frayed cables and leaking cylinders, and have been guaranteeing all 4 corners have been partaking concurrently.

As for each day operations, Rozzi mentioned a standard mistake technicians make isn’t utilizing correct lifting factors. O’Gorman warned towards overloading a raise past its rated load capability. Eradicating heavy parts after a car is within the air can alter its heart of gravity and trigger it to shift. Excessive-reach car help or supplementary stands may also help stabilize the car. Different frequent errors embody improperly loading the car onto the raise, failing to chock the wheels on a drive-on raise, and utilizing home made adapters like wooden blocks.

“The answer to most of those frequent errors is operator coaching and placing security first, not taking shortcuts,” he mentioned.

XPO trains technicians to do pre-check inspections not solely earlier than every shift however earlier than every use, Carter mentioned. Technicians verify that the lifts are correctly positioned and that adequate area is obtainable. The method is repeated when the car is lowered. Errors will be averted by offering technicians with correct coaching and constant checkpoints, corresponding to utilizing a spotter to make sure autos are correctly aligned when driving onto a raise. Technicians are skilled to make sure lifts are positioned on the correct peak to allow them to transfer safely beneath them. Additionally they are skilled to make sure weight rankings can at all times be recognized on gear as a result of raise decals can simply put on off.

“Lastly, and this may occasionally appear to be an apparent one, we prioritize holding retailers clear and arranged always,” Carter mentioned. “This helps to advertise a tradition of store security that reinforces the secure use of lifts.”

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