by Petra Lugner | Mar 28, 2022
Pfaff Verkehrstechnik is increasingly supplying its recently launched access platforms for bus roof maintenance to municipal bus operators throughout Europe, for example, as far away as Norrköping, a Swedish city in the province of Östergötland. The roof working platforms recently installed there are used to carry out maintenance and repair work safely and efficiently on the roofs and windows of the municipal bus operator's vehicles. Pfaff Verkehrstechnik has already delivered several such systems to Swedish companies as Sweden is one of the pioneers in electromobility, and the electrically powered buses frequently used there require more maintenance than diesel-powered buses.
In principle, Pfaff Verkehrstechnik can flexibly adapt its newly designed access platforms to any bus fleet thanks to different segment lengths based on the modular principle, regardless of whether they are simple 12 m buses, double-decker buses or 18 m articulated buses. The bus company in Norrköping now uses two connected, individually extendable access platforms, each 9.6 m long, on three lifting jacks on each side of the vehicle for maintenance on both sides of the bus. This ensures that for an overall vehicle length of almost 20 m, there is a continuously accessible walkway at the height of the windows all the way up to the roof of the vehicle. Workers can move freely and safely over the entire walkway width of 755 mm.
Convenient access via stairs with secured gate
The platform combinations can be adjusted in height as required. For this purpose, three stationary lifting jacks are firmly mounted on each side on the workshop floor. This structure supports the two working platforms with two electrically driven extension modules, which extend 500 mm within 40 seconds and thus connect seamlessly to the bus. They form a continuously accessible walkway at the desired height and ensure flexible working from the windows to the roof in the range from 1,000 mm to 3,900 mm. In addition, an accessible bridge with a maximum clearance of 3,270 mm can be attached to the opposite platforms in front of and behind the bus in order to work on the front or rear window of the vehicle or to get from one side of the vehicle to the other.
Access is via stairs with height-variable steps and a secure access gate at the side of the system. An adjustable railing at the front and rear provides ergonomic all-round fall protection in the complete working area, regardless of which fleet vehicle is in the work bay.
New challenges presented by electric mobility
The environmentally-minded country of Sweden is considered a pioneer in the growing electromobility market. In contrast to conventional buses, which run on diesel and require hardly any work on the roof, electric buses require more maintenance work on the roof, as the electrics and heavy technical components, such as battery packs, as well as fuse boxes, inverters and air conditioning systems, are located there for the sake of comfort. These components require regular maintenance. Due to the rounded plastic roofs, there are special hazards and challenges for the maintenance crew. The new roof working platforms from Pfaff Verkehrstechnik ensure maximum safety and ergonomics for all bus variants – maintenance workers feel as safe on them as they do on the ground.
Safety for fleet operators
Thanks to the new solution from Pfaff Verkehrstechnik, municipal bus operators can ensure safe working conditions even with mixed fleets of diesel, hybrid and electric buses, without damaging the vehicles with improvised safety measures. The flexibly adaptable roof working platforms set high safety standards, by minimising hazardous areas where people could fall and providing all-around ergonomic access to the vehicle roof. They provide fleet operators with modern, safe and reliable mobility. Due to short set-up times, the vehicles are quickly ready for operation again, and their operating times in transport use are extended.
For more information on Pfaff Verkehrstechnik and the products, see: https://www.columbusmckinnon.com/en-us/our-brands/Pfaff-silberblau/rail_and_road_technology/
Images and captions
Image 1: Bus access platforms from Pfaff Verkehrstechnik facilitate maintenance and servicing work on buses
Image 2: Especially in the case of electric buses, more maintenance work is required on the roof, because components are located there that need to be serviced regularly.
Image 3: Pfaff Verkehrstechnik roof working platforms set high safety standards and allow all-round ergonomic access to the vehicle roof
Image 4: There are two extendable access platforms on three lifting jacks on each side of the bus
Engineered Products GmbH
Press: Petra Lugner
Whether turnkey lifting systems for trains and buses, spindle lifting elements, electromechanical components of linear drive technology or hoists
for steel and heavy industry, logistics, stage technology, offshore installations and ATEX areas.
Customers worldwide benefit from our products, services and complete solutions from project planning to maintenance.
Pfaff Verkehrstechnik is expanding its product portfolio to include solutions for servicing and maintenance work on the roofs of a wide variety of buses, primarily on electrically and gas-powered vehicles. The new roof working platforms with an adjustable height of 1.5 m to 4.5 m can be flexibly adapted to the respective bus fleet due to different segment lengths of 3 m to 9 m according to the modular principle, regardless of whether it is simple buses with 12 m, double-decker buses with 14 m or articulated buses with 18 m length.
BLS, a railway operating company in Switzerland, has equipped the modernised plant in Spiez with lifting jacks from Pfaff Verkehrstechnik for the maintenance of the latest generation of multiple units. Thanks to the wireless control of the entire lifting jack system via a WLAN infrastructure, flexibility during maintenance work is increased and there are no longer any troublesome control cables on the ground.
The 16 Pfaff-silberblau lifting jacks each have a load capacity of 25 tonnes and can lift and lower entire multiple units with a total weight of up to 400 tonnes and a total length of up to 105 metres for maintenance purposes, for example the well-known 4-carriage multiple-unit train “Mutz” with a total weight of 217 tonnes. Thanks to the new system, which can be extended to include further lifting jacks, the modernised workshops in Spiez will also be able to service 6-carriage multiple units in future.