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Mackworth Vehicle Conversion Specialists handles loads with Penny Hydraulics

When Mackworth Vehicle Conversion Specialists needs a load handling solution for the commercial vehicles it supplies to customers across a range of sectors it turns to Penny Hydraulics. The two companies have developed a strong working relationship over the last decade and Penny Hydraulics is now Mackworth VCS’s preferred supplier of cranes and other load handling devices.

"Over the years Penny Hydraulics has provided us with many solutions for our blue clip customers," says Tom Dougall, Key Account Manager at Mackworth VCS. "They are friendly, reliable, consistent partners."

Mackworth VCS provides hi-tech van conversion and body building solutions to the rail, construction, utility, highways and service sectors. It produces a broad range of vehicles from car derived vans to 26t GVW trucks. The business has over 40 years of industry expertise and knowledge, having evolved from the merger of two long established vehicle conversion specialists.

As a specialist converter, Mackworth VCS often creates bespoke vehicles based on panel vans, drop-sides and tippers for its customers. These vehicles regularly require some form of load handling capability such as a compact crane or platform lift. The Penny Hydraulics range of Swing Lift cranes, with maximum working loads up to 2000kg, and the range of rear and side mounted platform lifts, with maximum working loads up to 500kg, presents an ideal option when configuring the vehicles.

"Mackworth VCS specifies Penny Hydraulics Swing Lift cranes and the other load handling equipment on many of our service, construction and utility vehicles because they provide a reliable and flexible product," says Tom Dougall.

One of the largest projects undertaken by the two companies has been the provision of more than 100 vehicles for a street lighting contractor which have all been delivered over the past three years. The customer needed to handle cable drums on and off its vehicles and Penny Hydraulics devised a unique version of its Load Lift platform lift.

When fitted inside the rear doors of a van the Load Lift performs a similar role to a conventional tail lift. Mounted inside the side door of a delivery vehicle it offers an excellent alternative in applications where a tail lift would be unsafe or impractical such as congested urban areas or when parking spaces are too short for convenient access to the rear doors. In each case the device fully retracts the load in to the vehicle with no need for manual handling. After use the unit retracts completely inside the vehicle and the platform can be folded up out of the way to leave an unobstructed load space. It does not restrict access to the load area, has little effect on payload capacity and does not need to be deployed to allow entry to the vehicle. No components or services are exposed on the exterior of vehicle. This reduces the risk of damage when the vehicle is moving and enhances security when it is stationary.

For this particular application the Load Lifts were equipped with a special platform which incorporated a roller-cradle and spindle that supported the reel and allowed cable to be wound and unwound during lighting installation and maintenance work. This avoided the need for electrical engineers to lift or handle the heavy drums by hand, enabling the customer to comply with manual handling regulations and fulfil its duty of care obligations. The Load Lifts were installed inside the customer’s vehicles during the conversions completed by Mackworth VCS.

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