When Tesco needed a method of loading and unloading its fleet of new high capacity double deck trailers, used to transfer goods between distribution depots, the solution came from Easilift Loading Systems.
Working with a major UK lift supplier, they developed a modular loading system, incorporating a scissor lift housed in a pod and designed to integrate with Tesco fixed floor double deck trailers.
The free-standing pods are installed on the outside of the existing loading bays, flush to the external wall of the distribution depot, minimising disruption and avoiding the loss of internal floor area. The fabricated side and roof frames are clad with insulated wall panels to create a sealed working environment.
Easilift electrically-operated sectional overhead Powerdoors are fitted to the front and rear of each pod. The loading bay equipment specialist also supplied double deck rubber bumpers, an inflatable dock shelter, traffic lights, two sets of dock lights and fluorescent pod lights with each installation.
Easilift industrial doors are made to measure and can be adapted to suit almost every available space, incorporating optional vision panels or employee pass doors.
Initially, Tesco required a scissor lift with a 6,000Kg capacity capable of carrying 11 roll cages and an operator safely between vehicle decks and the loading dock, 1250mm above floor level. The platform of the scissor lift sourced by Easilift was 4,000mm long x 2,650mm wide.
To address Tesco's requirement for increased capacity and throughput capability an uprated lift has subsequently been developed with a 25,000Kg capacity that can carry 36 roll cages. This larger version is 8,750mm long x 4,050mm wide with a closed height of 800mm.
Operator safety is of paramount concern to Tesco. Vertically hinged personnel access barriers are fitted at the vehicle end of the scissor lift platform and these open outwards to provide a safety handrail on each side of the bridge plate to the vehicle. Easilift has also fitted seal pads close to the side of the bridge to eliminate any gaps, preventing falls from either side of the bridge.
The gates at the opposite end of the lift are fitted with electro and mechanical locks so they cannot be opened unless at the preset floor level. The lifts also have four-sided safety screens to enclose the mechanism when it's raised, and the height of the handrails on the larger models have been extended to 2m to prevent product falling from the lift.
The new, larger scissor lift incorporates an operator walkway along one side of the platform. This allows the operator to move safely from one end of the lift to the other while separated from the load.
Controls are fitted at either end of the lift so that the operator can stand in the safest position to suit the direction of travel.
A feature of the scissor lift is its ability to automatically position within 3mm of the preset dock height while loading and unloading, which ensures that cages can be safely rolled between the platform and the warehouse floor.
Nigel Drake, Distribution Development Project Manager at Tesco, said, “The Easilift pod system provides a safe and efficient means of loading roll cages onto our growing fleet of double deck trailers, and removes the need for vehicle mounted lifts”.
“Following the initial successful implementation of the system at a number of our depots, we have worked with Easilift to develop the design of the larger 36 cage lift, which is now incorporated into the design of new depots in addition to the continuing retro-fit programme.”
Phil Dinning, Managing Director of Easilift Loading Systems Ltd said: “As one of Europe's foremost manufacturers and suppliers of high quality loading bay equipment for over 30 years, we clearly recognise that the loading bay is a vital link in the logistics chain. If the loading system fails for any reason, goods cannot be received or despatched, causing delays in the production cycle”.
“The selection, quality and correct installation of the loading bay equipment is therefore extremely important to ensure continued trouble-free operation. Our own engineers are fully trained to carry out all the necessary installation work”.
“However, our commitment to quality and reliability does not end with the installation, but continues long after through the provision of planned maintenance contracts and the availability of engineers to provide fast and efficient service”.
Easilift supplies everything necessary for the safe, efficient and profitable operation of loading bays, including dock levellers, dock shelters, dock seals, dock pods, doors, high speed doors, vehicle restraints and lifting platforms, together with a complete range of accessories and safety aids such as dock plates & bumpers, wheel guides, traffic light and integrated control systems.
Further details of their market-leading loading bay equipment range can be obtained from: Easilift Loading Systems Ltd, Spring Grove, Penistone Road, Kirkburton, Huddersfield, HD8 0PL. Tel: 0845 130 1920 (local rate). Fax: 01484 601401. Email: email@example.com