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Transdek UK has launched a 20-tonne-capacity dock lift – the latest in the company’s range of double-deck loading systems.

The new lifts, which incorporate a number of energy-saving and reliability-enhancing features, are designed for the loading and unloading of both fixed and powered double-deck trailers at retail distribution centres and have already gone into operation with one supermarket chain.

With only a single ram to drive the lift platform up and down, the system benefits from a simplified mechanical operation, according to the company.

Leon Butler, the company’s operations director, said: ‘One of the main objectives in the development process has been to reduce the number of major components.

‘The more rams involved in a lift mechanism, the greater the likelihood of them working out of synch and tipping the load platform.

‘It is impossible for the lift to move out of synch with the single ram design – a factor that significantly improves operating reliability,’ he added.

The horizontal ram-mounting and rope-lifting mechanism allow the lift platform to lower to the ground without the unit being sunk into a pit.

This means that the equipment can be used for the cost-effective loading of low-floor (200mm) Continental stub axle double-deckers.

Butler continued: ‘We hope that this feature will encourage the increased double decking of goods from mainland Europe into the UK.

‘Because of the greater mileages involved, this offers even bigger pro-rata cost and environmental saving potential than domestic double decking,’ he added.

With a focus on improved green ideology, Transdek’s latest lifts also incorporate a number of other environmental design features.

High-frequency, low-power lights linked to motion sensors are installed as standard to minimise power usage, cutting electricity consumption for the lift lights by 81 per cent.

‘Per unit the cost savings are not massive but over a hundred units we estimate annual savings of GBP36,100 for our customers from the lighting modifications alone,’ said Butler.

Another new feature is the energy-efficient lower function, which, used in conjunction with the company’s dual-speed lift capability, saves up to 42 per cent on power usage.

Unlike some designs, which require the hydraulics motor to function continually on both lifting and lowering, the main motor on Transdek’s lift automatically switches off during lowering.

A series of high-efficiency 24V solenoids are sufficient to return the hydraulic fluid to the tank.

To assist with rapid maintenance and the smooth operation of the 20-tonne lifts, the company has also developed a pictogram light-emitting-diode fault-finding monitor display.

This provides operators with at-a-glance information relating to the operating and service status of the lift.

Specially designed lift gates provide a wider lift opening to facilitate optional loading by a powered pallet truck, enabling faster load handling with less manual handling.

The 8,900mm-long platform holds 30 roll cages and is reinforced to withstand the high point-load stresses generated by powered pallet truck operations.

As with other Transdek lifts, the new models are pre-built into loadhouses, along with all hydraulic mechanisms and electrical wiring.

Load testing is carried out prior to despatch so the lift pods can be quickly installed and commissioned at the customer’s warehouse.

Each lift unit is supplied in two sections – roof and base – that are lifted into position on location.

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