Pressure Mounts on Fleet Maintenance Facilities in 2018 to Go Even Greener

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New Technologies in Bus and Truck Engines to Spur Repair Shops to Follow Suit

EARTHLIFT, mobile lift, portable lift, mobile column, green, heavy duty

Stertil-Koni's EARTHLIFT is made from 98% recyclable materials and its closed hydraulic system contains 100% recyclable bio-degradable fluid and batteries

With cleaner running commercial vehicle use on the rise, maintenance facilities across North America are also increasingly taking into consideration new ways to modernize their shops.

As heavy duty trucks and buses increasingly feature cleaner-burning, more fuel-efficient engines, a new industry overview by heavy duty vehicle lift leader Stertil-Koni reveals that the maintenance facilities in which these vehicles are serviced and the equipment used to repair them will also be under even greater pressure to go more green in 2018.

On the vehicle front, big changes have already taken place: semi-trucks, refuse vehicles, transit buses and other heavy duty vehicles are now available in all-electric, fuel-cell or hybrid models. What’s more, thousands of battery-powered semi-trucks have been ordered by large commercial fleets such as Wal-Mart and J.B. Hunt, and progressive manufacturers such as Volvo, BYD and Tesla are broadening their product lines.

On a more granular level, prominent industrial manufacturer Cummins, traditionally a diesel-engine maker, recently debuted its electric Urban Hauler Tractor, a Class 7 semi-truck with a 44,000-pound payload capacity. And, in the commuter coach industry, BYD has already deployed 137, 45-foot battery-electric buses across the U.S., and has 27,000 electric buses currently in service around the world.

The trend is clear. According to a recent Navigant Research Report, hybrid and electric powertrain populations in commercial vehicles will increase, with volumes expected to grow from about 125,500 today to 1.66 million over the next decade. What’s more, some believe that may be a conservative estimate.

In addition, almost all agree that the pressure to go green in commercial transportation is moving up and down the food chain – all at warp speed.

Noted Dr. Jean DellAmore, president of Stertil-Koni, “With cleaner running commercial vehicle use on the rise, maintenance facilities across North America are also increasingly taking into consideration new ways to modernize their shops. That’s why we’re seeing more LEED certified service shops and other sustainable approaches, such as the use of grey water, solar panels and more efficient lighting options – all contributing to healthier and more ecologically conscious, sustainable structures and workplaces.”

For its part, DellAmore stresses that at Stertil-Koni, the company takes green initiatives very seriously. “As part of our mission to provide the broadest range of high performance heavy duty vehicle lifting systems for our customers, we also strive to deliver powerful options for our customers to go green.”

He continued, “I believe that all lift companies share a responsibility to help reduce transportation costs, boost energy conservation, while simultaneously reducing the level of waste, byproducts, and pollution.”

The company’s mobile column lifts and inground systems provide a case in point.

Consider: The Stertil-Koni EARTHLIFT is widely recognized to be the first green hydraulic wireless mobile column lift in the industry. Its columns are made from 98% recyclable materials and its closed hydraulic system contains 100% recyclable bio-degradable fluid and batteries. It also employs an Active Energy Retrieval System to deliver 35% more lifting cycles at maximum load – thus reducing the need for charging and increasing shop productivity.

In terms of inground lifts, the Stertil-Koni ECOLIFT broke new ground as the original ultra-shallow, full-rise inground axle-engaging scissor lift. “It offers high-pressure, low volume cylinders requiring only 3.5 gallons of hydraulic fluid each, thereby reducing its carbon footprint,” stated Peter Bowers, technical sales support manager at the company. “ECOLIFT also features an ultra-shallow pit design that is a mere 34 inches in depth and has a free-standing console with a touch-screen control for easy access and quick maintenance.”

The greening of the vehicle lift business doesn’t stop there. DIAMONDLIFT, Stertil-Koni’s state-of-the-art inground telescopic piston lift -- with a capacity of up to 35,000 lbs. per piston -- requires a mere 4.5 gallons of biodegradable hydraulic fluid per piston, and in the popular “cassette” version, delivers DiamondGuard protection to thwart electrolysis and corrosion while ensuring that hazardous workshop fluids are fully contained.

But there’s more.

Because the new, greener engines typically run up to 50% hotter than conventional engines, the requirement to periodically clean the undercarriages – particularly in the cold winter months when salt and grime can accumulate – becomes ever more pressing. If not addressed, engine life can be unnecessarily cut short.

To counter this challenge, Stertil-Koni offers several water-resistant heavy duty lifting systems including a Wash Bay version of the SKYLIFT – a true vertical rise, clear floor concept platform lift. Featuring hot-dip galvanized platforms, its three-layer mono-pox coating and stainless steel control box provide superior water protection for its electronic controls.

“In conclusion,” DellAmore stated, “the commercial transportation industry has made tremendous progress in terms of going green. From more efficient engines and new fuels, to the latest maintenance facility advances and designs, the growth is impressive. Still, we’re far from done and I believe 2018 will be a year of tremendous opportunity in terms of improving the environment and serving our customer base at the same time. At Stertil-Koni, we’re excited about the opportunity and ready to make substantive contributions to this effort in the year ahead.”

About Stertil-Koni
Stertil-Koni, a brand of the Stertil Group, is the global market leader in heavy duty vehicle liftsbus lifts and truck lifts – and is the preferred supplier to the world’s leading companies in the truck and bus industries. Stertil-Koni's breadth of products meets all ranges of lifting needs and includes mobile column lifts, two-post, four-post, inground piston lifts, platform lifts, and its innovative axle-engaging, inground, scissor lift configuration, ECOLIFT. The DIAMONDLIFT is now available in a “frame” version, engineered specifically for concrete foundations and ideal for replacement situations. Stertil-Koni is especially well known for its portable lifts (mobile columns) and high-performance in-ground and platform lifting systems. Stertil-Koni USA is headquartered in Stevensville, Maryland. Stertil-Koni has production facilities in Europe, in The Netherlands, and in the USA in Streator, Illinois.

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Paul Feldman
Stertil-Koni
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