Back to top of page
Totalkare 2019
Back to previous page
July 11 2018
By Tim Deakin

Tim is Editor of routeone and has worked in both the coach and bus and haulage industries.

TotalKare vehicle lifts offer all-round solutions

Vehicle lifts are a vital part of fleet maintenance. They come in various configurations. TotalKare’s range includes both cabled and battery-powered examples backed up with a wide choice of support packages

The T8AC product requires one column to be plugged in to three-phase

Unless you contract out your fleet maintenance, it’s likely that you will have at least one set of vehicle lifts. They’re a vital part of maintaining roadworthiness.

It’s imperative that lifts are kept in tip-top condition. Supplier TotalKare has, in various forms, been active in the market for decades. Besides selling lifts, it also maintains those in the field regardless of manufacturer.

For the column lift PCV market, it has two core products. Both are hydraulic; the T8DC is a fully-mobile cable-free model that is battery-powered, and the T8AC runs off a 415v three-phase supply.

Besides working with operators across the country, TotalKare also supplies various vehicles dealers and independent workshops. Among the former is Arriva Bus and Coach (ABC). It has eight sets of TotalKare lifts at its Cleckheaton and Wellingborough premises.

All of those with ABC are covered by service and maintenance contracts. Efficient operation at all times is thus guaranteed, and any repairs are completed with minimal downtime. That’s also a key consideration for operators, where fleet utilisation hinges on effective maintenance.

Cabled option

The plug-in T8AC lift requires any one column to be connected to the three-phase supply. The remainder - and up to eight can be used in tandem - are ‘daisy-chained’ from it. No single column is the master. Any one can take up that function with the use of a transferable control box, but after the columns have been rearranged, it is necessary to walk around them and programme their positions relevant to the others.

TotalKare describes the T8DC as an intelligent lift. It has numerous safety aspects. If the vehicle lists even slightly - for example, if only three of four columns are taking power - it will stop automatically.

Additionally, there are numerous safety catches within the shafts. As the vehicle rises, they can be heard clicking into place. They release again when the lift is lowered.

Cordless alternative

TotalKare’s battery-powered T8DC cable-free lift has a particular application in mind. While the cabled T8AC can be moved when required, the supplier advises that if regular relocation is part of garage procedures, the T8DC is the optimum product.

T8DC charging is from a 240v wall socket; they have the same safety and connected functionality as the T8AC, but there is no cabling between columns. Instead, they communicate wirelessly.

TotalKare’s lifts allow efficient vehicle examination and are very versatile

Typically, a six-hour charge is required, but when the batteries have been entirely depleted that can extend to eight hours.

It’s important to note that not all columns drain the batteries at the same rate. Those that lift the heavier rear of a coach or bus will require charging sooner, as the motors within them do more work. Columns can be charged individually.

TotalKare points out that worries about batteries depleting and leaving vehicles high and dry are misplaced. No power is required to lower the lift.

One thing that TotalKare’s new products are not suitable for is use in wet conditions. While they can easily be moved outside - for example, when a double-decker needs to be raised and the workshop roof is not high enough - they must be kept dry.

For operators who do need to lift vehicles to perform chassis steam cleaning or other washing, TotalKare recommends the purchase of an older set of columns.

It always has a number of them in stock that have been traded in by buyers of new equipment. They are refurbished in-house at the Halesowen base and returned to the sales pool. As older lifts are less reliant on electronics than the latest models, if a cover is placed over the top of the column, they can be used either during washing or outside during inclement weather.

Of the pool of refurbished lifts, TotalKare says that it is usually able to provide what the buyer is looking for. Lifts of various ages are in stock, some of which may be nearly 30 years old. All receive any repairs necessary and they are load tested prior to sale.

Service contracts

New lifts come with a one-year warranty. Where a service contract is specified, that coverage is increased to two years. Once the warranty period expires, customers can roll over the service contract to suit their needs. Two levels of backup are available, priced accordingly..

One includes a discount on parts, free labour and no call-out or travel costs; the other does not. Both incorporate the required LOLER and PUWER inspections. TotalKare’s technicians can also service other manufacturers’ lifts.

It says that its experience and support capability are among the reasons why its customers vary in size from the large bus groups and the Ministry of Defence to small family operators - adding that it can deliver a package to meet the requirements of any buyer in between.

More like this...

Transport Benevolent Fund - 2018