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Safetech builds mammoth EWP on Scania truck

Gippsland-based engineering company, Safetech, has manufactured a massive elevated work platform (EWP) mounted on a Scania XT truck that is said to be highly-manoeuvrable on rough surfaces and ideal for in-situ maintenance of large mining equipment and infrastructure.

The 7.5-metre long platform has the capacity to rise up to 11 metres in height and also traverse or shift laterally as much as three metres, providing a safe base from which to attack servicing or repair work on a variety of machinery and installed infrastructure.

The Scania XT truck with its robust, off-road ability and mining-friendly features was said to be an ideal choice, and the mining operator reportedly runs a large number of Scania vehicles in support and service roles on-site.

The EWP has been configured to lift payloads of up to 1.5 tonnes, sitting securely on stout outriggers that descend directly from the chassis, rather than extending outwards, thus giving the platform a more compact footprint. The front of the truck is elevated off its wheels, while at the very rear, a pair of hydraulic outriggers support the truck as it sits on its rear wheels, or can be deployed further to lift the entire truck off the ground.

Electronic adjustment ensures the truck is perfectly levelled before platform extension to provide optimum stability.

Safetech reports this is the largest mobile EWP it has built to date, having also used 4WDs, light- and medium-duty trucks and underground mining vehicles as the base for smaller EWPs. The benefit of the Scania-based EWP is that the large platform can allow several technicians to work simultaneously, again helping to reduce downtime.

“One of the benefits for mining operators is that traditionally while working on the large mining excavators and haul trucks, the technicians have had to climb up stairways several times each day to access the service areas, while lugging all their gear and the service components,” said Safetech Business Development Manager, Chris White.

“This new platform will lift them directly to the correct height, so there will be much less potential for slips and strains. In addition, we have designed the safety gates to open wide enough so a forklift can load a pallet of service components onto the platform,” he said, adding that the platform can be left in an elevated position all day if necessary, allowing the maintenance crew to leave their tools and equipment in place if working on a particularly long job.

The build took around three months and was reportedly assisted by a high degree of preparation by the Scania factory to ensure the chassis was ready to accept the Australian body, including, for example, the correct power take-off (PTO) installation.

“This has been an intricate build,” said White. “We had to engineer the ladder system, the vehicle self-levelling system as well as the platform traverse system, the on-board controls and the hydraulics, so it has required a broad set of skills. However, we design, engineer and build many similar examples for use in mining and other markets.”

The Scania P 380 XT is fitted with a Day Cab and uses a 6x4 chassis configuration, powered by a Euro 5-compliant, six-cylinder engine. The truck weighs around nine tonnes and the platform and associated systems adds close to another six tonnes, easily allowing for a payload on the platform of up to 1.5 tonnes.

In addition to tie-downs, control panels and safety gates, the platform also boasts compressed air lines on retractable reels and work lights, as well as a non-slip extruded aluminium floor.

Safetech is a company highly regarded for innovation-led engineering and has received commendations for its work.

After being nominated among a field of prestigious competitors, Safetech was announced as Manufacturer of the Year in the Medium Business Category at this year’s Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards.

“To receive this honour from our peers is especially rewarding,” said a company spokesman.

“The Victorian Manufacturing Awards are judged by people involved in manufacturing and the winners are companies that have demonstrated sustained excellence in performance.”

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