Edinburgh based, Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes Ltd has recently completed installation of an industry leading, roller brake tester for mobile cranes. The equipment, manufactured by VL Test Systems Ltd, represents the first of its type in the UK, operated by a civilian company.
The installation of heavy duty roller brake test equipment is to pre-empt forthcoming industry regulations, which will require mobile crane operators to provide certificates of maintenance and regular brake testing. “Multi axle mobile cranes are currently exempt for annual MOT testing as they are classed as plant equipment,” reports Mark Rafferty, Managing Director at Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes Ltd. “We have always deployed rigorous repair and maintenance schedules for our entire vehicle fleet and the new roller brake tester takes compliance and professional operating standards to a new level,” Mark adds.
Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes’ new VL Test Systems Ltd roller brake tester has a 20-tonne axle testing capacity and a 24-tonne maximum drive over weight. Equivalent to a VL Test Systems 20733 model, the new equipment has bi-directional brake testing capacity with twin source remote control, permitting complete one man operation. Combined in-ground scissors fitted to the roller brake testers can provide a 13-tonne axle weight to simulate load for applied brake testing to a height of 180mm.
The recently installed equipment can also weigh axles accurately and efficiently to ensure that each mobile crane, and indeed every LGV in this Edinburgh based operation, does not incur any overloading. “Our bigger mobile cranes can be set up in a wide variety of lifting specifications to suit each individual job. This situation requires careful monitoring of each axle load,” notes Mark adding, “Our largest mobile crane at present is a Liebherr 500 tonner. We can now check weigh the entire, eight axle rigid in just over ten minutes.”
The potential offered by this new equipment is substantial. “Standard roller brake test equipment within DVSA approved Authorised Testing facilities (ATfs) do not have the capacity to cater for large multi-axle mobile cranes. With that in mind, we have decided to offer a roller brake testing and axle weighing service to third party customers,” Mark informs.
In addition to the new roller brake testers, Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes is currently progressing with installation of VL Test Systems’ 9152 shaker plates. Their specification includes eight-way operation with 100mm travel in all directions to test steering linkages on vehicles with individual axle weights up to 16-tonnes. Once again safe operation is through an IR remote control. “The new equipment means we will be able to present our customers with up to the minute certificates of brake testing, axle weighing and maintenance, to provide proof of industry leading compliance and operating standards,” declares Mark.
Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes’ latest VTL Test Systems equipment is installed within the company’s main workshop building at 600 Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh. Located just a few hundred yards from the nearby Edinburgh City Bypass, Mark Rafferty hopes that the convenience of this location will encourage use by third party customers who regularly pass by. “The new roller brake tester equipment has also been inspected and approved by DVSA and we are also exploring the possibilities to offer that organisation use, if required, when conducting roadside checks in the area.”
Established in 1946, the family business of Bernard Hunter quickly became a recognised name in crane hire throughout Edinburgh, the Lothians and Central Scotland. Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes currently owns some of the most modern equipment within the industry, including Scotland’s first mobile tower cranes.
The company is now established as one of the main crane hire companies in the UK, thanks to its ongoing investment, alongside an unparalleled commitment to both its customers and employees. Currently the business operates a strategic variety of mobile cranes, ranging from Maeda crawler cranes to a Liebherr 500 tonne truck mounted mobile crane.