The Stertil-Koni SKYLIFT platform gives access to the center frame rails of a raised electric school bus, where battery packs and drive motors can be found. - Photo courtesy of Stertil-Koni

The Stertil-Koni SKYLIFT platform gives access to the center frame rails of a raised electric school bus, where battery packs and drive motors can be found.

Photo courtesy of Stertil-Koni

Twin Rivers (Calif.) Unified School District selected the Stertil-Koni SKYLIFT to provide undercarriage access for the district’s 40 electric school buses.

The district has a combined fleet of 125 vehicles, with a mix of combustion-engine and electric, with unique contrasts when it comes to maintenance.

  • Electric vehicles require fewer brake services, as regenerative braking reduces brake component wear.
  • Electric vehicles don’t need routine oil changes but may require servicing for battery coolant systems.
  • Undercarriage vehicle access for electric vehicles is critical, as drive motors, batteries, and control devices are located beneath the vehicle.
  • Weight distribution in electric vehicles varies greatly to account for battery packs.
  • Electric vehicle construction may vary by manufacturer, with some built on standalone, purpose-built fiberglass chassis requiring special attention to lifting points.

“Keeping the high-voltage systems safe is vital,” said Raymond Manalo, vehicle maintenance manager for the Twin Rivers district. “These vehicles require complete undercarriage access for inspection and repair of battery packs, wiring, and thermal management systems.”

The SKYLIFT design includes two independent runways, vertical lifting, no crossbeams, no overhang, no base frame, hydraulic technology, and a mechanical locking system, with free access to the vehicle from all sides. It also grants immediate access to the center frame rails of the raised bus, where battery packs and drive motors can be found in new-generation electric vehicles.

Twin Rivers USD chose a flush-mount SKYLIFT, but it’s installed in surface-mount configuration while a new, larger facility is built. Ultimately, the district can easily relocate the platform to its new home. Sacramento-based Municipal Maintenance Equipment provided the on-site expertise to get the SKYLIFT installed.

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