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Safer panel handling

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High Voltage electrical installation specialist Grosvenor Power Services has recently purchased one of CTE’s Pianoplan battery powered tracked load carrying machine. The company uses the Pianoplan to handle heavy and bulky electrical panels safely and efficiently into buildings and through doorways where alternative equipment or manual handling is impossible or inappropriate.


“It’s the ideal tool for what we are doing,” said John Martin, director of Grosvenor Power Services. “It’s gone down very well with our clients who understood the problems we faced in the past but now see that we have been prepared to make a capital investment to provide a safe solution.”

Grosvenor Power Services installs large format electrical switchgear and control boards in substations operated by the National Grid and other power companies. From its base in Manchester the company undertakes contracts throughout the UK on behalf of many of the leading manufacturers. The panels can be up to 2.2m high which is taller than the doors in some of the older buildings where the equipment must be installed. The only practical option has been to lay the panel down so that it will pass through the opening. Manual handling is not possible because the panels can weigh up to 500kg.


“We’ve had this problem for a number of years,” said Martin. “We cannot manually tip and lift the panels because it’s too dangerous and we wouldn’t comply with current Health and Safety Regulations.”


The Pianoplan is a battery powered tracked load carrier for handling items weighing up to 600kg safely and efficiently, including up stairs and steps. Three different models are available with horizontal and vertical platen plates to provide users with complete versatility and flexibility for all types of load. The model used by Grosvenor has a hydraulically-actioned sliding top platen that can be powered between the horizontal and vertical positions. This allows loads to be strapped to the vertical plate and then lowered down to the horizontal position so that they can pass through doorways. Two 65Ah batteries and twin controlled drive motors enable the Pianoplan to climb up to 50 floors between recharges.


Martin had read about the Pianoplan’s ability to climb stairs with a heavy load and recognised the device offered a potential solution for their specific application requirement. After he contacted CTE the company offered to lend its demonstration model for an on-the-job trial. This was so successful Grosvenor kept and bought that particular machine. It has already used the Pianoplan on more than ten projects where its unique capabilities have proved invaluable.


The compact design, 540 x 1280mm working width and length, and an internal roller lifting system mean the Pianoplan can operate in tight spaces and landings as narrow as 850mm. It is light enough, weighing no more than 320kg, to be transported on a range of vehicles. Grosvenor Power uses an ordinary pick-up equipped with a standard tail lift.



0116 286 6743

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