The MAP3 mobile access platform resulted from collaboration between Abex and Top-Tec. The two Birmingham-based companies combined their specialist knowledge to create a mobile access platform which has set a new standard for safety while working at height in the maintenance and repair of buses and coaches.
Fork lift truck distributor ABEX and TOP-TEC, a manufacturer of industrial fork lift attachments and platforms, came together to solve a specific customer need. National Express identified that jobs such as replacing windscreens, maintaining and replacing heavy items such as air conditioning units and general bodywork repairs required personnel to be working at height for extended periods.
The methods historically used included fork extensions, scissor lifts and scaffold towers – all of which attracted safety concerns. Utilising their expertise, ABEX and TOP- TEC set out to create a best practice solution which would deliver a significant step forward in safety.
The resulting MAP3 is not a fork lift truck attachment but an integral, composite machine. As a unitary power and platform unit, the MAP3 can be controlled from the platform enabling greater staff efficiency and pinpoint accuracy in positioning, as well as providing a wider platform that extends across the whole front of a bus or coach. Other built-in safety features include an electrical cut-out which stops the platform being moved while the front gates are open, extending side rails and quick-change profiles enabling the platform to be matched to the shape of individual bus designs. The MAP3 can also fold to create a narrower unit.
The product of hard work, vision and problem solving displayed by both companies this new machine is best summed up by Graham Livesey, Engineering Manager at National Express, Acocks Green depot. He said: “The ABEX MAP3 is definitely safer than our previous repair methods and has had a very positive impact on our maintenance procedures and is saving us time on high level repairs”.