£6.5 million pound Tesco installation is biggest ever for Easilift 22 July 2011

The loading bay at Tesco's new grocery distribution centre in Daventry has now been completed, with Easilift Loading Systems installing the equipment under a project worth in excess of £6.5 million.

Working with Tesco and main contractor Volker Fitzpatrick, Easilift project managed the installation of 40 double deck lifting platforms and 100 dock leveller bays, all housed in external loading pods.

Duncan Robertson, project manager at Tesco, says the high specification of the build, together with the complex design issues and tight programme required significant attention to detail.

"Easilift has proven its abilities in the past, and we knew that by involving them in the process from the start, we could maximise resources to deliver a robust loading bay environment on a scale never attempted before in UK distribution," explains Robertson.

For example, spatial restrictions at yard level meant that the double deck bays had to be constructed in pairs. This arrangement created a tandem pod around a single walkway to ensure safe and easy operator access and egress, he says.

Each of the 40 double deck bays incorporates a heavy duty, surface mounted 16,000kg lifting platform, capable of carrying up to 30 roll cages. The lifts are located within external modular pods, manufactured and partially preassembled at Easilift's Huddersfield factory, prior to delivery and final on-site erection using a 60-tonne crane.

This approach equated to a 60% reduction in installation time for this particular element, when compared with previous lift installations.

The dock leveller bays comprise 96 Type 232 PoweRamp hinged lip units and four Type 233 PoweRamp telescopic lip units, with each bay comprising a modular loading pod, a Type 403 PowerShelter and a 601 PowerDoor.

Ancillary equipment supplied throughout all bays includes environmentally friendly LED traffic and loading dock lighting, pod lights, fully integrated control panels and heavy-duty slider bumpers.

Additionally, in line with Tesco's site safety requirements, all goods in bays were fitted with the new dock management system, developed by Easilift and Traka. This management reporting and safety system is designed to prevent the premature departure of vehicles from the loading bay.

Brian Tinham

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Easilift Loading Systems Ltd

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