Home > JLG Liftpod Helps Keep the RFDS in the Air

JLG Liftpod Helps Keep the RFDS in the Air

Supplier News
article image (L-R) Stan New, QLD State Manager JLG, Nino Di Marco, CEO RFDS and Owen McInnes, QLD Sales Manager JLG

JLG Liftpod  is designed and manufactured by JLG Industries, Inc., a specialist provider of access equipment such as aerial work platforms, telehandlers and complementary accessories.  

The company has donated a JLG LiftPod single person access lift to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) to assist them in the maintenance of their aircraft.  

What began as a dream of Reverend John Flynn, a minister with the Presbyterian Church has evolved into a world renowned healthcare service to remote and rural Australian communities.  

Until the 1960s, the service rarely owned its own aircraft, relying on contractors to provide aircraft, pilots and servicing.  

Today, the RFDS has a fleet of 53 fully instrumented aircraft operating out of 21 bases across Australia. Its pilots annually fly the equivalent of 25 round trips to the moon and its doctors and flight nurses are responsible for the care of nearly 270,000 patients.  

While supported by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, the RFDS also relies heavily on fundraising and donations from the community and private companies to purchase and medically-equip its aircraft (at a cost of more than $7 million each) as well as other capital initiatives.  

One such donation has been a JLG LiftPod single person access lift to assist in the maintenance of RFDS aircraft.  

JLG Industries Sales Manager, Queensland, Owen McInnes was contacted by the RFDS Queensland with an enquiry about the LiftPod to ascertain if it would meet the varying needs of the service engineers.  

“When I discussed helping out the service with our State Manager Stan New, we decided that rather than give them a good price we would donate a LiftPod.  

“The entire management team and staff at JLG Industries are very excited and proud that we have in a small way contributed to what is essentially an iconic Australian healthcare service,” Owen said.  

Key features of JLG LiftPod single person access lifts:

  • Constructed from lightweight aircraft quality aluminium
  • The three main components – base, mast and platform – have a total weight of just 70 kilograms
  • Can be assembled and disassembled in less than one minute by a single operator without any tools
  • 600mm x 500mm work platform with a 150kg rated load capacity
  • Handy work tray enabling easy access to tools and materials
  • Designed for the user to work safely, confidently and productively with two hands at varying heights up to 4.4 metres

Currently there are 17 RFDS aircraft in Queensland operating from seven bases throughout the state. The Brisbane base has two permanent aircraft. In addition to the maintenance requirements for these, the base also sees a large turnaround of aircraft from other RFDS bases in and out of Brisbane.  

John Williams, Manager Engineering Operations RFDS QLD said, “For RFDS aircraft, there are 1200 individual maintenance requirements. Scheduled servicing is dependent on flying hours, the number of landings and date related inspection intervals.  

“We were looking for a more efficient way of completing maintenance on the high tail sections of our aircraft and after researching the LiftPod, contacted JLG for further information.  

“The JLG team were incredibly helpful right from my initial enquiry,” said John. “And when they came back with an offer to donate a LiftPod we were overwhelmed.”  

The RFDS is situated on the operational side of the Brisbane airport next to the domestic and international terminals, whereas the maintenance is conducted on the opposite side of the main runway.  

John explained that previously if a navigational tail globe, which is four metres from the ground, was to blow, the aircraft would have to be towed from the operational side of the airport to the service hangar across busy runways, taking hours to complete a simple 10-minute job.  

With the LiftPod, the job can be completed within a few minutes while the aircraft is at the operational side of the airport.  

“We’re very impressed with the equipment,” said John, “It’s safe, easy to use and very quick, adding to efficiency and OHS as it eliminates the current method of access to the tail such as scaffolding and ladders.”  

Advantages include:

  • Ideal for restricted work access areas such as aircraft hangars
  • Can elevate and lower an operator up to 20 times on a single battery charge
  • Using a spare battery and two-hour charger, both supplied as standard, the LiftPod can operate in locations without electrical power

 

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