Working at height blog

Posted by Kate Langwick on Aug 3, 2012

HLS is featured in Handling & Storage Solutions

HLS were thrilled to be asked to provide a case study for feature in the July/August edition of respected industry press title Handling & Storage Solutions. The feature, on the PB Lift and how it is helping PoundStretcher to deliver quality and value through their warehousing facility in West Yorkshire.

PoundStretcher is a discount retailer providing value and variety through its network of 400 stores within the UK. Within the busy PoundStretcher distribution centre working at height is a major consideration of both stock control and general facilities management.

The DC is a large high-bay facility with pallet racking up to fifteen metres; the centre combines both narrow and wide aisles.  The PoundStretcher team needs access to the full height of the racking, to enable stock picking, stock counting, and pallet rescue.  Any solution provided needs to take into account the narrowest aisles, and must be able to turn easily from one aisle into the next.

The sheer size of the facility is also an issue, there are long distances to travel, and having the ability to reach the work area both swiftly and safely is of paramount importance. Finally, PoundStretcher wanted to carry out maintenance works to the interior and exterior of the facility, which would help them to save on both the time and cost implications of bringing in external resource.


Technical Situation

HLS carried out a full site survey, and in conjunction with PoundStretcher employees, identified the full extent of the requirement for access.  PoundStretcher were keen to use one piece of equipment for each of the tasks that they wished to carry out at height, reducing the demands on the business for resource, and also the storage space required to house the equipment. 

The demand was therefore for a platform giving up to 17m working height (to allow access to lighting and other overhead services), with a large platform area to accommodate stock and other materials.  The platform had to have the capability to run across large distances and carry out multiple lift cycles on one charge, and to have a drive speed suited to the distances required to be travelled - these requirements are essential to the continued efficient running of this key facility. 

The ability to drive the platform once elevated was also essential, to allow the operator full access to pallets for rescue and stock checking without any risk of over-reaching.  Finally, the platform needed to be stable even at full extension, whether on the flat level ground within the DC, or when being used on the outside of the building,  to give the operator a solid base from which to work, regardless of the working height.

HLS recommended a PB Lifttechnik self-propelled narrow-aisle scissor lift with fully automated self-leveling system.  The PB machine features:

  • Optimum manoeuvrability - ideal for working in narrow aisles, and for turning between them

  • High capacity, large platform to accommodate both operators and materials / stock

  • Simple operations & precise controls - giving the operator the confidence to manoeuvre the machine in even the tightest of spaces

  • Exceptional stability, even at full elevation - allowing free movement within the platform for the operator

The S171-12ES model that we used for this application also features an automated self-leveling system which allows for outdoor working, even on slopes - this is ideal for working around warehouses and DCs where the ground may not be level.

We recommended the dual battery pack for the unit, to accommodate the high demands imposed by the large travel distances involved on this site. The PB features high drive, which is ideal for large DCs such as this one, and can also be driven when at height - reducing the number of lift/lower cycles required to carry out each task, and thus improving efficiency. Finally, the PB lift houses an on-board DigiConnect system which enables remote diagnostics, remote programming, and satellite tracking of the equipment.



The provision of the PB S171-12ES scissor lift has had the effect of increasing the productivity of operators, by reducing time spent driving and manoeuvreing the platform, and operator safety is improved by eliminating the need to over-reach with the elevated drive function.

Due to the dual battery pack, the availability of the machine to operators is increased, with the machine going longer between charges; coupled with a bespoke preventative maintenance regime administered by both the operators and HLS engineers, and the DigiConnect system, downtime on the machine is kept to a bare minimum, further improving productivity at the site.

 The provision of this solution to PoundStretcher involved:

  • Full site-survey completed by HLS in conjunction with PoundStretcher employees

  • HLS matching the PB product to the requirements of this site

  • Provision of further advice to supply relevant upgrades and options to fully optimise the benefits of the equipment for the operators

  • Provision of on-site training and familiarisation for operators of the equipment

  • Provision of ongoing service and maintenance support, in the UK, backed up by the German manufacturer

  • Provision of a trade-in service, to enable PoundStretcher to release the capital locked into existing, under-utilised equipment


Solution Partners

PB Lifttechnik manufacture the PB narrow-aisle scissor lifts. 


Topics: Scissor lift, Equipment, Warehouse, Case Study

Kate Langwick

Kate Langwick - Our commercial director, Kate likes everything to run smoothly, she ensures our systems & procedures are robust, and looks after all the back-up work that allows HLS to keep moving forward.

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