All-electric tugs for Bury St Edmunds hospital

West Suffolk Hospital has taken delivery of six all-electric PT400 pedestrian tow tractor tugs from Bradshaw Electric Vehicles, which has been operating since 1976.

Leased on a five-year contract, with an option to extend, the PT400 pedestrian tow tractors have been acquired as a part of a fleet replacement programme, after their predecessors – a fleet of six PT300s also procured by West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust directly through Bradshaw almost a decade ago – had reached the end of their lifespan, having clocked up over 100,000 miles.

Boasting a four-tonne tow capacity and a ‘generous’ 500 kg payload, the new PT400s are specifically designed to tow large loads safely and effortlessly. Bradshaw said: “With their low speed and exceptional manoeuvrability they provided the perfect solution to the Trust, which primarily uses the tugs for to deliver meals for patients as well as transporting laundry, heavy medical instruments, and furniture within the hospital’s confines.  Bradshaw EV attached two small barriers on each side of the PT400s to provide extra load security in transit, as well as lashings at the rear for towing hotlocks.”

The vehicles operate on a maintenance-free 24 v 220 Ah gel battery, and can be charged using traditional mains socket.

John Earnshaw, the Trust’s Security manager, said: “While the PT300s were excellent for a number of years, they required replacing. Having covered over 100,000 miles since, their importance to our operation here at West Suffolk Hospital is quite apparent, especially when towing hotlocks and keeping our patients fed three times per day.

“As per their predecessors, the PT400s are ideal for manoeuvring in tight spaces where there is often significant foot traffic. In a hospital where thousands of patients, staff, and visitors are walking through tight corridors, having an agile and compact tug is vital.  The porters find they make their job fundamentally easier, which by association drives efficiencies and productivity across the hospital.”


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