(Photo: © Schindler Deutschland / Alexander Knetsch)

Stuck? Not at all!


LIFTjournal published a comment by Dr Peter Hug in its 5/23 issue. In it, the managing director of the Trade Association Lifts and Escalators in the VDMA described the parking space difficulties of many lift technicians.

In his view, the use of cargo bikes would not work in practice. Jan Steeger takes a position on this in this article. The author is press spokesman for Schindler Germany.

A technician rides to a lift on a cargo bike... This is how a bad joke could begin. At least, if the Trade Association Lifts and Escalators in the VDMA has anything to do with it. Its managing director, Peter Hug, wrote in the LIFTjournal, "There actually were suggestions to set up central inner-city warehouses for all trades and deliver the parts using cargo bikes. That definitely would not work in practice."

Getting admiring glances from passers-by

More information: Comment by Dr Peter Hug on the parking space difficulties of many lift techniciansWell, actually, it does not fail in practical terms. In practice, Schindler has already been doing this for a year. In Berlin, of course, where cargo bikes like "virtue signallers", as Mr Hug puts it, are common sights. However, our technicians, who use the cargo bikes, are not only virtue signallers but also good for the environment and good for our customers and users. Because above all, they are one thing: on the spot quickly.

They do not get stuck in traffic, unlike their colleagues in cars. They ride past the traffic jam - on the bicycle routes. They do not have to spend a long time looking for a parking space. They park - as permitted – directly on the pavement in front of the building with the lift. If they still need parts and tools for the repair and maintenance, they do not first have to walk 15 minutes to their car. They have everything right outside. They travel in an environmentally-friendly, quiet, fast and efficient manner and get admiring glances from passers-by.

Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass mir alle externen Inhalte angezeigt werden und meine Cookie-Einstellung auf 'Alle Cookies zulassen' geändert wird. Mehr dazu in unserer Datenschutzerklärung.

Pilot project in Berlin

Too good to be true? Yes and no. I have to relativize this a little. In the first place, our technicians do not use cargo bikes but instead so-called LEVs, Light Electric Vehicles. In our case, these are four-wheeled vehicles fitted with an electric drive. But you still have to pedal. On the other hand, there is enough storage space for tools and material and the driver has a roof over his head.

Jan Steeger Photo: © Schindler DeutschlandJan Steeger Photo: © Schindler Deutschland

Currently, two of our Berlin technicians are out and about as part of a pilot project. Not yet the great majority. But since the response has been very positive, we will expand this project and apply it in other cities.

One thing is clear: this mobility concept only works in particular urban centres with a high lift density and short distances. We are far removed from converting our car fleet completely to cargo bikes. But on the other hand, we are electrifying our fleet very consistently and will soon deliver our 1,000th e-car. The LEVs provide good support in inner-city areas with a high traffic density. As a result, we are also the only ones in the sector in a position to offer a lift service that generates a certified 99.5 percent reduction in CO2 emissions - without having to do so via compensations.

Lift maintenance via cargo bikes in practice

Photo: © Schindler Deutschland / Alexander KnetschPhoto: © Schindler Deutschland / Alexander Knetsch

But how does lift maintenance using cargo bikes work in practice? In the mornings, our technicians drive their cars to the parking area of the LEVs close to their service area. There they switch to the bike, which was charged overnight. They likewise store the spare parts in the cargo bike that were delivered overnight to the car and ride off.

After their shift, they park the LEV again and connect the battery for charging. If the weather is bad, our technicians can switch back to their cars at any time. Naturally, they do not need to use the cargo bike at night for emergency deployments either.

Many colleagues at Schindler already believe in this concept. At the moment, our biggest challenge is finding inner-city spaces where we can set up our so-called flex point, the warehouse and base station for the LEVs. Space is limited and even a small station needs some room. Here we would be happy if the VDMA and Mr Hug would make an effort to set up "central inner-city warehouses for all trades". That would be great!

More information: schindler.de

Comment by Dr Peter Hug on the parking space difficulties of many lift technicians

This might interest you as well: