Heathline Commercials has invested more than £40,000 in eight new column lifts to expand its capacity and improve its flexibility in the servicing and repair of commercial vehicles.

The independent Cramlington business replaced its four original vehicle lifts and has added a further four as part of a significant upgrade of its workshop facilities.

Each is capable of lifting up to 7,500kg and can be used in configurations of four, six or eight – giving technicians the ability for the first time to work on fully laden trucks.

It also enables the firm, which last year became an accredited service centre for axle and suspension system manufacturer BPW, to work on additional commercial vehicles.

In addition, Craig Summers has completed his HGV Technician Level 3 apprenticeship in 17 months, a shorter period than expected due to his previous mechanical experience. Craig, from Ashington, is also a qualified MOT car tester who progressed to working on HGVs.

Gavin Cape, engineering director of Heathline Commercials, said: “This investment has allowed us to upgrade our old vehicle lifts which did restrict the scope of our operations.

“Having eight mobile lifts capable of bearing much greater weight allows us to service or repair fully laden trucks for the first time. Previously a load would have to be removed before entering the workshop to go onto the lifts, so it’s more convenient and efficient for our customers.

“Having additional lifts also increases our ability to work on more vehicles at the same time, while having an additional fully qualified vehicle technician also enables us to expand our capabilities.”

Heathline Commercials opened its new £500,000 service centre on Bolam Business Park in 2020. As well as servicing and repairs, it also provides MOT preparation and inspections to DVSA standard and is one of the North East’s leading independent centres for tachograph repairs and calibration.

It also provides breakdown services, minor body repairs and carries an extensive range of spares for all makes of truck, trailer, bus, van and horsebox.