This was a very special unit. Many engineers leave South Africa in pursuit of better opportunities in “greener pastures”, but units like this one for Mercedes play a crucial role in keeping our top talent around. You really can’t keep top-performing engineers engaged for the long term without challenging and stretching them, and this project did just that. Our engineers absolutely loved it. As the goods hoist slowly took shape, our engineers were often caught checking up on the hourly assembly progress. The excitement was palpable.
This unit boasts a 7100mm clear opening width and 3500mm clear opening height. To achieve that, the widest and highest points of the car are 7800mm and 7200mm respectively…That kind of scale is naturally very heavy when working with steel, so much so that the car mass alone was 18 000kg. Add in the machine assembly at almost 5 000kg on its own, guide rails (6-guide-setup rather than the standard 2), guide brackets, landing frames made from 260 x 90 channels to support the heavy-duty doors, five of the massive bi-parting Peelle doors from Canada, four 533 x 210 x 82 I-beams for the machine steels along with the remaining components and one can understand why it required three truckloads between our factory and the Mercedes’ plant in East London. We will fondly remember this project for many years to come, bring on the next one!