Wisconsin transit system taps Stertil-Koni to help modernize maintenance facilities

The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS), the largest of its type in Wisconsin, recently partnered with heavy-duty vehicle lift manufacturer Stertil-Koni to incorporate state-of-the-art vehicle lifts into its maintenance facilities.

MCTS purchased 14 Stertil-Koni inground telescopic piston DIAMONDLIFTs and 16 mobile column lifts from Stertil-Koni’s regional distributor, Midwest Equipment Specialists, which also performed all lift installations and technician training, according to a company announcement

Technician operating a Stertil-Koni inground telescopic piston DIAMONDLIFT with a remote control for wheels-free lifting.

“Our mission is to provide premium transit service to a large and diverse community in a safe and timely manner,” MCTS Deputy Director for Maintenance Dwyane Reese said, “and Stertil-Koni is the perfect partner for us. Anything we ask for they deliver with great professionalism, Johnny-on-the-spot, and we’ve built great trust.”

Ideal for heavier electric buses

The Milwaukee transit system boasts ridership of nearly 16 million a year across 40 routes with 3,878 bus stops. Reese oversees two garages plus a newly renovated fleet maintenance facility. The fleet includes 238 New Flyer clean diesel buses and 100 clean diesel Gillig buses.  By the end of 2023, it will also have a fleet of 15 Nova electric-powered buses. 

“While the clean diesel engines weigh 13 tons, the new electric buses each weigh 18 tons – and our old lifts couldn’t handle the additional weight. So, the new lifts were an investment in our transition to electric buses,” Reese said.

Left to right: Rick Nordness, with Midwest Equipment Specialists; Carl Boyer with Stertil-Koni; MTCS Deputy Director Maintenance Dwyane Reese; and MCTS Director of Maintenance Ron McCorkel.

The in-ground DIAMONDLIFTs can raise up to 35,000 pounds per piston. They feature a mechanical locking system for maximum protection and a full color touch-screen control console that puts all lifting information at the fingertips of the operator. The DIAMOND lifts are a game-changing upgrade from the previous lifts that were used since Reese joined MCTS 24 years ago. 

“The old ones had controls on the ground, so you had to get on your knees with pads to use them,” Reese said. “Now the mechanics have a pedestal they can use while standing and they can even operate them with remote control. “They love them because they reduce fatigue, are safer, and have a cartridge system to contain the chains and oil. The Stertil-Koni equipment makes the entire fleet operation more efficient.”

The mobile column lifts are made of high-tensile steel. They can lift up to 18,500 pounds per column and also feature a full-color touch screen. 

“Because the mobile lifts are portable, we can utilize them in our outside space, which frees up more room inside,” Reese said. 


Steve Plomin joins Stertil-Koni as Director of National Accounts


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