West Suffolk Hospital Take Delivery of Fleet of Tugs From Bradshaw EV


West Suffolk Hospital, which is managed by West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, has recently taken delivery of six all-electric PT400 pedestrian tow tractor tugs.

The fleet of tugs were supplied by the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of industrial electric vehicles, Bradshaw Electric Vehicles, which has been operating since 1976.

All PT400 pedestrian tow tractors have been leased on a 5-year contract, with an option to extend beyond the contract’s end. 

Acquired as a part of a fleet replacement programme, the Trust took the decision to upgrade its small taskforce of tugs after its predecessors – a fleet of six PT300s which were also procured directly through Bradshaw nearly a decade ago – had come to the end of their lifespan. 

Such was the extent of the use of the previous PT300s that they had clocked up over 100,000 miles, all within the West Suffolk Hospital site. 

Boasting a four-tonne tow capacity and a generous 500-kilogram payload, West Suffolk Hospital’s new PT400s are specifically designed to tow large loads safely and effortlessly. 

As a result of their low speed and exceptional manoeuvrability they provided the perfect solution to the Trust, who primarily use the tugs for the delivery of meals for the hospital’s patients as well as transporting laundry, heavy medical instruments and furniture within the confines of the hospital building. 

Ensuring to adapt their vehicles to the needs and requirements of their customers, 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 24v 220Ah gel battery and can be charged using traditional mains socket. 

Citing the reliability and efficiency of the PT tow tractor model as key factors behind the decision to switch to the PT400s, John Earnshaw, Security Manager at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has heaped praise on the vehicles, believing them to be a vital component to the hospitals ability to operate efficiently day-to-day. 

John commented: “While the PT300s were excellent for a number of years, they had unfortunately come to the end of their lifespan and required replacing. Having done over 100,000 miles since they were first acquired nearly 10 years ago, their importance to our operation here at West Suffolk Hospital is quite apparent, especially when towing hotlocks throughout the facility and keeping our patients fed three times per day. 

“As per their predecessors, the PT400s are ideal for manoeuvring in tight spaces where there’s often a significant amount of foot traffic. In a hospital where thousands of patients, staff and visitors are walking through tight corridors day in, day out, having a tug that is compact and agile is vital, as without it we simply wouldn’t be able to operate anywhere near to the same level – and certainly not safely. 

“The porters which operate the tugs find them totally user friendly and they make their job fundamentally easier, which by association drives efficiencies and productivity across the entire hospital.”

John continued: “Overall, we were delighted with the service from Bradshaw. Not only were they communicative but the level of aftercare they offer gives us total confidence that if there is an issue that vehicle downtime will be kept to a minimum and a solution will be found quickly. This for us was another significant factor in using Bradshaw again as if a tug breaks down and is out of use that puts further strain on the porters operating the rest of the fleet. However, as we have a 24/7 callout service, we know that this is unlikely ever to be an issue and puts our minds at ease.”

Add a Comment

No messages on this article yet

Editorial: +44 (0)1892 536363
Publisher: +44 (0)208 440 0372
Subscribe FREE to the weekly E-newsletter