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Hospital takes fleet of tugs

28 April 2024

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 from Bradshaw Electric Vehicles.

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. 

The PT400s are designed with a four-tonne tow capacity and a 500-kilogram payload. 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 a mains socket. 

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust security manager John Earnshaw, says: “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.”