Telescoping solutions in special vehicles

Fire engine

Many types of vehicles could not have coped without linear components such as telescopic rails. They facilitate the handling of stretchers in ambulances, give emergency personnel quick access to their equipment and improve the ergonomics of many professional drivers. The telescopic rails not only provide flexible functionality, but also help to optimize, often quite limited, spaces. Here we show typical examples of how telescopic rails can be used.

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Seat adjustment

By far the most common area of use for telescopic rails in vehicles is for adjusting the seat. Telescopic rails work great for adjusting the seat back and forth or extending the seat. This is something that is essential and occurs in all types of vehicles. Telescopic rails are also a suitable solution for moving control panels and screens laterally which is necessary in some types of vehicles.

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Wheelchair ramps and stretchers

Telescopic rails can also be used for wheelchair ramps for vehicles such as transport service cars and emergency stretchers in ambulances. There are telescopic rails that can manage loads up to a few tonnes and as they are often made from cold drawn carbon steel, they have a very long durability and offer minimal deflection.

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Shelf and drawer storage

Most types of special vehicles require some type of storage. It can be pull-out drawers for equipment in an ambulance, shelves in a service van or storage in a caravan. Another example is transmitter vans/OB trailers (outside broadcasting vehicles), where there are big demands for storage of heavy and expensive technical equipment such as cameras, mixing desks, cable reels, etc. Telescopic rails make it possible to optimize storage space in narrow spaces and improve ergonomics. Since it is possible to pull out drawers and shelves properly, you also get a better overview of where things are.

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Sliding doors

Sliding doors and hatches occur both indoors for different types of storages and as dividers between spaces. They can also be used externally for roof extensions, roof hatches, inspection, or service hatches.

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Extendable modules

As some telescopic rails have load capacities up to a couple of tons, they can also be used for extendable modules on trailers used for exhibitions, mobile libraries, or blood donation vehicles. Other examples are catering vans and food trucks with openable sides and extendable counters and displays. Trucks, vans, and tow trucks may also need extendable loading or lifting platforms and winches.

Thought through choices

The design and construction of special vehicles requires well thought out decisions regarding components and material selection. For certain special vehicles, such as emergency vehicles, it is extremely important that the functions always work exactly as intended, day in and day out. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully dimension everything correctly. Usually there are specific requirements regarding load, vibrations, and impacts. The telescopic rails can be used both horizontally and vertically. The vertical movement is naturally more challenging and requires more considering in the design phase.

The ambient environment

The surrounding factors is something that also needs to be taken into account. Make sure to choose materials that can handle humidity, dust, or temperature fluctuations if the components may be exposed to it. Construction or service vehicles in particular are exposed to dirt, water, and gravel. There are usually material options and surface treatments that meet the vast majority of requirements.

Endless opportunities

Telescopic rails are common components on trains, e.g. for sliding doors or battery boxes. They are also used in aviation for adjusting seats, neck, foot or armrests, extendable tables, or screens. The number of possible applications is endless and only the imagination sets limits.

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