Medical Services Ltd has just taken delivery of 66 new Fiat Doblo Combi wheelchair accessible vehicles.
The vehicles, all Euro 5 Doblo Combi Maxi (long wheelbase L2H1) N1 Active 1.6 MultiJet 16v Diesel 105 versions have been converted to MSL's specification by Lateral Design Concepts Ltd of Keighley, West Yorkshire.
All vehicles, which feature the distinctive Medical Services livery, have been converted to a single wheelchair accessible vehicle with bi-fold access ramp. Base vehicle options fitted include the passenger airbag. Lateral worked closely with MSL to produce a vehicle tailored to their exact requirements, developing a highly versatile, durable and hygienic accessible vehicle appropriate for increasingly demanding ambulance patient transport applications. The resulting 'MediWav' conversion is now part of Lateral's highly efficient 'Compact PTS' model range.
The vehicles will be used to transport wheelchair using or walking patients to hospital appointments.
Silverstone, 20th September
In the prestigious surroundings of the famous race circuit Lateral launched the latest addition to the 'Compact PTS' range: MediWav+.
Following the considerable success of Lateral's original MediWav, a hygienic, ambulance-customised wheelchair accessible conversion built upon the Doblo L2H1, FIAT asked Lateral to apply this design to the first of their brand new Doblo 'XL' vehicles to arrive in the UK.
With 250mm of additional head height MediWav+ builds upon the highly functional and cost-effective MediWav design and adds even greater interior space and passenger comfort.
The XL (L2H2) base vehicle benefits from additional glazing all-round, giving better visibility and helping to reduce patient travel sickness. Full height rear doors make loading of wheelchair passengers in to the vehicle even easier. 'Multijet II' engine technology with 'Start & Stop' will make great sense to ambulance fleet operators: 46.3mpg (combined) / 161g CO2/km.
7th & 8th July 2012
RAF Fairford, 7th & 8th July 2012
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford is the world's largest military airshow with a stunning exhibition of static aircraft and acrobatic air displays. Every year a team of 3,000 volunteers comprising air traffic controllers, aircraft engineers, medics and firefighters make the show possible and provide the support and safety required for what is now one of the biggest outdoor events held in the UK.
Lateral was asked to play a small part in helping the Air Tattoo's medical infrastructure by providing a ground response vehicle for the duration of the event. Our OmniWav demonstrator was subsequently sent free of charge to RAF Fairford and received much praise from the RIAT's medics whilst in their operation.
Messe Galerie, Fulda, Germany, 9th - 11th May
In May 2012 Lateral exhibited for the first time at the RETTmobil show held at the Messe Galerie in Fulda, Germany. RETTmobil is described as the "leading European exhibition for rescue and mobility", and so is a great platform for Lateral to continue to develop relationships with ambulance and special purpose vehicle operators, converters and suppliers in Europe and further afield.
We took our latest addition to the Lateral vehicle fleet to the event, our ax-s product line demonstrator, on a sixteen hundred-mile return trip to the event. The vehicle is a Fiat Ducato L3H2 van fitted with Lateral's patented and ever popular Wedge Cassette Ramp, our easy to use Omniramp MKII bi-fold ramp, and our hydraulic lowering suspension, Hydra-Kneel. Recently body-wrapped to show-off our growing vehicle access product range, it is a highly striking show vehicle. We will continue to equip the new vehicle with ax-s product line equipment including Winch-Assist, forthcoming Step-Up, exhibition extras and possibly some further ax-s additions..!
Lateral were in fact the only UK-based vehicle converter at the show, positioned amongst well known ambulance and fire appliance builders from across Europe including Wietmarscher, Baus AT, HospiMobil, System Strobel, Autoform and C. Miesen. The majority of European specification ambulances presently use stretcher loading tables with 'crash' stretchers, and so Lateral's range of ramps and lowering suspension systems to permit easy roll-on, roll-off loading of stretchers and carry devices raised much interest and created new design possibilities.
We look forward to developing the relationships we formed with new contacts at the show to introduce our range of access equipment and wheelchair accessible vehicles to further ambulance users in Europe.
Lateral's conversions and equipment may broadly be defined in to two main product lines, those of wheelchair accessible vehicle conversions (WAVs), and special purpose vehicle access equipment. The ranges complement each other and have obvious cross-sector appeal, enabling us to be, in many cases, a one-stop provider for all things relating to vehicle access.
Over the last week in June and the first week in July, we took the 2011 range to two notable industry events which focus on two of our core market sectors: The Mobility Roadshow, and AMBULEX.
The Mobility Roadshow ran from the 30th June to the 2nd July, and was held at the East of England Showground, Peterborough.
We took four of our latest vehicles to this popular Motability/domestic WAV retail event, including our low-floor Qubo, New Doblo SWB, New Doblo LWB and Scudo SWB, with hospitality facilities provided by our now well-recognised Lateral exhibition motorhome!
The show gave us excellent opportunity to meet with our converter partners from the UK and Europe, and also catalysed exciting international interest from Asia. Our stand was also open for public end-users to see our new conversions and to learn more of our role supplying conversion engineering to their retailers.
We then immediately had opportunity to meet our NHS and Private Ambulance customers in Moreton-on-Marsh at the AMBULEX exhibition, 6th - 7th July.
Lateral have quietly been one of the most significant suppliers to the emergency services industry since we began producing our patented Wedge Cassette Ramp in 2001. This summer we decided to raise our profile in this market sector, taking a prominent stand at AMBULEX, upon which we demonstrated our LWB Doblo and SWB Scudo WAVs, well suited to modern PTS applications, along with our Wedge and ax-s Omniramp & Winch products.
Lateral ramps and suspension systems featured heavily at the show, fitted to a large portion of converters' vehicles on display, most notably Scottish Ambulance Service's latest Wilker Boxer van conversions, 100-off of which now feature Lateral Wedge and ax-s Hydra-kneel.
The show was invaluable for Lateral, giving us further insight of our customers' access product and service needs, and in exposure for our latest larger-size WAV vehicles' potential for use in public and private sector applications.
Lateral's development and diversity of product range has been rapid since we first began offering chassis and suspension consultation services at the turn of the millennium. We have grown to become an automotive access product company, now offering precision engineered wheelchair accessible car conversions and a range of special purpose vehicle access equipment, designed and manufactured in our own highly advanced production facility.
Whilst we continue to distribute business to business, we felt it was time to raise our public profile, and to bring our brand image in line and harmonious with the quality and sophistication of our products.
For 2011 Lateral has fresh, bold branding, signifying our product and service strength, but also maintaining our friendly and approachable image. You have by now seen our new website, which is complemented by a new range of brochures and marketing materials.
Our new ax-s sub-brand, powered by Lateral, envelopes our readily accessible, off the shelf equipment range, which now includes Omniramp MkII, Hydra-Kneel suspension kits, and our new electric winch product, which is quicker and easier to use than any rival product on the market.
You will see increased presence from us at industry events, to make us more accessible to our customers, and to demonstrate our continually evolving product line.