Manchester Airport buses clean up

Kärcher wash system supplied to airport fleet

Airport shuttle buses are perhaps an overlooked niche in the industry. Airport transportation managers have a critical role to play in ensuring passengers arrive at their destination on time, with minimum hassle and in comfortable surroundings. However, this network of buses is often just a brief blip in a holiday maker’s journey compared to the hours they spend on planes. The vehicles also tend to be overshadowed by the presence of the larger and more visible jets. However, it is an essential part of an airport’s operation and plays its part in offering a professional and impressive service. This is why Manchester Airport’s shuttle bus Transport Manager, Andy Willis, has upgraded his vehicle washing equipment. 

Andy is in charge of one of the UK’s largest fleets of airside and landside buses, running 80 vehicles. When it comes to keeping them clean, he ranks having a total solution and a trusted partner in place as important. This is especially the case considering the tight ship he runs, with the fast moving operation requiring a quick turnaround when it comes to cleaning them and keeping them in top notch condition.

A Manchester Airport ADL Enviro200 emerges from the Kärcher TB line gantry wash. The TB line gantry wash takes six minutes to clean a 12m vehicle.

A Manchester Airport ADL Enviro200 emerges from the Kärcher TB line gantry wash. The TB line gantry wash takes six minutes to clean a 12m vehicle.

Over the past few years, Manchester Airport has invested significantly in the wash facilities of its buses and Andy believes this is paying off. After becoming Transport Manager in 2010, he made it his personal mission to shake-up the cleaning operations for the fleet. He had all of his professional cleaning equipment replaced with Kärcher Professional machines.

Andy said, ‘With a fleet of 80 buses in continual use in and around Manchester Airport, keeping both the outside and inside of the buses in pristine condition was a challenge, especially given the high turnover of passengers in any given day. I needed a supplier I could trust because time is money in our business. With operations running 24/7, 365 days a year, buses need to be kept on the road. With the new Kärcher TB line gantry wash, we can clean a 12m bus in just six minutes. The results speak for themselves and our partnership with Kärcher Professional has never been stronger.’

‘As well as keeping our buses moving, there’s no doubt that in the travel industry, image has an important role to play; and that starts with landside bus transfers. Drivers and their vehicles are “on show” to passengers all day, every day and this reflects on the image of the airport. Buses are often the first interaction passengers have with their airport experience so there’s a lot at stake in creating a positive first impression of the airport and its facilities.’

Kärcher provides backpack and long hose vacuum cleaners which are ideal for use on buses.

Kärcher provides backpack and long hose vacuum cleaners which are ideal for use on buses.

Andy added, ‘Image counts for so much in this industry and you don’t often get a second chance to make a good first impression. I’m proud of the fine fleet that we have and the team members who keep them running day in and day out. Buses finally mean business.’

It is not just the image of fleets which is at stake from poor cleaning practices and inefficient machinery. As Andy testifies, Manchester Airport’s bus fleet cleaning operations are more efficient than ever before and delivering ‘huge savings’ in terms of cost, productivity and energy usage. Part of the green credentials of this system is the fact it uses 95% recycled water.

The fleet is cleaned daily, both internally and externally. Andy’s vehicles go through what the company calls a ‘splash and dash’ process, where a bus is fuelled and cleaned in 15 minutes.

It is not just the big, fixed installation of a gantry wash that Kärcher supplies. The company offers solutions including manual pressure washers, mobile bus cleaners and complete gantry wash units. It has the mobile RBS 6000 system for indoor and outdoor use. It also provides interior cleaning products, including spray extraction machines for valeting upholstery, as well as backpack and long hose vacuum cleaners.

For more information on Kärcher Professional’s vehicle wash systems as well as interior cleaning solutions for fleets, email: [email protected]




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