PLS is the UK-leading name in the design, manufacture and maintenance of powered lifts and ramps for accessible buses, coaches, ambulances and specialist vehicles. This highly respected business has recently relocated to substantially larger premises in Smethwick, West Midlands, and is now under the leadership of Adam Beck. Adam, 41 originally from Leicestershire, joined the business full time in 1994 following successful completion of an Engineering and Production Degree and a thesis on wheelchair tie-downs. He had previously worked for PLS as an intern between university term times, through his friendship with fellow Kart racing enthusiast Alan Ford – the founder of PLS and leading industry name.
Adam began his career as Development Manager working in the R&D department and was instrumental in supporting the introduction of PLS’s first and highly successful, coach cassette lift. This pioneering solution was a radical new concept in passenger lifts and established the benchmark for all competitors to follow. Under the brand AccessTM, it became the basis for all PLS lift products that evolved to meet wider requirements for accessible vehicle body builders, convertors and operators.
In 2001 Adam was promoted to Production Manager to oversee all manufacturing processes within the business as PLS began to supply greater volumes to the coach industry. Prior to this PLS had specialised in the mini bus market however leading operators such as National Express were then keen to begin installing AccessTM lifts. Following Adam’s involvement in a management buyout during 2004 as Alan Ford retired, he became Technical Director, which involved further responsibility and onus to drive R&D. This period in his career focused on PLS’s development and launch to market of the world’s first, fully automatic, front entrance coach lift. Before this innovation, wheelchair passengers were only able to access a coach from a mid-position, locker lift that could not be operated from the driver’s seat. This new lift eliminated the need for the driver to leave his seat and manually load passengers. With full automation from the dashboard, wheelchair passengers could be loaded faster and easier – a major advantage to coach operators. Manufacturers such as Plaxton and Salvador Caetano began to build coaches that would accommodate this specialist lift and leading operators such as Stagecoach requested multiple orders.
In 2014, PLS continues to be the UK’s leading specialist in vehicle access lifts. Now as Managing Director, Adam has the experience and acumen to lead the business so that it will continually meet the ever-evolving accessibility requirements of the coach and bus sector. Adam commented: “I am delighted with my promotion to Managing Director and look forward to the higher level of responsibility it will bring. From a strategic point of view, my vision for PLS is to enhance its highly established reputation even further through innovation that continually listens to, and focuses on, the needs of all new and existing customers. We will continue to deliver a nimble, flexible approach that can respond quickly to market and legislative changes so challenges associated with weight savings, sustainability and safety are always met. PLS is proud of its Midlands-based manufacturing heritage and we all have a passion for excellence in engineering. My individual passion began as a boy when building Karts to compete at a national level. If your kart was not designed, built and prepared with 100% commitment and impeccable attention to detail, winning was impossible. This background has instilled my constant desire to improve lift designs so they deliver better and better results for customers. Bringing this ethos into the lift world, I believe sets PLS apart because we are always raising the bar.”
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Issued on behalf of:
Mike Simmonds, CEO
Mobility Networks (Holdings) Ltd.
12 Estuary View Business Park
Whitstable, Kent. CT5 3SE
The Mobility Networks Group
Established in 2014 with worldwide headquarters in Kent, UK, Mobility Networks is the leading multi-national specialist in accessible vehicle solutions. It provides a single source for all the latest innovations in vehicle access solutions from across the world. With a portfolio that is continually expanding, its products currently include vehicle access lifts, ramps, hatches, door opening systems and wheelchair accessible vehicle, lowered floor conversion kits.
Mobility Networks combines global expertise with local knowledge to deliver a world-class service. Its multi-lingual team is fully committed to resolving the needs of vehicle specifiers, bus and coach convertors and transport operators. This ensures all aspects of worldwide accessibility, safety and legislative conformity are met now and in the future. Mobility Networks’ pioneering products are synonymous with quality and reliability and are further enhanced by a holistic support programme that provides proven design consultancy, installation and servicing.
Passenger Lift Services Limited, a Mobility Networks Company
PLS is based in Smethwick, West Midlands and is a leading name in the design, manufacture and support of powered, wheelchair lifts and ramps for buses, coaches and specialist vehicles. Regarded as the UK market leader in underfloor passenger lifts, PLS has delivered an unrivalled range of products and services since inception in 1990.