Case study: Lifford Coachworks

Case study: Lifford Coachworks 1024 473 TruckScience

Founded in 1977, Lifford Coachworks is recognised as one of the leading manufacturers of refrigerated bodies in Ireland.  We spoke to Managing Director, Michael McElchar, about how the TruckScience Axle Weight Calculator has been helping him in his business.

Superior Quality

Everything that is manufactured at Lifford Coachworks is produced with the greatest attention to detail, under the watchful eye of Managing Director, Michael McElchar.  When strict regulations regarding weights and dimensions were introduced by the Irish and UK authorities in recent years, Michael welcomed the opportunity to formalise the Quality Control which he already had in place.

Axle Weight Calculator

Lifford Coachworks subscribed to TruckScience’s Axle Weight Calculator in 2014, to assist in truck body design, compliance with legislation and record keeping.


Before discovering TruckScience, Lifford Coachworks had been using a spreadsheet for their axle weight distribution calculations.  While this method was accurate, it was time-consuming.  Unlike large companies, Lifford didn’t have the luxury of a full time draftsman, and needed to save time on these calculations.  As Michael put it, “Everyone wants to cut down on workload.  Using TruckScience saves time.  Compared with the spreadsheets we had in place, it is faster, more efficient and easier to use.”

Michael 2

Vehicles On Demand

One of Michael’s favourite features is being able to add vehicles to the TruckScience database on demand.  When vehicles are added, they are made available to all users, so the database grows all the time.

Record Keeping

The TruckScience reports are included in the records that are kept by Lifford Coachworks, for EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA), for every vehicle they produce.  Every body that is built at Lifford Coachworks has a comprehensive file which includes proof of compliance with weights and dimensions legislation.  These records are held at Lifford Coachworks, enabling Michael to prove the quality of the build if ever there were a need in future.

Ease of Use

Michael found it very easy to get up to speed with the Axle Weight Calculator. He says he goes out with a clipboard, takes a few measurements and 15 minutes later, he has an axle weight distribution calculation printed on a professional report, customised with his company logo.  He says that it is so easy to use, even someone with no prior experience in design and drawing can get to grips with it quickly.

NSAI Approval

The NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland) is Ireland’s approval authority and are responsible for issuing all national approvals (IVA or NSSTA) for vehicles in Ireland.  Michael has found that the NSAI are happy with the drawings and mass distribution sheets that are provided on the TruckScience reports.

Superior Service

Michael McElchar has recommended the TruckScience Axle Weight Calculator to many other body builders.  “We’re happy to help each other out, and with the great service I receive from TruckScience, I have no hesitation in recommending them to my friends in the business.  Everyone is helpful, responsive and reliable.”

Lifford Coachworks

More about Lifford Coachworks

As well as producing refrigerated bodies, Lifford also manufactures and refurbishes curtainsiders and GRP box bodies, catering for a wide range of vehicles, from 3.5 to 26 tonne.  Lifford Coachworks exports about 30% of their work to the UK market.  For more about Lifford Coachworks, see their website here, Lifford Coachworks

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