A Motorized Solution for Non-Motorized Retractable Bleachers

    Posted by Ryan Wilby

    May 22, 2019 4:01:00 AM


    If you have ever had the opportunity to observe a particularly large retractable bleacher system, there is likely little doubt in your mind as to the significant weight of one of these structures. Used in gymnasiums across Canada and the United States, these seating systems are space-saving solutions that are easily rolled out for use when the time or event calls for it.

    These wonderfully engineered systems are undoubtedly helpful for various organizations, schools, universities, and public and private athletic facilities. While the majority of the larger versions of these structures are powered electrically and easily moved into the open and closed positions, some have been installed without these powerful motors and rely solely on human operation.

    Over time, the job can become cumbersome often requiring the assistance of two or more operators to provide the careful attention the bleachers require with regards to safe opening and closing procedures.

    We generally recommend that any retractable bleacher system six rows in height and larger should be installed with motorized operation for safety reasons. There are many instances however, where systems of this size have been installed without electric operation and quickly become a problem to operators and staff.

    This was the case when we were recently approached by a local school board who was in search of a solution that could potentially ease the operation of their manual bleachers installed inside the gymnasium of one of their schools.

    While the initial expectation was to recommend some sort of retrofit that would allow for a motor to be installed on the existing unit, the truth is, we had another more cost-effective solution.

    Having been met with this problem on a number of occasions in the past (hence our recommendations), we pride ourselves on providing our customer base with an innovative solution to these problems that requires minimal adjustments and considers budget requirements.

    Our Mark II portable electric tractor unit acts as an electrically powered guide for these larger retractable bleacher systems and is easily attached to the unit and operated to safely and quickly open and close retractable seating banks.


    Once this option was proposed to the school board, key stakeholders were quick to make the decision to go ahead with this minor adjustment using the new tractor unit, simplifying the process immensely.

    Our install team was dispatched to the school to make brief modifications to the existing bleachers before the tractor arrived on-site.

    Today, the staff at the school has the peace of mind knowing the Mark II tractor will open and close the telescopic bleachers with ease and with safety in mind.


    Topics: Bleachers


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