Two systems are available for raising and lowering the deck panels:
Hoistable decks, automatic/manual operation, either by electric winch or hydraulic jigger winch is available where frequent adjustment of the car decks is required or where time for adjustments is limited.
Liftable decks: a mobile deck lifter is the most effective solution on car carriers where the decks are seldom height-adjusted. It can accomodate a variable cargo mix efficiently. One mobile deck lifter is needed on each deck, service up to 45 panels and the typical operating time is 6-10 minutes/panel.
Where there are car deck panels above a fixed/moveable ramp, hydraulically or electrically operated panels are recommended, as the the mobile deck lifter can not operate on an inclined deck surface.
Options for hoistable car decks:
- Manual or automated control system
- Electric or hydraulic operation
- Deck surface top plate in steel or in lightweight plywood
- Car lashing equipment
Car decks in lightweight plywood
The deck surface can be of lightweight open beam construction with a plywood top plate to minimise their weight and therefore their impact on ship stability.
Compared with steel the panels have a lower cost and lower weight with the same durability and lifetime. Indivudual configuration of the panels give flexibility to adjust to different cargoes. The lashing is attached to newly-developed steel profiles, also acting as secondary stiffners, instead of being attached directly to the plywood.
Lighter decks improve vessel efficiecy in terms of payload and flexibility of operations. Lighter decks and ships allow increased speed or reduced fuel consumption.