The Needles – The Bull Wheel and chairlift refurbishment

About this Project

Having been in almost continuous use since it opened in 1973, there were sections of the chairlift structure that needed critical refurbishment. The most striking of which was the main chair lift drive wheel or Bull Wheel.

About The Needle Landmark Chairlift

The Needles Chairlift is a real favourite with visitors and a great way to see the Isle of Wight’s most famous natural landmark. The ride on the chair lift takes you from the top of the cliffs down to Alum Bay Beach below and gives you exceptional views of the Needles Rocks & Lighthouse and a genuine bird’s eye view of the multi-coloured sand cliffs. the Charlift was originally opened in 1973 and has a capacity of 500 passengers per hour in each direction and has carried over 10 million passengers.

The Business Challenge

With a ride that is so critical to the overall attraction, speed and safety are of the essence. Stripping, refurbishing and replacement was all completed by our own specialist engineering team.

The Solution

Garmendale completed the refurbishment of the top winding house including structural frame, roof, primary and secondary drives, bearings, lubrications system and the installation of the refurbished Bull Wheel.

The main chair lift drive wheel (Bull Wheel) was completely refurbished and our work included, removal, remanufacturing and replacement of spokes and hub. Work was carried out under Garmendale’s 9001:2008, with qualified welders to 288/287 to comply with BS EN ISO 13814 and HSG175. NDT inspection performed prior to reinstallation on site.

The Needles Chair Lift Ride, Alum Bay, Isle of Wight

Accreditations & Associations