Pailton Engineering to build collapsible steering column for lightweight vehicles 

Steering system manufacturer Pailton Engineering will design and build a new steering column for lightweight delivery vehicles. The column will satisfy a growing demand for components that are optimised for lightweight vehicles, particularly last-mile delivery vehicles.

This product represents a significant move for the Midlands-based manufacturer, which has built its reputation by designing and manufacturing heavy-duty parts. 

Pailton’s new steering column will be collapsible with other vital features, including tilt and telescopic adjustability.

The column will be part of a broader package of steering parts ideal for lightweight vehicles. In addition to the column, the package will include two sliders and a bevel box. Like the column, these parts are lightweight and compact. The aim is for a modular design suitable for any light vehicle, although Pailton can offer bespoke designs and customisation to meet customer requirements when necessary.

The development of the new steering column arose from industry demand for lightweight vehicles. Manufacturers are considering reducing delivery vehicles’ weight, particularly electric vans designed for last-mile delivery. As many of these vehicles are now designed using aluminium or even composites, the proportion of overall vehicle weight consumed by other components, such as steering and suspension, has increased – leading OEMs to begin focusing on this area.

Pailton’s steering column is built with these needs in mind. 

‘The aim was to reduce the weight percentage contribution of the parts to the overall weight of the vehicle while maintaining the functionality and safety-critical features of the steering system,’ explained Kostas Poulios, Principal Design and Development Engineer. 

Having previously designed and manufactured parts for heavy vehicles such as buses, lorries and military vehicles, Pailton had to build a new steering column from scratch. While renowned for quality and reliability, its existing product range covers heavy-duty parts that would be over-engineered for a smaller vehicle, such as an electric van.  

‘We felt there was a real opportunity here. Many existing parts that design engineers can choose from are not purpose-built in this way. We can provide a set of steering parts that are compact, lightweight and simple – perfect for the delivery vehicle of the future,’ added Kostas.