Mass Transit
Mass Transit

Work Platforms for Electric Bus Manufacturing



Spika designed and built a series of work platforms to support the manufacture of electric buses.

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Client Need:

Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission electric transit vehicles. When they started a new line of electric buses, they needed reliable access and fall protection around the top of the buses during the manufacturing process. Given Spika’s experience in custom access and lightweight platforms, the two companies began working together to develop the needed systems.


The first project the team tackled was a custom work platform system to provide 360-degree access around a 35’ bus during the manufacturing process. The original 35’ bus system included two decks linked together on either side of the bus and incorporated manual height adjustability for multiple access points during upper-level manufacturing tasks.

Crossover rails positioned at either end of the bus provide passive fall protection while on top of the bus roof. The goal of the crossover rails was to allow the technicians to move freely while working on top of the bus instead of being tethered by a lanyard, which not only restricted movement, but also required heavy maintenance and inspection practices.

Each system included a staircase that could attach to multiple locations on the platform or be used independently for single-point access. Each system was also designed modularly with decks and staircases that could be quickly disconnected to allow easy repositioning and movement of each module by just one to two people.

When 40’ buses also required access during the manufacturing process, Spika provided extension decks to the 35’ system to provide OSHA-compliant access to the full length of the 40’ bus. Future versions of the system incorporated a third crossover rail into the 40’ bus system which was designed to cut off the extra deck space when a 35’ bus was being accessed.

Spika partnered with Proterra on multiple other projects, including:

  • Accessing one half of a bus at a time,
  • Windshield installation,
  • Research and development processes,
  • And multiple other manufacturing processes and vehicle configurations.

In 2022, Spika and Proterra entered into an agreement to allow Proterra to sell Spika stands with their buses. This partnership allowed Spika to better support the Customer Success team at Proterra and further their mission of doing everything possible to ensure a positive experience and outcome for all Proterra customers.

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Man with dark hair in the workshop using a welder
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