As well as the bare bones of the machine, which must be rugged and reliable, many of the latest industrial forklifts on the market boast a range of intelligent features such as load-sensing hydraulics and machine control technology to aid smooth lifting and cornering with loads.
Take Manitou, for example. The company recently launched six new medium-tonnage and eight heavy tonnage forklifts - new models for all industrial applications, boasting lift capacities ranging from 1.5 tonnes to 10 tonnes.
Patrick Laridan, industrial market and products manager, said, “With the launch of these Manitou medium and heavy-tonnage industrial forklift trucks, our network can now satisfy most of the requirements of users in terms of industrial material handling.
“These new models are in line with the fundamentals of the Manitou masted trucks ranges, which are attractive to customers primarily seeking equipment that ‘does the job’ while ensuring operator safety and, finally, an optimised operating cost.”
Key features of the new models include intuitive controls and simple instrumentation, power-steering; easy access, comfortable cab; good visibility; standard deadlights, flashing lights, a rear working light and a panoramic interior rear-view mirror.
Manitou also said it had concentrated on reducing downtime by designing the new forklifts to facilitate their maintenance. It said the simplicity of their design, with a limited number of electronic parts, considerably reduced the possibility of breakdowns and their extent.
The main electronic components, relays and fuses were also said to be easy to access – positioned in sealed casings, protected from dust and damp.
Meanwhile, many of the most recent new designs will also be showcased at Bauma Munich, which takes place from 11th to 17th April (see page 16 for the stop-press feature). New from Hyundai, for instance, are three diesel counterbalance trucks, adding to the manufacturer’s latest 9-series of machines.
The new additions are the 3.5 tonne lift capacity 35DA-9, the 4.5 capacity 45D-9, and the 16 tonne capacity 160D-9. The largest model – the heavy-duty 160D-9 – has a new digital display similar to the display in the smaller range of machines, and also boasts a load-sensing hydraulic system to reduce fuel consumption. It is powered by a Stage IV Cummins QSB6.7 engine.
A load sensor, which is an optional extra across the range, checks pressure in the lift cylinder to calculate the weight on the forks. The load is indicated on the display and if an overload occurs the operator is alerted by a warning sound and the display monitor will show the weight of the load flashing red.
Other new technology for forklifts will on display at Bauma will include RDS Technology’s Liftlog 1000 on-board weighing system. Designed for fast working environments, the Liftlog 1000 boasts a 0.5% margin of error. RDS said the system was a cost-effective weighing instrument that reduces loading cycle times and maximises tonnes per hour performance.
It said weighing on the forklift removes the need to travel to a static floor scale, which is often remotely located from the stock location or loading bay. Loading correctly first time eradicates trips to the stockpile, reducing vehicle movement, fuel usage and tyre wear.
The device uses a sensor to measure hydraulic pressure controlled in a drop valve, and displays the calculated weight of the load in imperial or metric on a colour touchscreen display. When approaching – and at the point of – overload, an internal (and optional external) alarm will sound to further inform the operator of load status. RDS said the system could be retrofitted onto all types of forklift.
For its part, Ausa said three of its rough-terrain, semi-industrial forklifts would be on show at the event – the 1.5 tonne capacity C150Hx4, the 2.5 tonne capacity C250Hx4 and the C500Hx4, which is a 5 tonne capacity machine that is also equipped with an EU Stage IIIB engine.
The new models also boast tilting cabins for accessible maintenance.
Jungheinrich, meanwhile, said its focus at the show would be counterbalanced trucks, including diesel and LPG powered stackers with hydrodynamic and hydrostatic drive, designed to cope with rugged applications (the DFG/TFG range), as well as the company’s entire range of electric counterbalanced trucks.
Featuring lifting capacities of up to 3.5 tonnes, the company said the DFG and TFG series 3 and 4 forklifts boasted good visibility, ergonomic workstations, ease of operation, low energy consumption, high turnover and low maintenance costs.
In addition to its counterbalanced trucks, Jungheinrich said it would showcase an extensive range of electric high and low platform trucks for building material dealers at Bauma 2016, including the EJC 214z electric pedestrian-controlled platform truck with support arm lift and a 1.4 tonne capacity and maximum lift height of 5.35m.
And business opportunities are also changing the face of the forklift sector, with equipment supply deals ensuring that these machines reach new markets. Jungheinrich, for example, has made a deal with German rental company Zeppelin Rental that will see the full spectrum of Jungheinrich’s materials handling equipment up to 9 tonnes capacity offered at Zeppelin Rental’s locations, consisting of over 120 rental outlets.
Jungheinrich said it would also undertake the complete servicing of the fleet. The companies said they both saw opportunities for expansion.
At the same time, the manufacturer has also established a joint venture with Anhui Heli, a subsidiary of Chinese industrial vehicle producer Anhui Forklift Group.
The companies said the 50/50 joint venture would market Jungheinrich’s and Heli’s material handling equipment rental business on the Chinese market, using Jungheinrich’s long-standing expertise in the rental market and Heli’s network in the country.
The joint venture has registered capital of CNY200 million (US$30 million) and includes Jungheinrich’s and Heli’s entire product portfolios – from simple hand pallet trucks to heavy-duty counterbalanced trucks. The new business will also be exclusively responsible for material handling equipment rentals in China going forward. Operations are scheduled to begin in the middle of 2016, subject to regulatory approval.
Meanwhile, engine manufacturer Deutz and forklift producer Kion Group have also strengthened their partnership with a new long-term arrangement. The companies are expanding their long-standing co-operation on Kion’s premium brand Linde large forklift trucks to include volume models of the company’s premium platforms, which will be fitted with EU stage V emissions-compliant Deutz 2.2 litre engines in both diesel (25kW to 55kW) and LPG (42kW) versions.
This is a feature from the April/May 2016 issue of IRN. To read the full article, with extra images and information, subscribe to the magazine: http://www.khl.com/subscriptions/magazines/international-rental-news/