29 May 2008
Any company relying on forklift trucks to move materials will know that if a truck is out of action, it is not only an inconvenience, it can impact on the productivity of the entire operation. Forklift technology company Transmon Engineering has developed a series of simple solutions to help prevent the significant and costly downtime associated with engine and transmission damage, which have the added advantage of helping to reduce overall operating costs and carbon footprint.
Most operations using diesel or LPG internal combustion (IC) forklift trucks may have experienced a major engine failure that has put a truck out of action for more than a month, requiring significant investment to bring it back into operation. In many cases, such damage can be prevented before it becomes a problem.
Paul Sercombe, Sales Director for Transmon explains "Cracked or warped cylinder heads and a host of other expensive engine problems can be prevented through early detection and rectification. By ensuring that drivers cannot continue operating through the early signs of a problem, such as low oil pressure or high coolant temperatures, engine failure can be reduced."
Leicester based Transmon Engineering developed the Engine Savure (Level 1) to continuously monitor a forklift truck engine and completely shut the truck down after a 30 second warning when a problem is detected. The system is favoured by Managers and supervisors responsible for fleets of IC trucks because it prevents drivers from continuing to use equipment when warning lights are present.
An additional option for the Engine Savure goes one step further to help minimise the number of hours the truck is used and help reduce overall fuel consumption, promoting a more environmentally responsible site. It is common for drivers to leave a truck running while they step off to quickly perform another task or talk to a colleague. If the truck is left idling, it is putting hours on the clock and increasing wear, adding to unnecessary fuel costs and the overall contract costs, which are usually monitored by the hours used. The Engine Savure (Level 2) will power the truck down after an adjustable idle time period of 1, 2, 4 or 8 minutes and includes the features of Level 1. This power saving option is also available independently known as the Power Savure.
"The reality is that forklift trucks are open to abuse by drivers who may have fallen into bad habits and not understand the true costs associated with the materials handling fleet. The engine use is one issue, however another common problem is transmission wear which can be attributed to bad driving." Paul Sercombe adds.
To combat transmission wear, Transmon developed two systems known as the Tyre Savure suitable for all IC trucks and the Gear Savure which is only suitable for two speed trucks, usually 4 Tonne and above.
"Drivers don't always bring the truck to a controlled stop before selecting the reverse gear which not only causes unnecessary wear on the transmission but also adds to the overall cost of ownership through excessive tyre wear"
Transmon's aptly named Tyre Savure is a system that can be easily fitted in 2 hours to new or existing trucks to prevent forward and reverse selection while the truck is still in motion or at high engine rpm helping to maintain traction. Site operators can adjust the settings to suit the application such as direction change speed and rpm take off level. Not only does this system protect the transmission and reduce tyre wear by up to 400%, it also reduces housekeeping costs such as reduced floor marks and tyre dust on the product or in the atmosphere.
The Gear Savure removes the need for manual gear shift selection on 2 speed IC torque flow converter trucks, preventing operators from pulling away in high gear and helps reduce clutch pack failure.
Transmon works extensively throughout the forklift truck industry to bring quantifiable advantages and value to sites operating small and large fleets. The company has strong links with all major forklift truck manufactures and local dealers providing solutions to suit specific applications. In addition to protection systems, the company has a portfolio of products which can be selected on a modular basis to suit specific applications such as speed control or access to help maintain a safe and efficient operation.