Pallet trucks are used for loading and unloading goods vehicles, and for picking and transporting goods in warehouses. Sounds easy? It’s not. These activities can place enormous strain on drivers and vehicles. The new WT 3000 Series, designed and built by Crown, has all the qualities a vehicle needs to work day in, day out in punishing conditions: ultra-tough design, unique durability, outstanding ergonomics.
Crown’s engineers set themselves ambitious targets. The new truck was to be designed in such a way as to provide the best possible support for operators working under such tough conditions. There was only one way to make sure the WT 3000 really lived up to users’ expectations. During the entire development process, the Crown team worked in close collaboration with customers, carrying out intensive research on customers’ premises which enabled the engineers to analyse working conditions in the warehouse and on the loading dock. Even during the final development phase, feedback from customers made a significant contribution. Using the onsite information, the team was able to further develop and refine the ergonomic and electronic details that have made such a difference to the truck’s productivity, durability and user-friendliness.
Tough construction for extended uptime
By analysing the results of their onsite research, the team identified exactly which truck components are subjected to the highest stresses. As a result, the truck’s heavy-duty side restraints are attached to the vehicle by a super-rugged mounting. Shocks that would otherwise cause the chassis and frame to judder are absorbed by guide casters mounted on lifetime torsion springs. The optimised suspension also extends caster life. Inside the WT 3000, carefully designed components all help to minimise running costs over the life of the vehicle. By radically reducing shaking and vibration, the smoothly efficient suspension system – combined with Crown’s revolutionary zero-maintenance e-Gen™ braking system – cuts service levels, minimises downtime for repairs, and keeps trucks running for longer.
A comfortable operator is a productive operator
Every day, truck operators have to work in conditions that restrict workflow and reduce productivity. Bracing for heavy impacts caused by driving over dock ramps; manoeuvring heavy loads down narrow aisles; keeping their footing on vibrating operator platforms – these are the challenges that confront operators working with conventional pallet trucks. The WT 3000 is designed to overcome them all. Crown’s patented FlexRide™ system reduces vibration by up to 80%. The floating suspension system reduces operator fatigue and obviates knee and back pain. Best of all, the shock-absorbing suspension smoothes out uneven floors, so operators no longer have to slow down when crossing ramps, boards or sills. The result is faster loading and unloading – and higher productivity all round.
The WT 3000 is also equipped with Crown’s state-of-the-art Access 1 2 3® control and diagnostics system. Performance parameters can be programmed for drivers with different skill sets, or adjusted for specific working conditions. Changing settings is straightforward, as there is no need to connect a laptop or PC.
Innovations that meet real customer needs
Only by working closely with end-users was the Crown team able to research specific needs in depth, then develop innovative features that fully satisfy those needs. Take the QuickExit side restraints on the folding-platform model, for example, which reduce the number of steps operators must take to walk round the truck. QuickExit restraints mean drivers save two steps every time they climb down, thereby significantly enhancing productivity and reducing fatigue. Fixed-platform models are fitted with Crown’s patented Entry Bar Safety Switch, which brings the vehicle to a full stop if the operator moves his or her foot outside the platform perimeter – a major safety enhancement. Rear-entry models are available with Crown’s unique, patented, weight-adjustable FlexRide™ system, which optimises driving comfort by tuning the vehicle’s suspension to the individual operator’s body weight.
The sum of these features is a decisive contribution to improving productivity and efficiency in the warehouse and on the loading dock.