Briggs Equipment, the UK’s national Cat® Lift Truck distributor and service provider, has announced the launch of a new 4 – 5.5 tonne lift truck that’s been designed to be the safest in its class.
During the development of the new DP/GP 40 – 55, Cat listened to forklift users, taking as much wisdom as possible from them to create a product that is totally focused around the operator.
Explained Ken Stoll, E&HS Advisor at Briggs Equipment: "Most lift truck accidents and their causes are man-made and so the safest lift truck is one where the potential risks have been identified and removed before they leave the drawing board. A truck that provides a more stable and less distracting working environment also allows the operator to devote all their attention to safe manoeuvring and load handling."
In order to achieve this, the new truck incorporates a number of new features, including a fully floating powertrain that creates less vibration and a quieter transmission, increasing operator comfort, while also protecting the truck from undue wear and tear. A low-level air intake and a system that routes the exhaust out through a counterbalance also reduces the perceived noise levels.
The input of operators can also be seen in a many other features of the DP/GP 40 – 55, including an industry first electronic push button parking brake and a reversing handle horn positioned so the operator can hold their rear viewing position more easily.
"When a warning needs to be given while reversing it would be foolish to ask the operator to look forwards for the horn so a button has been added to a grab handle. It’s a simple and safe solution," said Ken.
Another innovation is the elimination of tripping hazards in the cab by removing obstacles in the footwell area, making it easier for operators to climb in and out.
However, in developing the truck, the designers were not just concerned about operator safety. In the past truck designers have taken little heed of the risks to engineers, although engine covers need to be removed to access components, often in difficult and cramped conditions. With this in mind, the new trucks have covers that open wide with easily removable panels that also help to speed up daily maintenance checks and routine maintenance.
Added Ken: "Cat Lift Trucks have not reinvented the lift truck, but they have created a new, operator focused, working environment. The value of the investment in design and ergonomics may not be immediately obvious, but over a period of time companies and their operators will see benefits in terms of increased productivity and reduced accidents."