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New Addition to Jungheinrich Family Mini Hydrostat Goes into Mass Production

The introduction of the new VFG 316s-320s marks a further addition to the Jungheinrich family of hydrostats. The prototype of this extremely quiet high-tech truck was unveiled to the public in September 2009. Now the truck has been taken into mass production at the Jungheinrich plant in Moosburg, Germany.

The "mini" IC engine forklift from Jungheinrich with hydrostatic drive (VFG 316s-320s) can transport loads of up to 2,000 kilogrammes and stack up to a lift height of 6.5 metres; the truck features German-made hydrostatic drive technology. At the heart of the new forklift is a Volkswagen motor which drives both the diesel (DFG) and the LPG (TFG) versions. The variable displacement pumps and wheel motors come from Bosch Rexroth. Thanks to software developed especially by Jungheinrich, the truck boasts a control system which allows for top performance while maximizing energy efficiency.

"This ‘mini’ hydrostat is the logical extension of the type VFG 425s-435s truck that was successfully launched on the market in 2008," declares Marek Scheithauer, Head of Product Management and Product Marketing for IC Trucks at Jungheinrich, adding that the proven concept in terms of the design, drive technology, ergonomics and safety features had all been retained.

Hydrostats Excel at Reversing Operations

"Hydrostatic drive characteristics stand for excellent driving comfort and high throughput, particularly for intensive applications," comments Scheithauer. In practice this translates into fast and direct acceleration, but also into smooth and sleek changes of direction. "This truck is cut out for reversing operations, for example during lorry loading and offloading," he concludes.

The number of rotations is automatically increased during hydraulic working processes. The hydrostatic drive technology allows for direct, precise and effortless driving and hydraulic processes. By pressing a button, the operator has a choice of five predefined working programs — from energy saving mode to maximum throughput, for flexible adaptation to each application.

Environmentally Friendly Motors: Low Consumption, Low Emissions

The hydrostatic drive technology employs only a few mechanical components, making it highly serviceable and low-maintenance. By utilising Volkswagen motors, several advantages from the automobile industry have now found their way into the IC engine forklifts from Jungheinrich. They are extremely quiet and consume considerably less energy, possessing very low emission values as a result.

The Jungheinrich VFG 425-435s with hydrostatic drive provides a high degree of safety in daily operations. Due to the special design of the counterweight and the high-mounted safety steering axle, the truck has a low centre of gravity and excellent stability. No additional electronic stability program is required. This principle has already been used in IC engine trucks developed by Jungheinrich since 2004.

Other safety aspects of the Jungheinrich VFG 425-435s can be observed virtually "with the naked eye". The special design of the console provides the operator with an excellent view of the payload and the fork ends. Visibility towards the rear has also been considerably improved, due to the low top edge of the counterweight. Jungheinrich has also made major improvements to the rear view by lowering the upper edge of the counterweight. The strut-free safety-glass window in the cab roof moreover permits a virtually unobstructed upward view when stacking and retrieving pallets.

Safety Engineering: New Packages Provide Greater Protection from Operating Errors

In addition to design-dependent safety features, a number of new safety packages are optionally available for the "mini" Jungheinrich hydrostat. Access Control, for example, involves a system which releases the forklift only after a certain sequence of safety mechanisms (closed seat switch, safety belt etc.) has been performed. Drive Control is based on the Curve Control active safety system, which has been successfully integrated in Jungheinrich electric trucks for many years. Here the cornering speed is reduced dependent on the steering angle. And the drive speed is reduced once a defined lift height has been reached.

In the Lift Control safety package, the tilt speed is automatically reduced for lift heights above a predefined limit; the tilt angle is also displayed and the side shift is moved to a pre-programmed central position. Also new on Jungheinrich IC engine trucks is an expanded safety locking system combined with seat occupation recognition, providing greater protection against operational errors.

Apart from optional safety packages, the Jungheinrich VFG 425-435s also has a number of other safety packages which have already been tried and tested in other truck series. These include a self-activating parking brake which prevents any rollback on ramps or inclines and an entry step which is visible from above for effortless operator entry and exit.

Ergonomics: Driving Comfort and High Throughput Efficiency

The ample, ergonomic design of the Jungheinrich VFG 425-435s workplace not only provides comfort and relaxed driving, but also allows for a high level of throughput. "If the operator not only feels safe but also well on our trucks, this reflects directly on the efficiency of the truck," according to Marek Scheithauer. Human vibrations are reduced to a minimum due to the dual decoupling of the drive unit and operator workplace module from the chassis. "Here we achieve values equivalent to the lowest values of our electric stackers," Scheithauer continues.

The seat-bound operating elements in a co-vibrating, two-stage adjustable armrest are also new. The operator also has the choice of selecting either the new SOLO PILOT or the MULTI-PILOT function — both with integrated travel direction switch. An electrically activated parking brake, a start button resembling that of the latest cars and a dually adjustable, slim steering column with memory function providing even more legroom and freedom of movement round off the innovations on the VFG 425-435s from Jungheinrich.

Jungheinrich ranks among the world’s leading companies in the material handling equipment, warehousing and material flow engineering sectors. The company is a service provider with manufacturing operations as well as an intralogistics solution provider, which offers its customers a comprehensive range of forklift trucks, shelving systems, services and consulting. Jungheinrich shares are traded on all German stock exchanges.

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