The expert, professional test team from a leading Dutch materials handling magazine put the new Hyster J1.6XNT three wheel electric counterbalanced forklift through its paces, reporting some impressive results.
"The compact design of the truck is unbelievably clever" reads the test report on the new Hyster J1.6XNT featured in the May edition of "Transport en Opslag". This leading materials handling magazine in Holland has an experienced test team and each month puts the latest forklift trucks to the test and reports its findings.
Hyster engineers designed the new 1.6 tonne capacity truck to be highly compact for maximum manoeuvrability in tight spaces, yet "…in spite of the compact dimensions, there is plenty of foot space" the test team reported, "…it is also obvious that the driver’s well-being is highly important in the overall design with details such as the curved overhead guard offering more shoulder room, to make getting on the truck quicker and more comfortable".
Hyster cites driver comfort as an important factor in productivity, which is why the information display and diagnostic unit have been positioned in the top right hand corner of the driver compartment, leaving the drivers’ field of vision free and making the steering column more compact, thus providing additional space. "There is enough space to adjust the seating position and, with the use of the rear drive handle and integral horn, stress affecting the driver’s neck and back when driving in reverse is reduced".
The new Hyster electric truck also has numerous useful storage areas in the driver compartment for items such as clipboards, pens and drinks including a 12V connector on the dashboard, useful for mobile phones or scanners. This ensures that the operator has everything he needs to do his job effectively, close at hand.
Peter Madoc-Jones, Product Marketing Manager from Hyster Europe explains "It is important to get a good report from Transport en Opslag. They have a great deal of experience and know exactly what to look for. They test trucks from every manufacturer, reporting the facts as they see it and therefore offer an independent view of a particular truck’s capabilities".
One of the elements focused on during the test programme was visibility, and it was reported that on the Hyster J1.6XNT "those who see the mast for the first time won’t believe it is a three stage mast… the mast window is very large". This design means the new Hyster truck provides excellent fork tip visibility.
Furthermore, all mast functions and truck direction controls are managed by mini levers positioned on the armrest and it was noted that the ergonomically designed control for direction changes was well conceived, as it can be simply controlled with the thumb.
Additional new and innovative features include synchronous steering, an offset seat position, again for improved visibility and comfort, long lasting LED-lights, a panoramic mirror to increase visibility, and a park brake that engages automatically when the driver gets off the truck. Overall, users benefit from low cost of operation and reduced maintenance requirements.
The Hyster marketing materials claim the truck to be well balanced, which was confirmed by the test team reporting that Hyster "fully meets this expectation". Fitted with sealed AC-motors and oil immersed brakes, Hyster has designed its new electric range to provide the best balance between performance and energy efficiency.
The trucks feature two performance levels, which have 4 settings in each. For higher lift/travel speeds, the HiP setting (High Performance) can be selected. Alternatively, "the eLo (Economy) setting, measured on our test track, provides more modest productivity, although" the team reports "no truck in this capacity segment was ever so economical". For a user, this means low cost of operation, greener performance and longer shift-life. "Combined with a battery capacity of 750Ah, it is possible to reach a shift life of more than 12 hours".
Regarding stability "we experienced how easily the Hyster truck handles the maximum test weights and its good behaviour on high lift heights. The weight test proves this… We would trust the truck to handle a full 1600kg at this height (4.6m)".
In the same edition of Transport en Opslag, the team also reviewed a truck (same class) produced by one of Hyster’s closest competitors, and stated that the Hyster truck by comparison "excels in practical use". In conclusion, the test team complimented the "exceptional work completed by the Hyster engineers".
Peter Madoc-Jones from Hyster concludes "We are delighted by the test results. They provide an experienced, independent review demonstrating that Hyster continues to lead the market in the design of forklift trucks for today’s demanding operations."