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Fork truck management solution from Traka makes key management affordable

Key management specialist Traka has launched a variation of its system which makes it cost-effective for even the smallest fleets of fork trucks or other mechanical handling equipment. The company’s unique fork truck management solution is already installed on over 8000 trucks in the UK and is designed to ensure that only authorised drivers have access to vehicles. The small fleet system works without the need for software or Traka key cabinets, keeping it simple and affordable.

Most fork trucks are delivered with a conventional key, often keyed alike to the next truck. Keys are required to ensure that trucks can be disabled when not in use, but very often the keys are left permanently in the ignition, allowing any person the opportunity to drive the vehicle. Even if keypads are fitted, there is a risk that a common PIN number can be used or that drivers learn another operator’s PIN number, thus creating a compromise to Health & Safety compliance or even security. Traka’s solution relies upon intelligent electronic keys – iFobs – that can’t be copied and which carry a user’s unique profile. These iFobs operate in conjunction with a variation of the Traka Immobilisor, as used in all other Traka fork truck management systems.

With Traka’s small fleet system, the supervisor has complete control over which trucks each driver may operate. Each driver has an individual iFob and updating the iFob to change access permissions takes a matter of seconds. The iFobs are extremely hard-wearing, nickel-plated brass tubes designed to work in wet, cold stores and hot environments; each one also has a numbered security tag attached to ensure immediate identification if an iFob is mislaid.

Supervisors have a special Service iFob, which is used to "teach" the drivers’ iFobs which trucks they may operate. Each driver can be given access to a different range of trucks, depending on their skills and experience; once an iFob is programmed with an individual driver’s access permissions, it becomes that driver’s personalised key. Each iFob can be taught to activate from a single truck up to 50 trucks at any one time and this information is permanently carried in the iFob until cancelled. Lost iFobs are easily replaced and quickly reprogrammed.

"The small fleet system enables smaller businesses to benefit from the kind of efficient, cost-effective key management previously only available to big organisations," says Godfrey Anderson, Traka’s MHE Sales Manager. "With effective control of vehicles, you know that only authorised drivers have access to them, the issue of lost keys is removed and it’s also easier to meet health and safety obligations. You’ll probably find your damage bills are significantly lower too because drivers take more care when they know they can be traced and identified!"

With greater control comes an effective Health and Safety process and greater security for the vehicles themselves. Traka’s small fleet system is low-cost, easy to install and should not compromise any warranty or maintenance agreements. All that is required is a Traka Immobilisor, installed under the dashboard of each truck, plus a receptor socket which replaces the conventional key switch. The controller includes a built-in DC/DC converter, which ensures a 12 volt supply if a truck is a 24 or even 48 volt model.

As long as there is power available, Traka’s Immobilisor can be fitted to any equipment on site and can even be used to activate other plant and equipment, doors, cleaning machines, cherry pickers, dock levellers, compactors, baling machines and so on. The flexibility of Traka’s range of systems means that the small fleet system can be easily upgraded to another more advanced system at a later date if required.

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