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Hyundai launches AC powered battery forklift trucks

Six new “Dash 7” models, 1.5t – 2t capacity, 3-wheel and 4-wheel to be introduced at Manutention 2008

Hyundai Heavy Industries Europe (HHIE), the construction equipment and forklift truck division of the Korean industrial giant, has announced the European launch of a new series of advanced battery-powered Dash-7 fork-lift trucks with AC technology at Manutention, Paris.

There are three 4-wheel models (16, 18 and 20B-7) with 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0t capacity, and three 3-wheel models (15, 18 and 20BT-7), with lift capacities of 1.5, 1.8 and 2.0t capacity, respectively. These new models replace the previous “Dash 5” HBF15-5, 18-5, 15T-5 and 18T-5 models, whilst the two new 2t models (20B-7 and 20BT-7) are additions to the range.

These are the first models to be offered by Hyundai with AC motors, providing superior control, smoother driving, improved energy efficiency, all aided by the excellent inherent braking and regeneration capacity of the drive system.

There are also significant performance benefits from the AC drive system, with improved traction, gradability (up to nearly 30%), and controllability, both on the ramp and during braking, provided by the smooth-working retardation characteristics of the AC drive motors. This enhances stability, operator confidence and consequent overall working efficiency.

The drive system utilises efficient Sauer-Danfoss drive motors (dual-drive on all models) and hydraulics with Zapi electronic controllers. The robust new, direct-drive AC motors are sealed units which are cleaner and quieter (than DC motors), and make a significant contribution to reduced operating and maintenance costs: there are no brushes or commutators, providing longer life and less servicing. The brakes too are maintenance-free, long-life wet-disc brakes.

A feature of the electronic control system is that different performance modes (High, Normal, Economy or Turtle) and speed limits can be pre-selected, and any system errors are displayed directly on the dashboard for self-diagnosis (making laptop analysis for simple faults unnecessary – but possible). There is also a high degree of component commonality between all the models.

The overall design features new smooth, rounded lines to complete their modern appearance, and close attention in the design has been given to operator comfort: with easy, lower step-in, improved seating position and visibility.

They also incorporate many operational performance benefits. The four-wheel machines have a particularly small turning radius (1.7-1.78m), comparable even to that of the highly-manoeuvrable three-wheel machines (with 1.57-1.69m). And low overall dimensions (1.1m wide and under 2m high) make these models the most compact in their class.

Other detail improvements include: J-section mast (replacing previous I-section) for reduced front overhang, increase load capacity and enhanced stability, and other simple yet important small touches such as better right-hand starter key position, bigger grab handles and lighter ratchet park brake lever.

These trucks have been conceived essentially for high-production indoor applications, so high-intensity utilisation between battery re-charge is possible, ensuring full working potential for entire shifts.

“The efficient new models bring a new dimension to the expanding Hyundai range,” explains Dirk Luyten, Hyundai's European Sales Manager (Lift-trucks). “with an increasing emphasis on operator pleasure, which is the combination of precision, comfort and reliability. Hyundai has been able to establish its brand thanks to its modern philosophy refusing to blindly « follow » contemporary tendencies for the use of electronics. This Hyundai philosophy is the markets true innovation: electronics have to serve man, not the other way around.”

These new AC-powered Dash-7 models will be launched in Europe at Manutention, Paris Nord Villepinte (11-14 March 08), Hall 6 – Stand E 084, and will be available for delivery from the first quarter of 2008. More additions to Hyundai's “Dash-7” range are expected to follow later this year.

New Training Centre
With a view to improving product knowledge and technical support, Hyundai has recently opened a new training centre at Geel, to provide product and technical training for dealers and customers, as well as certified operator training courses. The centre is expected to accommodate some 300 trainees during the year, coming from Hyundai's 115-strong Europe-wide dealer network and its customers.

Impressive growth record
As an indication of Hyundai's continued rapid growth and market acceptance in Europe, HHIE closed 2007 with a turnover of approximately 285 million Euros, on the sale of some 4800 machines (construction and fork-lifts combined). In 2003, this figure was 89 million Euros, representing an increase in turnover of 220% in just four years. The high point was 2006 when a turnover increase of over 40% was recorde

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