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New forkift truck mast design delivers visible productivity improvements

A series of product upgrades on Yale counterbalance lift trucks have been introduced offering exceptional operator visibility, promoting higher productivity and reduced maintenance contributing to lower cost of ownership.

Two new mast designs, and a redesigned integral side-shifting fork positioner carriage, offer businesses a number of benefits which contribute to increased productivity, reduced operator fatigue and lower product and equipment damage.

Enhanced Mast visibility and lengthened service life
Yale has redesigned its 3-stage FFL and 2-stage LFL masts to optimise operator visibility and extend service life. The new designs include new chain placement and hose routings to maximise the forward window through which the operator can see the forks as well as the 180 degree panoramic field of vision.

Changes to the design also contribute to increased mast rigidity and hydraulic hose life, extending service intervals and reducing maintenance and repairs over the product’s lifetime.

Manufactured without compromise Yale masts continue to provide robust and reliable performance, resulting in lower operating costs.

Productivity increased
NMHG counterbalance product strategy manager, Mat Allen comments: "The exceptional operator visibility made possible by the new mast design will lead to increased productivity and driver comfort. The optimised visibility also contributes to reducing product and equipment damage.

Mast lowering speeds have also been increased, in product testing two additional full capacity loads were handled every hour. Over the year, this could equate to more than 3500 loads, a figure that could on its own make a dramatic impact on any operation’s productivity levels."

New side shifting fork positioner
The new Yale side shifting fork positioner has been designed for Yale counterbalance forklift trucks including the ERP13-15 VC, ERP15-20VT, ERP16-20VF, ERC16-20VA electric series and GDP/GLP16-20VX ICE series.

The fork spread can be adjusted from a minimum inside dimension of 50mm, allowing specialist tools to be engaged, through the normal load handling requirements, up to a maximum outside edge width of 852mm, providing maximum support for wider loads.

Explaining the benefits Mat Allen, NMHG counterbalance product strategy manager, said: "Essentially the main advantage of the Yale side shifting fork positioner is that it allows the fork spacing to be adjusted from the operator’s compartment eliminating the need for the operator to manually adjust the forks for different loads. In many mixed load applications this could be as many as 50 – 60 times a day. By reducing one of the operator’s physical operations we are helping to reduce fatigue. The truck’s hydraulics take the strain instead of the operator.

"In addition, as the mast capacity of the truck is not affected by the use of the integral side shift fork positioner the full capacity load can be handled. This results in an increased capacity of 60kg more per load when compared to the hang on type of attachment. In an intense application this could equate to handling 3.6 tonnes more per hour. Based on moving 60 loads an hour this could equate to 21.6 tonnes per shift; or 108 tonnes a week!

"The ergonomic and productivity benefits can be clearly seen. What’s more, the ability to control the fork spread from the driver’s seat also offers substantial time savings in mixed load applications where the operator would normally be manually adjusting the forks for different loads, often several times per shift. This could amount to as much as two and a half hours a week of an operator’s time."

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