When a forklift driver is expected to be productive for the duration of an 8 hour shift, the total driving experience really matters. David Rowell, Hyster Product Marketing Manager, reveals 15 ways that Hyster has developed its diesel and LPG Fortens™ range of 2-3.5 tonne trucks to optimise what a driver sees, hears and feels.
1. Sitting comfortably
For operators of all shapes and sizes, Hyster offers the FLM 80 full suspension seat with a fully adjustable armrest. When combined with an isolated powertrain, this helps to minimise Whole-Body Vibration (WBV), making the ride quality more comfortable, even over rough terrain.
2. Adjustable steering
To find the optimum driving position for a long shift, operators can easily adjust the steering column that supports the steering wheel, which is only 30cm diameter and features a spinner knob for comfortable steering.
3. Comfortable in extreme temperatures
Whether in a refrigerated, temperature-controlled operation in the food and drink sector, or in an outdoor operation in tropical temperatures, heated or air-conditioned cabs help keep the operator comfortable.
4. A quieter drive
Significant research and development has gone into minimising the driver’s exposure to noise. A quieter engine and hydraulics contribute to significantly reduced noise levels at the driver’s ear with levels measuring 79dB(A) (in compliance with EN12053) for both diesel and LPG 2.5t models in the Fortens range.
5. Easy access and storage
Operators are often required to dismount and mount their forklifts several times throughout a shift, particularly in busy storage and distribution operations. A grab handle, low step height and ample foot space contribute to operator comfort and easy egress. Cab space is fully maximised with clipboard and drink holders and space for WMS computer system and scanners, so the operator doesn’t feel cramped.
6. Panoramic Views
Visibility of the forks is important for the operator and a new mast design from Hyster gives drivers maximum fork visibility. Hyster has optimised the 180 degree panoramic field of vision by enlarging the window through the mast and repositioning the chains and hose routings. Operators have excellent views of the operation, the load and any pedestrians
7. Feeling confident
The new Hyster® mast designs include changes to the structure that help to increase rigidity, giving the operators confidence in the truck’s toughness when handling loads.
8. Complete control
Operators have complete control of hydraulic functions, with maximum precision and minimal effort required, thanks to the highly responsive seat-side E-hydraulic controls. To suit operator requirements, there is a choice available between Touchpoint™ Mini-levers, offering precise fingertip control, and cowl-mounted mechanical hydraulic levers; both of which are intuitive and straightforward for the operator to use. Controls are also optimally positioned for the convenience of the operator and can be adjusted with the seat, as well as telescope forward, as required.
Excellent manoeuvrability is achieved thanks, in part, to the Hyster DuraMatch™ Transmission, offering electronic inching, controlled roll back on ramps and controlled power reversal, which virtually eliminates tyre spin. It also allows even the most aggressive direction changes to be smooth and regulated.
The Monotrol™ pedal option enables single foot control for acceleration as well as for changing direction between forward and reverse. This leaves the operator’s hands free for steering and operating hydraulic levers.
10. Tight spaces
To help drivers confidently operate in tight spaces, the S-series of space saver forklift trucks offers the same lift performance in a smaller chassis size. For example, the 2.5 Tonne S-series truck is available on a similar chassis to the equivalent 1.8 Tonne H-Series model. The smaller diameter banded cushion tyres allow for a smaller frame and more compact dimensions and can lift heavier loads to higher lift heights.
11. Braking control
Operators have confidence for a controlled stop thanks to the DuraMatch Transmission, featuring an Auto Deceleration System (ADS), which automatically slows the truck’s travel speed when the accelerator pedal is released, without needing to use the footbrake. Of course, the trucks also feature responsive brakes.
12. Filling up
Hyster has prolonged the length of time between refills with the ECO-eLo Fuel Efficiency Mode, featured on the Hyster Fortens series, which reduces fuel consumption by up to 20%. An easily accessible bottle bracket also enables the operator to refill LPG machines more quickly and efficiently.
13. Fork positioning
To enhance uptime, fork positioner attachments available from Hyster enable the operator to quickly reposition the forks to fit pallets of different sizes, without dismounting the truck.
14. Feeling accountable
Operator accountability can be implemented using the Hyster® Tracker, a wireless access monitoring system with individual access codes that can be used to track key performance data. Hyster Tracker also helps to maximise utilisation and uptime in operation.
To help enforce seat belt use Hyster has introduced high visibility seat belts, as well as an optional interlock system that prevents the driver from operating the truck without the belt being worn.
15. Routine and reliability
The operator daily check routine is compulsory. The Hyster Tracker can help to ensure the relevant checks are performed before operation begins each day, which helps to ensure reliability throughout the shift and gives the driver confidence in the truck’s strength and durability.