Yale’s electric forklift development programme continues with the launch of a new 80-Volt counterbalance series. The VL is the most energy efficient, ergonomically advanced and productive counterbalance forklift series in the 2200kg to 3500kg capacity available today. Compact in design, the new VL offers a performance normally only associated with diesel and LPG forklift trucks, but without the indoor application restrictions often associated with engine powered fork lift trucks.
The VL series is a four wheel electric counterbalance super-cushion tyre forklift truck available in lifting capacities from 2,200kg to 3,500 kg with five wheelbase and capacity configurations. Combining a compact footprint with performance normally only associated with internal combustion engine trucks, The VL is suitable for use in both indoor or outside applications, particularly in environments where space is at a premium.
Advanced ergonomics for exceptional productivity
Yale understands that ergonomics and productivity are inexorably linked which has helped the company to deliver a series of fork lift trucks that combines both function and form that will impress operators and fleet managers.
One of the most ergonomically advanced forklift truck series available, the VL series benefits from many features introduced on the company’s VT/VF and VG series; features that set new standards in application productivity, driver ergonomics and delivery of the lowest lifetime cost of ownership. These include:
easy on/off access and three point entry;
unobstructed floor space with right-hand access;
generous headroom, comfortably accommodating the smallest (<160cm) to the tallest (>194cm) operators;
AccuTouch mini lever module featuring angled cushioned arm and palm rest with fingertip control of levers to reduce repetitive strain injuries (RSI);
full suspension seat providing the lowest Whole Body Vibration (WBV) levels;
heads up display for increased visibility and ease of use.
In fact the VL series offers class leading reductions in whole body vibrations resulting in less operator fatigue and optimised productivity over the shift period.
Performance leads to productivity
Yale has incorporated design features at every opportunity to help increase productivity. In addition to increased productivity through operator comfort, the VL features Yale’s unique e-balance technology. This enables customers to define the most suitable setting for their business; either HiP – high productivity or eLo – energy efficiency.
Operating in HiP, the VL series delivers maximum traction and hydraulic performance for the most demanding high productivity applications. The eLo setting provides the ultimate balance between truck performance and battery shift life. Energy consumption is the lowest in its class whilst maintaining class leading performance and productivity.
According to the VDI 2198 standard test, the ERP 25VL Value forklift consumed 20% less energy (kWh/h) than the leading competitors’ average.
Performance can be further customised by the operator by selecting one of the four performance modes, where mode 4 provides maximum speed and acceleration and mode 1 is used where the application demands very precise load handling and manoeuvrability (60% of maximum speed and acceleration).
YaleStop Automatic Park Brake
Standard on all of Yale’s new electric counterbalance forklift trucks is ‘YaleStop’, an ‘Automatic Park Brake’. Similar to the feature fitted on many premium specification cars, YaleStop is automatically activated when the forklift truck is not in motion, or when the operator is not seated. This provides improved controllability on ramps and grades and increases productivity dramatically where the driver is frequently moving on and off the truck. It also eliminates the need for alarms and buzzers to alert operators that the handbrake has not been set.
With space designed into the trucks for clipboards, pens, mobile phones and drinks dashboard space is maximised for the operator’s convenience. Provision has also been made for a 12V power socket to be fitted as an option for the recharging of production equipment and personal items, including mobile phones or mp3/4 players, etc.
Daniel Heap, Electric Truck Senior Product Development Manager for NMHG, says: "The materials handling market is like many others it has been suffering from the effects of the global financial downturn. With the launch of the Yale’s new VT, VF, VG and now VL series of forklift trucks Yale is already providing customers with new ways of responding to today’s challenges by providing products that are the most energy efficient, productive and also have the lowest lifetime operating costs of any manufacturer.
"The development of the electric forklift truck range has taken into account not only the requirements of the finance director and the operations manager with their need for lower costs; our extensive research into driver requirements has ensured that Yale trucks have industry leading operator comfort and unique features to ensure that the driver remains comfortable and productive throughout the day."
"The Yale independent dealer network now has the most comprehensive range of forklift trucks and materials handling equipment that will allow them to provide customers with the best materials handling solution for their application. This in turn will help them to position themselves to take full advantage of the inevitable upturn."
Productivity at source
The VL series is being manufactured at Yale’s parent company’s Craigavon manufacturing plant in Northern Ireland. A new production line has been built to cater for the demand for Yale’s next generation of electric counterbalance forklift trucks.
In addition to the new VL series, Yale’s VT and VF series are also produced in Craigavon. Productivity is key as currently less than ten per cent of forklift trucks manufactured on the production line have exactly the same specification.
A high level of customisation during assembly is demanded by Yale customers and it’s what the company prides itself in delivering – a forklift truck that meets the customer’s needs, with everything in the right place.