More comforting thoughts on the Hyster Fortens™ h4.0-5.5ft.

Being showcased for the first time at this year’s International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX) in Birmingham will be the H4.0-5.5FT, the latest addition to Hyster’s successful Fortens range. Ergonomically advanced, this is a truck designed for heavi


Being showcased for the first time at this year’s International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX) in Birmingham will be the H4.0-5.5FT, the latest addition to Hyster’s successful Fortens range. Ergonomically advanced, this is a truck designed for heavier industrial applications such as the paper making, bottling or construction industries. Fitted with a choice of powerful diesel or LPG engines along with Hyster’s much praised DuramatchTM transmission, it will bring the benefits of the Fortens range to a new group of users.

Get improved efficiency

A characteristic of this new Fortens truck is a features set designed to improve truck, and operator, efficiency. The DuramatchTM transmission, for example, is electronically managed by the truck’s Pacesetter Vehicle System Manager (VSM). This not only governs the transmission functions, such as Controlled Power Reversal, which helps reduce tyre wear, servicing and maintenance requirements, but at the same time it makes the operation of the truck easy for the driver, allowing him to increase his productivity.

Ergonomic features intended to reduce operator fatigue represent a major benefit to Hyster Fortens users. They include the Hyster-designed TouchpointTM mini-levers or a Touch ControlTM joystick controls built into the e-hydraulic armrest along with a full suspension seat, all made to increase driver comfort and create an improved and sustained work rate over a whole shift.

Hyster has long understood the productivity benefits of providing operators with an ergonomically designed cab, having won a European award for the design of its RS series reach stacker. All Hyster truck designs – whether for lift trucks, warehouse trucks or big trucks – are heavily researched to determine what operators want and which features work best for them,

Get more from ergonomics

Today, ergonomics (the study of workplace design) has become a major purchasing factor when companies look at investing in a new lift truck. Many involve operators in the purchasing process, encouraging them to trial trucks under consideration and record their opinions.

An important aspect of Hyster lift truck design is the engineers’ ability to create a cab which makes the best use of available space and offers operators the maximum leg and head room. Offering the right type of seat is a key element in facilitating a comfortable driving position. Hyster has used the seat to reduce unnecessary effort on the part of the operator by building many of the controls into an adjustable armrest on its 1-8 ton internal combustion and electric counterbalance range. Operators have a choice of a joystick or mini-levers, which reduces fatigue by putting key functions, quite literally, at their fingertips.

Visibility is also another aspect of ergonomics which Hyster has considered in depth. On the new Reachstacker range launched last April, there is a powered sliding cab which can be moved forwards and backwards to provide the operator with the best possible view of the container handling operation.

Correct positioning of the truck’s instrumentation is vitally important. So Hyster have fitted the instrument panel on their trucks to the right of the operator to avoid distraction and to maximise forward visibility. On all Hyster counterbalanced trucks, at-a-glance indicator lights and an alphanumeric display give direct feedback on the truck’s operating condition, including battery discharge status. The dash display also allows the operator to select from 4 pre-set performance parameters to suit both the individual and the application.

Getting more performance

Precise control is vital if any truck is to perform efficiently. So the easier it is for the operator to exercise that control, the more efficiently he will perform too. A Hyster ergonomically designed steering column allows the operator to find the position most suited to him/her, thus reducing physical stress, and adding to the overall comfort level. On Hyster’s warehouse trucks too, the tiller head has been designed to reduce operator fatigue by having the controls located close to the tiller arms. Hyster’s latest tiller head promotes improved speed, travel, direction and braking control, all combined with electronic steering, to further boost operator productivity and throughput. A wider, longer driver platform on Hyster’s low level order picker trucks provide increased working space for the operator and allows easier pass through to optimise picking on both sides of the truck. An additional ergonomic feature on the Hyster LO2.0L series is the rising platform, particularly suitable for second level picking.

“Ergonomics, just as much as any other design engineering feature on a lift truck, is there to help your business perform better,” says Russell Baker, UK Territory Manager for Hyster Europe. “Take full advantage of it because anything which can not only improve your businesses productivity while at the same time promoting greater job satisfaction, improved health and safety and lower absenteeism among operators, deserves to be put to work for you.”

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