Today’s Forklifts—Combining Technology and Comfort
Is your lift truck experiencing too much downtime? Does it cost too much to maintain? If so, it might be time to sell and upgrade to a modern forklift. Today's forklifts are new and improved, designed with advanced technology and ergonomic features. These improvements help meet increased productivity demands while keeping the operator's comfort in mind.
So what drives the need for technology when it comes to forklifts? With a mission to make equipment safer and the need for more efficiency in the workplace, technology is a means to accomplishing that goal. Let’s examine some of the factors driving the technology that elevates the modern forklift.
- EPA regulations for IC forklifts. With the crackdown on the level of emissions acceptable for nonroad vehicles, technology has been vital for compliance with Tier 4 emissions regulations. Energy-efficient forklift technologies provide for a cleaner workplace in addition to higher fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance time.
- AC power for electric forklifts. As technology continues to develop, AC drives to power forklifts have provided a superior alternative in many applications. Electric forklifts powered by storage batteries are easy to operate, stable, work at low noise levels, and have zero emissions. Because of the many benefits, technology continues to advance for AC-powered forklifts, including the batteries used to run them.
- Connectivity. The IoT (Internet of Things) has made its way into our day-to-day lives, including the modern workplace. Simply put, the IoT is a giant network of connected "things" (which also includes people). The relationship is between people-people, people-things, and things-things.  So connectivity in the workplace has become increasingly important—including forklifts. Connected devices capture key data from the forklift that is useful for OSHA and maintenance purposes, as well as safety controls and monitoring of forklift impacts. All this acts as an extra set of eyes for management. Read more in our blog, Fleet Management Systems—Technology to Improve the Bottom Line.
In addition to technological design, let’s look at some of the ergonomic features of forklifts that improve productivity as well as the safety and comfort of the operator. What is ergonomics, and why is it important? Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products, and systems to fit the people who use them.  Through the science of ergonomics, the goal is to improve workspaces to lessen the risk of injury or harm. With the high cost of work-related injuries, comfort in design is a current priority.
Forklift ergonomic advancements and their benefits include:
- Roomier operator areas with more headroom and leg clearance allow easier entry, exit, and comfort.
- User-friendly controls, power steering, and adjustable armrests help to reduce shoulder and arm fatigue.
- Safety and comfort features such as shock-absorbing padding and floorboards.
- Restructured masts so they are less cluttered and well positioned gives way to better visibility.
- Suspension seats and vibration reduction are crucial for long-term operator comfort.
- Climate control features for extreme temperature applications
Designed with the operator in mind, the Crown FlexSeat delivers a smooth and comfortable ride through its flexible seat back, wider seat,and durability.
As a final point, an older forklift in need of frequent repair not only results in costly maintenance bills and downtime, it costs you money by not providing the technology and comfort to run a better operation. If you are in the market for a newer forklift, talk to one of our material handling professionals about the benefits of the modern forklift. The goal is to provide safe, efficient, and ergonomic lift trucks to lower your total cost of ownership and increase uptime.
Action Lift, Inc. represents Crown Equipment Corporation and UniCarriers Forklifts. Crown consistently receives recognition for excellence in ergonomics and innovative, award-winning designs, as well as promoting a culture of sustainability. And UniCarriers has recently introduced a new seat for its Class I, IV, and V forklifts designed with a low-profile mechanical suspension that reduces vibration and features improved weight adjustment and lumbar support. Both companies are devoted to investing in exceptional engineering with research and development for technology and ergonomic advancements.
Action Lift is ready to be your material-handling solutions partner in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Contact us today for a DEMO.