Linde unveils major forklift revamp
08 January 2020
At a launch event this month, Linde released a new diesel powered forklift that pushes the envelope in terms of performance, fleet management, truck power and connectivity. Simon Duddy reports
Linde Material Handling has added a new generation of IC counterbalance trucks to its portfolio. The hydrostats in the load capacity range of 2.0 to 3.5 tons (H20-H35) have been developed from scratch based with almost a thousand forklift drivers and fleet managers from 26 countries surveyed.
“We listened closely to our customers and passed on their comments to our development engineers,” says Stefan Prokosch, SVP product management industrial trucks counterbalance at Linde Material Handling.
“The new vehicles support and protect the drivers in an unprecedented way; they are the most cost-efficient trucks on the market and make material flows even more transparent and productive thanks to wireless communication.”
Industry 4.0 ready
A significant innovative feature is that the trucks come fully networked as standard: Subject to the most stringent security standards, relevant vehicle data are transmitted to a central cloud server in Western Europe which can be accessed by customers and sales partners. In turn, data can also be received and processed. This means over-the-air software updates can be carried out or activating functions such as the load weight display.
Stefan Prokosch: “In the future, we can adapt forklifts to changing customer needs throughout their entire life cycle – even needs that we do not know about yet.” The connectivity helps with servicing, with remote diagnostics paving the way predictive maintenance and a usage orientated maintenance approach.
Unrestricted all-round visibility is an important prerequisite for quick, precise and safe goods handling when operating forklifts. The field of vision through the lift mast has been increased by a 20% compared with the predecessor model. Slim A-pillars and asymmetrical mast profiles open up additional viewing windows that make it easier to position the load with millimetre precision. The flatter counterweight allows a better rear view; the reinforced glass roof combines maximum visibility with the best possible protection.
The weatherproof cabin of new Linde models H20 to H35 also offers optimum side visibility – thanks to fully glazed doors. Additionally, the “Protector Frame” concept with overhead tilt cylinders and load-bearing frame ensures mast stability and maximum residual load capacity. In terms of safety, Linde Material Handling pursues its “Vision Zero”: In the long term, the number of accidents is to be reduced to zero. Lighting options such as LED Stripes and VertiLight for non-dazzling illumination contribute to this endeavor – as do “intelligent passengers” including the warning and assistance systems Linde Safety Pilot and Linde Safety Guard which provide important additional information to the driver, thus helping to prevent mistakes and accidents. The Linde Load Assist is fitted as standard. It actively intervenes as soon as the load approaches the capacity limit.
The most important influential factor in material handling, however, is still the human operator. And the more ergonomic and safer their environment, the better they work. This is why the new Linde forklift generation was designed with the driver taking centre stage: The truck’s step has a height of merely 465 millimetres and is more than twice as wide as before. A range of twelve different driver seat options is available – all the way to a heated super-comfort seat with separately adjustable backrest and automatic weight adjustment. The cockpit offers more than 10 centimetres of increased headroom; freely configurable switches have been integrated into the armrest (Linde Load Control). All forklifts are equipped with an electronic seatbelt monitoring function: If the driver is not wearing a seatbelt, the forklift will travel only at creep speed.
The trucks use Deutz engines (diesel and LPG versions) with a soot trap in the diesel version and a catalytic convertor in the LPG version to ensure the new truck meets the very stringent requirements of Euro Stage V emissions regulations.
Prokosch says Linde attached great importance to optimising the energy consumption and increasing the handling capacity, while reducing emissions at the same time. Linde Material Handling has achieved this by using a modern, maintenance-friendly industrial engine, integrating a particulate filter as standard and further optimising the Linde hydrostatic drive.
Prokosch continues: “Our measurements show that our forklifts are up to 30% more economical than those of our competitors and they are also clearly superior when it comes to handling capacity. This makes them even more cost-efficient throughout their entire service life. At the same time, they are more resource-friendly and produce less hazardous greenhouse gases.”
The series marks the end of the design separation of IC and electric forklifts. All new counterbalance trucks in the load capacity range of 1.2 to 5 tons will from now on be based on a uniform modular concept.
“We want to offer our customers equivalent vehicles for all applications – regardless of the type of drive,” explains Prokosch. In this way, Linde Material Handling makes it easier for customers to embark on the transformation process towards sustainable drive concepts. There is a compelling reason why forklifts with diesel, fuel gas and natural gas drives are the first to be manufactured in line with the new platform concept:
“We wanted to meet the Euro V emissions standard for this load capacity class with a new vehicle and offer our customers an IC forklift that sets even higher benchmarks in the industry and is prepared for any Industry 4.0 applications,” says Prokosch, “We’ve done exactly this with our newly launched forklift model.”