As the designers of forklift trucks seek to outdo each other in providing the latest new forklift gizmo to beat all others, it is forklift truck users who stand to benefit. Well, until they invent a self-driving, self-loading truck which puts everyone out of a job…but hopefully that technology isn’t going to turn up anytime soon. Recently several major companies have unveiled some incredibly advanced designs for future forklift innovations, and the features we can expect are far more than mere bells and whistles. Here’s what we can look forward to from the next generation of forklift trucks.
One of the most efficient designs we’ve seen is the 2020 CF Intelligent Forklift, a concept forklift scheduled for release in 2020 by Doosan Infracore. Not only does the truck contain a rechargeable battery, it also comes with a heads-up display (HUD) on the front of the windshield. This allows the driver to see a number of things at once, including current fuel levels, the weight of your current load, and even an augmented reality to help choose an appropriate approach to the task.
In the era of interconnectivity every device, machine and person will start talking to each other, and this includes lift trucks. The data sent between trucks will prove essential in future fleet management, as by monitoring a truck’s idle time, travel route and average load a warehouse manager can drastically cut time and costs. Yale Materials Handling Corp are just one of the many companies worldwide who have begun to fit their trucks with ever more elaborate GPS and wireless technology.
It is becoming ever more important that forklift trucks become adaptable for use in other situations, and the attachment maker Cascade are working on truck attachments to enable this. The key component of their work is in reducing the amount of decisions which need to be made by the operator, thus reducing in turn the number of mistakes. Smart attachments, such as clamps and rotators, will have in-built sensors which automatically adjust the forklift’s movements as and when they are needed.
The introduction of automated decision-making into forklift technology by companies such as Crown Equipment Corp does not make drivers redundant, but merely acts as a back-up to enable them to use their forklifts more safely, reducing the risks of forklift accidents. By monitoring the typical use and stresses placed on a forklift by one particular driver, they can be advised in very specific ways as to how best to handle their truck in future. Sensors placed on trucks and warehouses will also help drivers monitor other forklifts and the warehouse environment to ensure collisions become a thing of the past.
No we’re not talking about the colour, but we will be talking about the next generation of environmentally friendly forklifts coming out soon. The aforementioned 2020 CF Intelligent Forklift has an electric-powered core which combines with rechargeable battery-capacity technology to clear even the strictest environmental standards. Additionally the smart-battery technology being developed by EnerSys will help companies monitor their energy use and see where fuel is being wasted. By removing unnecessary processes and extended routes, forklift operators around the world can reduce man hours, emissions and costs significantly.