Forklift trucks vary considerably in their technical makeup, especially engine powered trucks, with the transmission being a defining factor. Forklift manufacturer Hyster has proved its patented DuraMatch transmission can benefit operational efficiency and help companies reduce costs.
In its simplest form, a powershift transmission transfers power from the engine to the tyres through a torque converter, relying on the brakes to then slow the forklift. However, with developments in technology, transmissions can be the source of many operational benefits, and can be protected from driver damage. Peter Madoc-Jones, Product Marketing Manager for Hyster Europe, explains Loading and unloading operations involve frequent forward and backward shuttling duties, which can put a strain on standard forklift transmissions.
Hysters DuraMatch transmission is available across the Fortens range of 1.6 to 9.0 Tonne capacity engine-powered trucks and features one, two or three forward speeds, depending on truck capacity and model. The transmission has been specifically designed to offer the best powershift transmission controllability on the market combined with reduced operating costs and improved driver performance.
The transmission is electronically controlled using an on-board electronic control unit, known as the Pacesetter Vehicle System Manager (VSM). In addition to the transmission, the VSM also controls all truck hydraulic and electronic functions and simplifies some operator functions.
The system automatically slows the trucks travel speed when the accelerator pedal is released without using the footbrake, helping to increase driver productivity, minimise brake pedal use and significantly reduce brake and tyre wear. We call this the Auto Deceleration System or ADS comments Peter Madoc-Jones.
The VSM regulates oil flow through the forward & reverse clutch packs to reduce speed, and the deceleration rate can be tailored via the dash display, to suit the needs of the driver or application.
Even the most aggressive direction changes can be made smoothly, without using the brake pedal or even stopping the truck. The DuraMatchs Controlled Power Reversal (CPR) feature simultaneously manages the engine RPM and activates control valves on the clutch packs, delivering a smooth direction change, without wheel spin. This contributes to improved productivity and reduced costs, prolonging the lifetime of the clutch, brakes and tyres, and optimises truck control.
The clutch packs are virtually maintenance free because they run in oil and combine with a cooling package to optimise their performance. The entire powertrain is also protected, warning the operator of high engine coolant temperature, low engine oil pressure or high transmission oil temperature. It shuts the truck down if the condition continues for 30 seconds, if no action is taken by the operator.
This feature prevents drivers from ignoring the warning signals, and instead, forces immediate action in order to prevent major damage. adds Peter.
All Hyster trucks are ergonomically designed to deliver ease of operation, comfort and reduced fatigue to the driver. The DuraMatch transmissions design plays a vital role in minimising pedal control effort, allowing the driver to concentrate on the operation and carry out tasks efficiently, and accurately, reducing the risk of collision or stock damage. For example, when driving forward on a ramp, the DuraMatch also limits the trucks rollback rate when the brake and throttle pedals are released, preventing the truck from running uncontrolled off the ramp.
These characteristics of excellent controllability, superb fine positioning and ease of use in handling operations are further demonstrated in the enhanced DuraMatch Plus version of the transmission, which is available with either two or three speeds. For example, the DuraMatch Plus features an enhanced version ADS system, known as Dynamic ADS, which, combined with the Throttle Response Management feature, allows the driver to determine his deceleration rate by the speed at which the accelerator pedal is released. An additional operating characteristic is Auto-Speed Hydraulics with Automatic Inching Control, this feature delivers increased engine RPM to provide full hydraulic power for lifting, while maintaining a constant travel speed, without the operator needing to depress the accelerator pedal.