The power of four

Jungheinrichs new ranges of three- and four-wheel electric counterbalance trucks feature fourth-generation AC technology claimed to offer class-leading performance and the lowest running costs.

Reported to be ultra environmentally friendly, Jungheinrichs fourth generation AC technology is said to ensure that the EFG 213-220 (a three-wheel configuration truck with twin coupled rear wheels) and 316-320 (a four-wheel model) ranges achieve constantly low battery consumption. Energy costs are further reduced thanks to energy reclamation during braking so that, in most applications, a truck will operate for two shifts without the need for a battery change.

According to independent tests, during a typical shift the EFG will operate for up to half an hour longer before a battery change is required than certain of its competitors. This could equate to de-stacking an extra lorry load. Jungheinrich can demonstrate that the EFG is up to 20 per cent more energy efficient than trucks offered by all of its main competitors.

Jungheinrich developed its first generation of AC motors back in 1994 but the technology has moved on considerably since then and our Generation 4 AC motors offer exceptionally high performance, says Craig Johnson, marketing manager of Jungheinrich UK Ltd. In fact, he adds, our new electric counterbalance machines offer a level of performance that is comparable to that achieved by an IC engine-powered truck.

Craig Johnson continues: With our new electronic counterbalance range all motors- drive, lifting and steering - are AC. This means that there are fewer wearing parts which makes the trucks exceptionally service-friendly with less downtime and lower running costs as a result. And, because all motors and electronics are enclosed and all the electronic connectors are sealed, the trucks suitable for indoors and outdoors tasks.

Importantly, as well as manufacturing all the motors in the new range, Jungheinrich has also designed and manufactured the trucks fully sealed electronic controller and designed and tailored the onboard software so that it is perfect for forklift truck use. Some manufacturers use software originally written for use with construction or agricultural equipment, says Craig Johnson, Because it is bespoke our software helps to increase both truck reliability and energy efficiency still further.

Of course, ergonomics plays an important role during every forklift truck development at Jungheinrich and the power-assisted steering, which is a feature of the new range, ensures that the trucks remain comfortable to operate throughout even the most demanding shift with fewer turns of the wheel required to maneuver the truck.

Furthermore, within the operator compartment itself Jungheinrich has achieved considerably more legroom for the operator and the omission of the majority of the conventional steering column makes getting on and off the truck very easy.

The trucks also feature a Floating Cab design, which effectively means that the operators workplace module is suspended in the chassis to absorb shocks caused by uneven floors. The system means that the vibration within the operator compartment is minimal even when operating over the most difficult conditions and this also helps to make the trucks whisper quiet in operation.

Trucks in the EFG 213-220 or 316-320 ranges are robustly constructed. For example, like models in the VFG range, the EFG series has been designed with the counterweight underneath the operators seating position. By lowering the counterweight and positioning it further forward, Jungheinrichs engineers have effectively changed the trucks centre of gravity. In doing so they have made the trucks inherently stable - without the need for additional electronic stability systems - which as many truck users have found to their cost, need regularly servicing.

The impressive stability of the EFG 316-320 is further enhanced by the trucks high mounted steer axle.

In addition, three operator assistance systems ensure operator safety: for example, the trucks Access Control system allows the truck to be operated only once certain sequential safety mechanisms such as the drivers seat switch and the safety belt have been activated.

Trucks battery management system reduces downtime
To further enhance efficiency and reduce truck downtime the EFG trucks battery can be quickly and easily topped up during one- and two-shift operation: the battery door opens sideways to enable the battery to be pulled out with a hand pallet truck to make topping up and routine maintenance tasks easy. As a safety feature, the new trucks have a battery lock that prevents the truck from moving unless the battery has been properly secured after topping up.

When used in applications where the battery has to be changed for instance in operations where the trucks are required to work multiple shifts the battery can be completely removed quickly and safely using a hand pallet truck or electric pedestrian pallet truck, crane or another forklift truck.

An optional integrated onboard charger also monitors the acid state and temperature of the battery. If necessary, it issues a warning to the operator on the dashboard. This onboard charger allows flexible charging to be carried out at any location giving the battery a considerably longer service life and therefore enabling the truck user to make significant savings over the life of the machine.

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