World’s first rotating cabin lift truck

German materials handling and new technology leader Jungheinrich is the first supplier in the world to launch a battery-powered forklift truck with a rotating driver’s cab on to the market.

This entirely new forklift truck solution world-wide — a further development of the “Future Truck” study presented by Jungheinrich in the year 2000 — is based on a Jungheinrich battery-powered truck from the “4” series with a lifting capacity of 3,000 kilograms.

The EFG D30 is mainly distinguished from its “mother”, the EFG 430, by the rotating cabin (D = Dreh), which can be rotated through 30 degrees to the left as well as through 180 degrees to the right with the Multipilot control.

Successful field trials were conducted and the series production was commenced mid 2005, with the formal product release at the 2008 CeMat Fair in Germany.

“The trend in industry and commerce is towards the transporting of multiple pallets: for example is the unloading of road trucks on one side only with two pallets on top of each other,” says Greg McNamara, Jungheinrich Product Manager for NTP Forklifts Australia, the sole importer and distributer of Jungheinrich products in Australia.

“As a result, forklift truck drivers have restricted forward visibility. They are forced to travel lengthy distances backwards — with all the attendant negative side effects.”

“The rotating cabin truck EFG D30 from Jungheinrich here sets new standards. On this truck the driver sits in an ergonomically favourable position, facing the direction of travel and with an unobstructed field of vision,” McNamara says.

“As the trend is increasingly towards multiple-pallet transports as well as the unloading of truck trailers or B-doubles from the side with load lifting devices with a capacity of up to four pallets or latticed box pallets, the driver of a front forklift truck more and more frequently finds his view ahead obstructed despite having a panorama mast carriage.”

“Reversing with sustained severe stress on the spinal column has to date been unavoidable,” he says.

The German Federal Institute for Industrial Safety and Industrial Medicine also draws attention to this health hazard.

In Germany, the costs arising from loss of output brought about through inability to work due to diseases of the muscular / skeletal system as well as of the connective tissue amount to some Euro 10.6 billion a year! (AUD $17.3 billion)

Calculated across all branches of industry and commerce, almost every fourth workday lost can be attributed to these diseases.

“The Jungheinrich rotating cabin vehicle can make a contribution to ensuring that in future a part of these problems can be avoided,” McNamara says.

“If the view ahead is obstructed by a load, such as for example a large packing unit or several pallets on top of each other, the driver can rotate the whole cabin through up to 180 degrees with the Multipilot control and guide the forklift truck to its destination with the load at his back.”

“After the load has been picked up, the driver can drive off straightaway and at the same time rotate the cabin through up to 90 degrees.”

“This position offers an adequate and comfortable view to the rear for short and medium-long distances — comparable with a reach truck.”

For travelling over longer distances, McNamara says the driver can rotate the cabin through up to 180 degrees — in which case, due to the automatic switchover function for the direction of steering and the direction of travel, this is only possible when the truck is stationary.

At the same time a Memory System allows the operator to have the angle of his choice set automatically.

In practice to date it has been found that the angles of 90 degrees (seated sideways as in a reach truck) as well as 45 degrees (for entering and leaving the truck) are to be recommended.

In the cabin the driver finds all the comfort and convenience of a modern forklift truck. The seat is air-cushioned.

The steering wheel is on the left, the Multipilot control — which concentrates all functions in one hand — is on the right and is integrated into the corresponding armrest.

The downward folding left armrest makes it easy to enter and leave the truck as also does the big entry step that Page 3 of 4 is easily visible from above.

The vehicle can be delivered as an open unit, or for example for ‘outdoor use’ with an all-round glazed cabin.

“The rotating cabin truck EFG D30 offers the same advantages as all its “relations” in the series of battery-powered trucks from Jungheinrich,” says Greg McNamara.

“Thanks to the use of three-phase ac technology the truck achieves performance values comparable with those of the IC engine powered forklift trucks.”

“This truck, which weighs in at less than 5,100 kilograms, can reach speeds of up to 20 kilometres an hour. Plus the highest handling turnover rates due to its peak values for acceleration, travel and lifting.”

“The lifting speeds with and without load are 0.50 and 0.67 metres a second respectively. Lying between these values are the lowering speeds — 0.56 and 0.57 metres a second respectively (with and without load).”

“At the same time longer operating times are guaranteed through optimum efficiency as well as through effective energy recovery,” McNamara says.

According to McNamara, changing the battery also features an innovation on this product.

“On the EFG D30 this is now possible from the side, which means that a crane is no longer needed for this,” he says.

“The battery rests on rollers. It can be exchanged by means of a simple changing device and using conventional pedestrian-controlled trucks.”

“A battery changing station is also available as an option. Further differences as compared with the series of conventional battery-powered truck are the steering and braking systems.”

“The guidance system works electro-hydraulically on the principle of the fly-by-wire system. As in all other battery-powered trucks, braking is always regenerative to feed energy back into the battery.”

“However, the brake of the EFG is all-electric and has three steps: a regenerative motor brake with energy recovery; an electric regenerative brake; emergency stop function through engagement of a multi-disc brake with a spring-loaded accumulator,” McNamara says.

In addition, the rotating cabin truck features a maximum of active safety.

The Jungheinrich Curve Control automatically reduces the travel speed when negotiating curves.

This active safety system — in conjunction with the extremely low centre of gravity of the truck — practically excludes the possibility of tip-over accidents through travelling too fast in curves.

“A further safety feature is offered by the automatic parking brake,” Greg McNamara says.

“It automatically prevents the truck from rolling backwards uncontrolled on ramps or gradients.”

“As is the case with the conventional battery-powered trucks from Jungheinrich, the Board Control permanently controls and monitors all functions of the EFG D30.”

“The pulse control makes for jerk-free driving, dynamic reversing as well as positioning with millimetre precision in conjunction with minimum energy consumption,” he says.

“Five individually modifiable work programmes guarantee optimum adjustment to every task profile.”

Jungheinrich AG is one of the leading international suppliers in the fields of materials handling equipment, warehousing technology and material flow technology.

In recent years the company has evolved from a pure producer of forklift trucks to a manufacturing logistics service provider.

Jungheinrich has a workforce of some 9,000 employees world-wide.

NTP Forklifts Australia is the sole importer distributor of the Jungheinrich range in Australia.

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