Safe in our hands

September 01, 2014 by Kirsty Adams
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A wide range of safety features and innovations are available on Linde Material Handling’s fork lift trucks, helping to ensure safe operation and a reduction in operating costs.

Whatever your material handling needs, Linde’s comprehensive approach and portfolio of safety products and services are designed around the needs of its customers. This holistic, preventative approach ensures safety is built in to every truck.

 

Linde’s latest safety innovation is the Linde Safety Pilot. This is a unique electronic driver assistance system which helps the operator to control the fork lift truck safely, minimising the risk of an accident.

Operators are responsible for ensuring the load they lift does not exceed the rated load capacity of the truck. To do this properly (and safely), they need to know the load weight and centre of gravity and the maximum lift height of the mast. However, this is not the complete story. Fork lift trucks can lift heavier loads at lower down than they can at height and the effect of the tilt function can be to destabilise the load – especially when tilting forward at height. Without a detailed knowledge of the information specified by each manufacturer in the load capacity diagram for the truck, operators may expose themselves and others to serious danger.
 
The Linde Safety Pilot offers excellent support in this situation because the display mounted in the operator’s compartment will indicate when the truck approaches instability. The operator is not only shown the load centre of gravity – the load weight currently placed on the fork arms, the current lift height, the tilt angle of the fork arms and the maximum lift height up to which the load may be raised are also displayed. To help operators quickly identify all of these values, the display features a clear graphical design keeping numbers to a minimum.
 
THE ORIGINAL LINDE HYDROSTATIC DRIVE
Technology can be copied, experience cannot. Since the launch of the first forklift with hydrostatic drive in 1959, Linde has continually refined the concept to match the changing demands of its customers and markets. The transmission provides safer and more effective braking whilst delivering seamless forward and reverse manoeuvring and pinpoint accuracy through its ability to inch in either direction with masterful precision.
 
If a Linde truck is parked on a gradient with the engine running, and the operator does not apply the handbrake or if the handbrake is badly adjusted, the inevitable roll-back will be limited to creep speed as opposed to the truck “running away” -– and if the engine is switched off, the truck will only move approximately 1m before the oil-immersed multi disc brakes in the transmission are applied and the truck becomes stationary.
 
Linde’s range of electric trucks offers automatic braking similar to the hydrostatic braking and an automatic handbrake to provide the same level of security as on engine-powered trucks.

MANAGING WORKPLACE SAFETY
Factory yards and warehouses are busy working environments, and the importance of keeping the workplace safe is a major concern. Linde has worked closely with customers to develop a range of safety features that promote safer working. As an example, an innovative safety reversing system can be offered. This device automatically slows down the truck through the transmission when the  sensors detect an obstacle to the rear and produces audible and visual warnings for the operator. This dramatically reduces the risk of serious injury to pedestrians and collisions with physical obstructions when reversing.
 
Safety is inherent in the design of Linde trucks, and specific features on individual models – as well as a number of common safety elements – span the whole range.

Linde Bluespot is a visual driving path warning device which enhances pedestrian safety both in trucking aisles as well as intersections between aisles and pedestrian walkways. The Bluespot consists of two energy-efficient, very bright and long-lasting LED lights attached to the top of the operator’s protective roof frame, which project a large blue spot onto the floor a few metres ahead in the direction of travel (forwards or backwards). This acts as a warning to pedestrians who may be approaching. The spot can be lit up constantly or it can flash in order to attract attention.

Linde Driver Assistant is an electronic system reducing traction speed automatically depending on steering angle resulting in perfectly safe cornering manoeuvres every time. Uniquely this can be fitted as standard to both engine and electric counterbalance trucks as well as reach and pallet trucks in the Linde range. Truck speed can also be controlled electronically to match customer site speed limits.
Linde trucks are safe through intelligent design rather than add-on safety systems. The stability of counterbalance trucks can be viewed as a triangle with one side formed by a line through the drive axle and the other two sides connecting this line to the pivot point of the steer axle (see figure 1). If a truck is lifted up on one side, it will tip over along these lines.

In actual operating conditions, as a truck turns a corner, centrifugal force causes the centre of gravity to move outwards. If the centre of gravity moves beyond the stability triangle, the truck will tip over towards that side. So the closer the centre of gravity is to the edge of the stability triangle the less stable the truck.
The counterweight of a Linde truck is designed so that weight comes as far forward toward the centre of the stability triangle and as low down as possible, therefore optimising the position of the centre of gravity.

Finally, with operator well-being a contributing factor to safety, the workstation of Linde’s counterbalance and reach trucks are isolated from the chassis to reduce the vibrations, and on the counterbalance range a unique overhead tilt cylinder design ensures that most of the stresses are dispersed evenly over the whole structure of the truck, again resulting in less vibration and reduced deflection of the lift mast.


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