Doosan has unveiled its latest generation of reach trucks - the 7-Series - which look set to receive rave reviews when they make their UK debut at IMHX 2013.
Very much matching the ethos of the South Korean automotive manufacturers, Doosan's 7-Series reach truck - available in 1.4t and 1.6t variants with masts extending up to 10.25m - offers a host of standard features which its competitors are charging as optional extras.
For example, it has 360-degree steering as standard (which can also be programmed to 180-degree if preferred), as well as auto drive-wheel centering on start-up. This latter feature means that when an operator jumps into the vehicle and pulls away, it will initially travel straight ahead, thus reducing the potential for accidents when in close proximity to personnel or racking.
Doosan claims high levels of performance and productivity with the 7-Series reach truck. It is described as being capable of lifting greater weights to a greater height using a smaller battery than its chief rivals. The smooth, fast, German-built masts feature a tilting carriage (rather than a tilting mast) with integral side-shift and adjustable wear pads as standard. All motors are AC, meaning they are contactless and lower-maintenance than DC motors features on other manufacturers' trucks. An integral load weight indicator is fitted as standard. Fork heights can be pre-selected to offer fast and safe placement and retrieval of loads at height.
As you would expect, ergonomics play a large part in the design of the new 7-Series. The operator cabin features the lowest entry step of its class, at 350mm, and the graphical screen is clear and intuitive. Keyless keypad entry prevents access to unauthorised operators, and enables performance and speed settings to be programmed to suit each driver or working environment.
A spacious cab offers clear, all-round views, and the struts of the overhead guard have been optimised for better upward visibility.
The vehicle's chassis is constructed solidly, with Doosan opting for rugged steel panels to protect it from damage during its lifetime.
Invited as part of a delegation of Doosan dealers for a sneak preview of the new models at Doosan's European manufacturing centre on the outskirts of Berlin, SHD's editor, Peter MacLeod, sought out the views of several of the dealers. The overriding opinion was that with the 7-Series reach trucks in the Doosan range will act as a way into sectors where they are currently not a strong player.
With a robust reach truck offering performance and standard features that match or better those of its competitors at a highly competitive price point, Doosan can win a greater share of the UK reach truck market in which it hasn't hitherto been a big player with the 7-Series's predecessors.
Tim Waples, UK director & general manager at Doosan Industrial Vehicle UK Ltd, said: "It was heartening to see some 80 representatives from our dealers travelling to Berlin with us. The enthusiasm with which the 7-Series was received was highly encouraging I must pay tribute to (UK general sales & marketing manager) Paul Watson and (UK dealer manager) John Errington for putting together the launch event."
The 7-Series will be on sale from the first quarter on 2013, and take its place at the heart of Doosan's stand at IMHX 2013.