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The Driver Assistance Systems Needed for Safe Forklift Operation

In order to ensure that forklift operation is carried out safely within the workplace, there are a number of rules that warehouse and storeroom owners can implement, including always being aware of your surroundings, going at slow speeds and wearing protective gear. As well as that, forklift operators should also receive adequate training before getting behind the wheel, but with all of these measures in place, it’s still possible to enhance the safety of your workers even further with the help of driver assistance systems.

These systems have been specifically designed to help the forklift operator cope with a variety of different situations that could crop up at any time. Often, no matter how much training they have had, it can be difficult to navigate certain events or issues, particularly if they’ve never come across them before.

Much of what can be learnt about forklift operation comes with experience, and so these driver assistance systems will ensure that your employees stay safe at all times, particularly if they’re still getting to grips with forklift operation, even after their training.

There are many benefits to these safety systems and are as follows:

Improved safety in the workplace – these systems often come equipped with automatic detection, ensuring that many obstructions and obstacles are avoided during operation. Automatic braking systems can also be programmed, so you can tailor these systems around different applications.

Enhanced performance overall – these driver assistance systems will help to improve the efficiency and productivity of your warehouse. With the help of intelligent programming, it’s never been easier to maintain the smooth running of operations.

Saves time – these systems will allow vehicles to travel faster, thus resulting in a rapid transportation of goods in and around your warehouse. It even has the potential to reduce search times, making order picking and location identification even quicker.

Reduces human error risks – order picking and general storage of stock will become even more efficient and effective. These systems will mitigate the risk of errors made by both your workers and the existing material handling equipment you have, especially when it comes to retrieving stock for transportation.

Active floor compensation (AFC)

Specifically designed for VNA forklifts, AFC ensures that a narrow-aisle forklift is able to navigate and safely deal with uneven surfaces in and around your warehouse. It works by first detecting that the floor is uneven, but only if the problem is found in the path of the load wheels. Once this has been done, the AFC will compensate for the issue by ensuring the chassis remains in a horizontal, sturdy position whilst keeping the mast upright at all times, all within the tolerance range.

The benefits of AFC include:

  • Instant reaction due to super-fast processors, even when driving at maximum speed
  • Mitigates vibrations before they occur
  • Dampens shocks, helping to elongate the life of the forklift

Speed adaptation systems

OptiSpeed is popular among forklift operators as it can be used with all electrical equipment, including pallet trucks and stackers and it works by clocking the speed the driver is going and then adapting it, in good time, to any situation that would require the overall speed to be reduced.

According to the forklift’s angle of engagement, the OptiSpeed tiller will regulate, automatically, the maximum speed of the vehicle. As the angle of engagement increases, the unit will decelerate the truck, allowing for smooth, safe transportation and operation.

The benefits of speed adaptation systems include:

  • The safer movement of goods, particularly in tight, small spaces
  • Driver can still facilitate movement even while the speed adaptation system works
  • Maximises ergonomics of transportation and maneuverability

Assistant truck control (ATC)

An ATC is a safety package that brings together multiple functions that work to protect your employees from harm whilst being behind the wheel of a forklift. These functions will be able to detect driving situations that could potentially be precarious or critical. Once the risks have been identified by the ATC, the operator will be alerted to the issue. If a situation comes up with little time for the driver to react, then the ATC will automatically intervene for them.

The functionalities it offers include:

  • Alerting the driver if the brake has not been engaged once their seatbelt has been undone – this is to ensure the forklift is safe and secure when left unattended
  • Automatic reduction of speed if the operator’s seatbelt has not been fastened
  • Speed adjusted accordingly in order to navigate safely around corners
  • Reducing the speed of the forklift should the forks be raised to more than their fixed value (usually around 500mm) whilst in transit

The benefits of ATC include:

  • Your employees won’t forget to put a seatbelt on
  • Forklifts can be left unattended, with peace of mind that the brakes are on
  • The overall handling of the forklift is made safer

Lift fork speed reduction

Maximum safety during the movement of goods, particularly when order picking, is paramount to warehouse operations. The raising of forks, especially if carrying heavy loads, will run the risk of having the forklift itself tip over, putting the forklift operator, and others in the vicinity, in danger. Second to that, stock could also be damaged, which could cause the business to take a financial hit should products need replacing.

Lift fork speed reduction will help to mitigate these issues, ensuring that, no matter how heavy or large the load that’s being carried is, your workers are always safe behind the wheel of a forklift truck.

The driving speed will automatically be reduced, adjusting to the fork height at the time of operation. If the driving speed is inconvenient or not suitable for a certain application, you can change the speed settings to suit your requirements.

The benefits of a lift fork speed reduction system include:

  • Preventing the damage or loss of goods
  • Ensuring the safety of the forklift operator
  • Protects other members of the team from falling stock or forklifts, should they topple over
  • Mitigates the need for the business to replace damaged or broken products, thus saving them money in the long run

Curve speed control

This system will reduce the speed of the forklift when it’s navigating corners or curves. The cruise control, that’s angle-controlled, will adapt the speed in order to safely drive around corners and curves in the path of the forklift. The driving speed will automatically regulate depending solely on the angle of steering.

The benefits of curve speed control include:

  • Driver won’t need to think about speed when navigating corners
  • It will improve efficiency in the warehouse
  • Prevents goods from being broken or damaged
  • Mitigates the risk of forklifts tipping over due to driving around corners at a considerable speed
  • Deceleration is done in such a way that maximises the safety of the driver whilst also being eco-friendly

Hire Forklifts are proud to be able to provide our customers with safe, reliable warehouse equipment and material handling machinery, all available for long or short term hire. From diesel and electric forklifts to order pickers and reach trucks, all constructed by some of the most renowned manufacturers in the industry, you can always count on us to provide you with the most ideal solution to meet your business needs – for more information about our rental service, get in touch with a member of our friendly, knowledgeable team today.

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