There are plenty of lift trucks out there that can load and unload trailers, whisk products through the DC, and store items in racks. But how many can do it while providing a ride comparable to a luxury automobile's Crown Equipment Corp. says its new RC 5500 series stand-up counterbalanced lift trucks can do all that and more.
Designing a truck that would ensure a smooth ride for operators traveling all day over rough floors and dock plates was no small challenge. Crown's designers solved the problem by developing the FlexRide suspension?a revolutionary design that reduces shock and vibration to a third of the level experienced with other stand-up trucks, according to the company. "Our research showed FlexRide allows operators to be more productive when navigating uneven floors or dock plates," says Matt Logan, Crown's director of marketing and product management. The design team added several other ergonomic features for good measure, he notes. "The contoured backrest, hip pads, and foot rests found on the RC 5500 also contribute to overall operator comfort and productivity."
Crown's designers also focused on comfort when designing the trucks' operator compartment. "We really challenged ourselves to design the RC 5500 Series compartment to be the best in its class," says Logan. "The lift truck compartment is the operator's office. We studied operator behavior, including how they got on and off the lift truck, and how they maneuvered around the warehouse managing loads."
Along with comfort, the new trucks were engineered for superior visibility, according to Logan. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that lift trucks travel in the direction of best visibility, he says. On counterbalanced lift trucks like the RC 5500 Series, that means traveling power unit first. Crown's designers considered the shape of the power unit as well as the placement of the pillars, mast, and overhead guard as they looked for ways to maximize visibility. One result was the decision to indent the right side wall to ensure that the operator has a direct sight line to the front of the truck and its forks. This enhanced view allows operators to anticipate any trouble spots and correct the lift truck's position before making tight turns.
The trucks also come with features designed to enhance performance monitoring and maintenance. For example, the trucks' Access 123 Comprehensive System Control monitors and controls all systems to ensure superior performance and reliability. In addition, the Intrinsic Stability System helps keep the RC 5500 in safe operating condition by monitoring performance based on the current operating environment, such as the lift truck's direction, speed, wheel angle, and fork position as well as the weight of the load.
"Ease of maintenance" features include the new e-GEN Braking System, which Crown says significantly reduces maintenance costs by eliminating wearable parts, adjustments, and fluid leaks. The system leverages the torque of the Crown AC motors with other integrated systems, replacing traditional maintenance-intensive brakes. In addition, the trucks' InfoPoint System simplifies maintenance and troubleshooting with quick reference guides and on-truck component maps. The truck is also designed so that parts are easily accessible, Logan adds. Technicians can get at many service components by simply removing two covers and three bolts, he says.
The new three-wheeled trucks come in three capacities: 3,000, 3,500, and 4,000 pounds.
Company: Crown Equipment Corp.
Company URL: www.crown.com