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The German forklift manufacturer Linde has developed a new elevated cabin that allows forklift operators see over the top of larger than normal loads.
The optional elevated cabins are powered by a hydraulic lift which raises the cabin up to 18 feet in less than ten seconds. It is operated by use of either a separate joystick or four preset buttons that can be programmed individually to different heights.
Typically, when a forklift operator is carrying a load that is too big to see around, the vehicle would have to be driven in reverse. The elevated cabin offers an ergonomically improved solution to this dilemma.
‘Over the Top’ Vision
The elevated cabin offers operators a full range of vision even when they are transporting loads that are long, bulky or heavy. The cabin’s elevation is regulated to ensure safe operation. There also are default setting options that can limit the maximum speed of the vehicle when the cabin is extended.
The feature also can be used while stacking and retrieving heavy loads, or while placing them into small openings, such as the side loading doors of aircraft.
The problem with backing up while carrying larger loads is that drivers can’t watch the load and where they are going at the same time. If the load is wider than the vehicle this can be a real problem because it may not always have enough clearance to avoid impact with a doorway, a narrow aisle, or other obstruction.
Helps Prevent Collisions, Injuries
Forklift operators carrying larger loads will sometimes lift the load above eye level so they can see where they are going between the forks — not exactly the safest way to travel in a forklift.
Plus, frequent reversing has a torsion effect that puts excessive strain on the driver’s spine. When combined with the normal vibrations of an operating forklift, this can easily lead to injury.
But the new elevating cabin allows drivers to avoid reversing if the view in the direction of travel is obstructed — without having to lift the load over their line of sight. The risk of collision is reduced. Plus, there is less risk of drivers developing a work-related injury from frequently twisting backward in order to reverse their vehicles.
The optional elevated cabin is available on Linde forklifts with a capacity of 22,000 to 40,000 pounds.
In addition to elevating cabins, Linde also offers an optional rotating cabin that can spin 180 degrees. This allows drivers hauling larger loads to operate their vehicles in reverse while facing in the direction their forklifts are moving.
Depending on the model and design, the forklift operator’s set — including the steering wheel and pedals — can be rotated up to 90 degrees to either side so the driver is always facing in the direction of travel.
A survey conducted by the German Employers’ Liability Insurance Association of Trade and Logistics (BGHW) found that rotating cabins improve driver ergonomics by 60%.