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A new remote monitoring system allows managers to monitor the use and performance of the forklifts in their fleets from anywhere — even if they are halfway around the world.
The TRUCONNECT system originally was developed by the Springfield, Ohio, based company Konecranes for use in its overhead industrial cranes product line. But the technology was so successful that it is now being made available for use with forklifts.
Paul Stevens, the company’s region director for North America, said that the tool offers managers a new way of keeping tabs on their equipment and operators.
“TRUCONNECT remote monitoring and reporting enables management to track the real usage of its lift trucks through a remote connection,” Stevens said in a company news release. “It is a great tool for scheduling your lift truck fleet’s maintenance actions and improving the fleet’s uptime, along with monitoring safe usage.”
‘Smarter than Your Average Forklift’
The way it works is this: An onboard diagnostic unit continually collects data about the operation and use of the vehicle. Once a day, this data is transferred via a WiFi connection to a modem, where it is downloaded and compiled into an easy-to-read report.
Managers can then access these reports from anywhere using their mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets or even their smartphones. The reports provide information about how the vehicles are being used, how long they have been in use, how long they were idling, and how long they were turned off.
Information also is available about safety alerts, machine status, fuel consumption, speed, distance, total load lifted, and alarm fault codes regarding the performance of the vehicle’s engine and transmission.
Upgraded versions allow manage to monitor tire pressure, drops in engine oil pressure, whether the transmission is overheating, and engine coolant temperature. There’s also a GPS signal which can locate the vehicle with pinpoint accuracy anywhere in the world, as well as shock sensors.
Instant Notification of Problems
The system also can send email and text message alarms if the vehicle is experiencing any unusual behavior, such as excessive speeds or sudden shocks caused by impacts.
That means that you can instantly know if one of your operators is driving his forklift too fast or unsafely — even if you are sitting on a beach while on vacation in Maui.
The system is also “smart”. It can tell when the forklifts in your fleet are performing in ways that might suggest they need to be serviced. Or it can keep track of your scheduled maintenance and remind you when certain actions are due.
“The usage information helps you to improve your lift truck fleet’s maintenance operations by forecasting the estimated maintenance date from actual usage,” Stevens said. “You can also identify where operator training could improve the safety and productivity of your work site.”