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Toyota forklifts have been pushing the envelope of forklift innovations ever since it introduced its first forklift. Today, the Japanese company has a tradition of evolving forklift technologies. One such technology of which Toyota has had a major involvement is the evolution of smart screens on forklifts.
To prove our point the very first Toyota forklift sold in the United States in 1967 featured smart screen technology although it was somewhat primitive when compared to the technology of today. The LA 1-ton model featured water and torque converter oil temperature gauges and an hour meter to track overall use of the lift.
It wasn’t until 1986 that Toyota built its first forklift in the United States. It was the 5-series and it was Toyota’s first internal combustion forklift to come standard with a combination of meters. The lift included an assortment of indicator lights that were designed to warn drivers of the condition of the machine. The warnings the lights alerted drivers to included a clogged air cleaner, parking brake engaged or not engaged, engine oil pressure warning, and more.
The Toyota 5-series carried another innovation in smart screen technology. In 1991, the four-wheel electric models featured Toyota’s first LCD digital display. It included a backlight for illumination in low light settings. There was also an LCD panel heater that turned on automatically in low temperatures. Additional functions included a speedometer, pump and motor hour meters, programmable speed control, over speed alarm, and lift interrupt capabilities.
Toyota introduced its 8-series internal combustion forklifts in 2008. The lifts included a multi-function display that switched to an LCD style display. It featured a number of practical indicators including a speedometer, maintenance reminder, torque converter temperature indicator, an eco-mode indicator, engine auto stop time setting, and the ability to set a second administrator password.
Toyota introduced its first touch screen display on the high-capacity adjustable wheelbase models in 2018. The 7-inch display, which is now standard on most Toyota Heavy Duty models featured never before used tools functions including a built-in capacity calculator that offered estimated capacity-based information on particular inputs like load center and attachment. The screen was also the first to display operator and service manuals, engine diagnostics that are now standard.
Optional camera systems and customizable pre-operation checklists were and can be integrated into the system.
The future of Toyota forklift smart screen technology is already starting to integrate telematics systems and auxiliary computers that allow the monitoring of forklift usage, control inventory, and more.
Operators of Toyota forklifts should be prepared to see a number of future monitoring innovations that were never even considered to be possible in the past.