Hyster offers lift truck solutions
US manufacturing company Hyster is exploring and developing an increased range of solutions to improve the awareness of lift truck drivers in terminals.
The organisation has identified a series of proximity and object detection possibilities for truck-to-truck, truck-to-object and truck-to-pedestrian detection to help operators stay focused on loads and driving paths and to increase awareness of people and other machines.
The different products are modular and can be either used individually or in combination.
Commenting on the new products, Ed Stilwell, Hyster’s functional system leader, said: “Lift truck drivers and pedestrians need to maintain proper awareness of each other, especially in port and terminal operations.
“Technology can help with this, but to be effective it must meet the specific needs of the handling application.”
To illustrate his point, Mr Stilwell highlighted how lift trucks often have reduced visibility for drivers in comparison with a car.
He added: “Therefore, existing technologies from the automotive sector are often not advanced enough for these complex needs.”
Hyster’s first solution is designed to automatically detect objects, with multiple sensors that adjust their range according to a vehicle’s speed. The solution can sense objects while driving in a straight line as well as during turning manoeuvres where the tail of the truck is either leading or swinging.
When an object is detected, the operator is warned through haptic and audible alerts like vibrations and buzzing and can then react accordingly.
Hyster maintains that the operator must always be responsible for the safe operation of a machine, but technology can assist where visibility may be limited.
The company has also identified cameras as a way of improving visibility in certain situations.
To keep operators focused on loads and paths ahead, cameras can be programmed to activate only when an object is detected and then display an image onscreen.
Furthermore, the use of cameras can aid container engagements, and multiple camera views can also be merged into one image, meaning operators do not have to try to figure out which view a camera is showing.
The company is also providing for the ‘big data’ needs of smart ports through its Hyster Tracker telematics solution, which allows port operators to gather data including daily service checks, accident reports and utilisation analysis.
The system offers controlled operator access, proactive maintenance alerts and reactive impact and fault codes.
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