A new range of super-quiet, all-electric forklift trucks from Cargotec – the E Series – has been highly commended in the Noise Abatement Society’s 2012 John Connell Technology Awards sponsored by the Acoustics Society.
This prestigious national awards scheme recognises significant developments in the control and reduction of noise in the environment. Cargotec received their commendation at a Noise Abatement Society presentation event in the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, 6th November.
Designed primarily for the loading and unloading of vehicles at night in built up areas, the E Series Truck Mounted Fork Lifts (TMFLs) use advanced electronic technology to achieve a noise level below 60dba, ensuring near silent operation.
This low level means that they meet the PIEK regulations which limit the noise level of such machines when operated at night to no more than 60dba. These regulations, which were developed in The Netherlands and have been adopted in the UK through the Noise Abatement Society, are also widely used across the Continent.
Keith Quigley, Vice-President – TMFLs at the Dundalk based company, described receiving a commendation as: “a resounding endorsement of our decision to develop an electric forklift alongside our range of diesel powered trucks of which more than 50,000 have been produced under the market-leading Moffett brand.”
He added that it was particularly pleasing to succeed alongside some of the leading names in the vehicle industry, such as Toyota and Carrier Transcold.
Explaining the background to the development of the E Series, Mr Quigley said: “Heavy daytime road congestion in our towns and cities means that more deliveries are being made during the night and often in built-up residential areas. This requires transport operators to find quieter ways in which to make their deliveries if they are to avoid falling foul of objections from local residents and noise restrictions placed on them by local authorities. Our new E-Series range of TMFLs will go a long way to solving this problem.
“In developing our new forklifts we have looked at every aspect of their operation and found ways to eliminate or reduce noise. And although using battery power rather than a diesel engine as the means of propulsion is the major element in this, we have found numerous other ways to keep the noise level very low.”
The E Series comprises two models; the 1.5 tonne capacity E2 and the 2.0 tonne E4. Both use Lithium Ion batteries feeding power to the latest technology AC electric motors, which drive the wheels, hydraulics and steering. ‘Steer by Wire’ technology is used to remove the noise associated with hydraulic steering and helical hydraulic gear pumps ensure near silent hydraulics. A specially developed quiet version of Cargotec’s standard mounting kit further reduces noise levels.
Electric forklifts have the added benefit that they are totally emissions free, typically saving up to 200kg of particulate matter entering the atmosphere over a five year period in comparison with an equivalent diesel powered forklift.
Zero emissions also opens up new applications for “out to in“ deliveries by allowing the forklift to operate into a cold store or warehouse direct from the delivery vehicle, thus reducing the need for additional equipment and personnel in the delivery chain.
Running costs of the E Series forklifts are estimated to be 70% lower than diesel-powered forklifts based on current fuel and servicing costs. The environmental implications of engine oil and filter changes and the disposal of these items are also removed.
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