Innovative forklift mast tilt indicator improves safety, as well as
delivering increased productivity.
A simple but clever device designed to make it easier to operate
counterbalance forklift trucks has been short listed for two prestigious
industry awards. FLTA
With a patent pending under the brand name ‘ForkAngles’, the device is
the brainchild of design engineer, Antony Cook of Alsager, Cheshire. The
idea stems from Antony’s personal experience and observations in the
operation of counterbalance forklift trucks.
“There is a fundamental problem with the design of counterbalance forklift
trucks”, explains Antony.“ The view from the operators’ position is
not sufficient to allow the driver to accurately determine the mast tilt
position. Even experienced FLT operators have to estimate the required mast
tilt, and then they use their skill to make fine adjustments as they
approach the load. If a driver gets it wrong it could result in damage to
the racking system, the pallet payload and a possible risk of injury.”
After becoming aware of this problem, Antony Cook set out to design a simple
visual ‘tilt angle’ indicator to take the guesswork and skill out of
setting the correct tilt angle.
“The result is basically a sliding indicator-weight controlled by a wire
linkage, the position of the indicator-weight, allows the operator to
accurately align the forks first time, every time. The concept uses gravity
to provide the movement. There are no electrics involved,” says Antony.
Apart from being relatively inexpensive, the ‘ForkAngles’ device can be
easily retro-fitted without any drilling or modification to the truck.
Indeed it is so simple that a demonstration unit can be installed in
The design has been validated after a successful series of trials, involving
several logistics firms; a potteries-based manufacturer of fine china
products and a regional FLT training specialist.
These trials proved that without ForkAngles, drivers have only a six per
cent probability of setting the tilt angle correct first time. In
comparison, with ForkAngles, the same drivers achieved 99.5 per cent
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