26 September 2014

When we buy a car – new or pre-owned – we do not just consider the costs, energy consumption or design. We also seek comfort. We want to drive comfortably and wish to arrive at our destination rested.

Why would this be different when we purchase a reach truck for example?

Naturally, also in this case price, energy consumption and productivity play an important role. It is not without reason that many users prefer the truck with the most favourable total costs of ownership (TCO).

Besides maintenance costs and energy consumption, the costs in the long run are also being determined by an ergonomic design. If the driver feels at ease and can work through all of the shift without getting tired, it will make a positive impact on the desired productivity.

Like in an armchair

A comfortable, safe driver’s compartment – without unexpected moving parts and an easy on- and off access – is essential. The driver should be able to do his work as relaxed as if he was sitting in an armchair. A good seat absorbs adverse shocks and vibrations, which will occur when the mast is doing its work. By the way, the same applies to the chassis.

In order to be able to absorb those shocks maximally, it is important that the seat has been adjusted to the body weight of the driver. Also the steering wheel and the hydraulic controls must be adjustable both horizontally and vertically. Preferably steplessly. Finally, the operator’s compartment must be spacious enough to be able to sit and work comfortably.

Optimal view

When the proper sitting position has been found and all the controls are optimally positioned, the driver then has to have the best view on his cargo and his environment. If he does not see them well, then he will be forced to make unnatural movements and this will increase the risk of back or neck problems.

When working with a reach truck, the driver needs to keep a good view on the pallet and both fork tips at all working heights. The same unobstructed view is necessary on the support legs and through the overhead guard. Poor visibility does not just affect the working conditions, but it will also lead to an unsafe situation. And that in turn has negative consequences for productivity. All the more reason to pay good attention to ergonomics. As we said… it kills two birds with one stone.