Cat® Lift Trucks has received yet another prestigious Red Dot Design Award, this time for its latest 1.4 to 2.0 tonne 48V electric counterbalance. The judges particularly highlighted its excellent user experience and clever design.
The Cat® EP14-20A(C)N(T) 48V, developed and built at the manufacturer’s Järvenpää site in Finland, is a revolutionary electric forklift. Featuring unique 360° steering, it has been designed to satisfy the driver’s wishes and needs completely. This year a record total of 5500 products from 55 different countries were tested by the jury on site in Germany, and from these the winners were selected.
User experience is the key
Starting with a thorough user study, the forklift’s development has resulted in several innovations which create the best possible experience for users. From the moment an operator steps into the easy-access cabin and starts driving, everything feels right. The truck adapts to his or her movements in a natural way, so take-off, driving and load handling are always smooth and safe.
"We are proud to receive the Red Dot Design Award again,” says Kero Uusitalo, Design Manager. He and his team are responsible for industrial design and user experience in relation to all Cat electric forklifts. “We are very aware that the jury changes every year, so different eyes are examining and judging the products.”
This is the first counterbalance lift truck ever to offer 360° steering, which makes turning extremely agile. It allows the truck to be turned in the opposite direction (180°) without stopping, which speeds up work and keeps the load stable in swift turns without swinging sideways.
Agility is further enhanced by four-wheel steering with dual-drive. Thanks to the rear wheels’ swiveling ability of over 100 degrees, the truck is easy to manoeuvre even in tight spaces. In addition, when reversing, turning begins immediately without the need to push back. These innovative advances produce the market’s best grip and agility for this size range.
In tune with the driver
Another important feature is the Cat Responsive Drive System (RDS), which monitors and instantly reacts to changes in the speed of pedal movement. RDS constantly adjusts performance parameters so all actions are smoothly controlled – including starts and stops. This intelligent system adapts to the truck's speed, so the driver sees better truck handling at low driving speeds and in high-precision lifting tasks. On the other hand, it makes the truck very fast and efficient when necessary, utilising its full performance.
Advanced curve control enables drivers to achieve the fastest safe cornering speed in any situation. It also resists truck tilting and counterbalance ‘snake-tailing’ after high-speed turns.
Drivers also benefit from a full-colour, clear-view display, with information in their own language, which advises on truck status and avoids misuse. An ergonomic and adjustable armrest, with integrated mast controls, fits with the user’s natural hand and finger movements. Meanwhile, a cleverly angled dashboard and counterweight maximise the all-round view.
A winner in every way
Kero Uusitalo concludes: “This product draws attention to itself not only through its winning design but because of its increased production volume and improved customer satisfaction ratings. As designers, we are delighted to see our work has been successful from every point of view."