We know from working closely with our customers, industry associations and international standards agencies that safety and environmental consideration are amongst the main features that are driving developments and design.
Intelligent active safety systems are being investigated within Europe to establish minimum safety enhancement that could lead to inclusion by manufacturers for all designs of counterbalance trucks. This is a challenge to reach the highest level of safety, but without affecting productivity etc.
As you know at Toyota we pioneered an active safety system – SAS (system of active stability), over ten years ago. This system is fitted to the majority of counterbalance trucks we sell throughout the world within our standard designs.
We are very proud of our SAS system and the safety record we have with it. We are also constantly improving the system to integrate with lifting and driving systems to control potential risks when material handling, at height for example. This has recently been recognised by independent testing which has identified the Toyota Tonero as the safest truck in its class for lateral stability.
Environmental consideration is very a very important issue for all of us. Quality Material Handling Companies have had to really look deep into many facets of their business to ensure a good balance is achieved between environmental, social and economic responsibility, this is achieved within its policies, products and operation.
At Toyota we believe that these values are fundamental pillars of our business which are at the core of all our activities.
When designing our products we acknowledge the different levels of intensity that customer’s will require from their trucks. We have improved our trucks to reflect real life requirements. For example, counterbalance trucks can consume unnecessary fuel when not working in a highly active application. Sometimes the truck is only required to be used for up to 4 hours total per day.
Toyota has developed a number of world-class technologies including the intelligent use of electronic and computer controlled devices to create more ergonomic and user-friendly operator environments, contributing to safety in the workplace.
Toyota Optimax – optimising performance and minimising productivity
One of the latest developments on the Toyota Tonero is the Optimax system, which maximises performance of the high quality and reliable industrial engine and transmission. Toyota has added a package of special options which combine a range of technologies and smart design to provide the optimum performance and minimise productivity loss whilst reducing fuel consumption.
The package of special options includes:
(ALC) Automatic Lifting Control
A preset speed reduction (13km/h)
Low rolling resistance tyres
Safety + display incorporating Optimax controls
Power Select Function
The Traigo 48 electric counterbalance trucks also features a special ‘Power Select Function’ to maximise productivity and efficiency. It includes 3 pre-set functions and 1 adjustable travelling mode which can be set via the display’s push buttons S = standard mode P = power mode H = high power mode
The huge benefit to the customer is the opportunity to adjust the performance of the truck to the application to maximise productivity and minimise wasted fuel consumption. The focus can be on operating hours (S), maximum performance (H) or a combination of working efficiency and operating hours (P) S-P-H.
New fuels and energy efficient features
At Toyota, we firmly believe that energy efficient features are here to stay; not only because they support the way we, and our customers choose to do business and also how we acknowledge our responsibilities in achieving sustainability.
This adds value as these features also go hand in hand with increasing productivity and reducing costs.
We are at the forefront in the study of all the ’new’ fuels and their development. We are actively testing most of these in different applications to establish best suited solutions for particular material handling operations.
We also believe that such solutions will be based on a combination of traditional as well as ‘new’ fuels in the short to medium term. There is a lot of ‘hype’ within the trade press and our industry regarding these new technologies which is all very positive and good for development, however we must also focus on the efficiencies of any solution and get the right balance of sustainability.
At Toyota we call this responsible innovation, ensuring that we develop new designs to make the best of the’ new’ fuels whilst focusing on how they benefit operational demands. This includes the infrastructure of supply and re-charge / re-fuelling etc.
Within the Toyota group, we are still seeing brand new greener developments come to market. The Prius and latest Auris hybrid cars features Ecological Plastic, the world’s first injection moulded material to be derived from plant matter.