Kalmar has received an order from Ford for 14 new compact ECD70 – 6C forklift trucks (FLTs). These new electric forklifts will begin operation in January/February 2005 at the Ford sites in Valencia and Cologne.
Several modifications have been made to the forklifts to meet Ford requirements. For example, the company needed a compact machine since it employs a factory layout with relatively narrow aisles, thus maximising the amount of space available for its assembly lines. Kalmar has succeeded in reducing the overall length of its standard truck by 45cm by using special tyres and a lead-filled counterweight.
Ford uses 40 Kalmar electric forklifts in five European factories. The compact machines have maximum loads of 7t to 16t. Fourteen further forklifts are to be delivered before the end of 2004.
Ford also has high expectations when it comes to operational safety, which is another reason why it chose Kalmar to supply its FLTs. Kalmar has installed flashing reverse lights, reverse cameras and ultrasound sensors into the FLT range ordered by Ford.
Driver visibility has been improved too. The seat in the cab can be swivelled 10 degrees to the left and 30 degrees to the right, making reversing a much easier operation while duplex lifting frames without free lift further enhance visibility.
Ease of operation has also been improved, a single joystick controlling the operation of the lifting mast, fork positioner and side shift.
The electric option
There remains a strong market for electric trucks where emission requirements are particularly stringent, such as for indoor operations. According to Mikael Rietz, VP Sales&Marketing, Industrial Systems Kalmar Industries, Kalmar is one of the few manufacturers that can offer electric trucks with a capacity of up to 9 tonnes:
"We see clear growth potential for electric trucks, growth that will undoubtedly be spurred on by the launch of these new, improved models.
"Kalmar is particularly strong with larger trucks and we believe many users will find they can make significant man-hour productivity gains by handling heavier loads, especially where the trucks are also being used for horizontal transportation as well as lifting.
"Demand is coming primarily from the warehouse handling sector where electric trucks are an excellent solution for the local environment due to their elimination of exhaust emissions and noise disturbance."
So maximum loads of 7t and 9 t at 600 mm LSP can be attained, the counterweights are leaded. Special tyres create further valuable centimetres of overall length
The Ford and Kalmar relationship
Ford has been a client of Kalmar since 1989. It operates Kalmar forklifts in five European factories where they are used for internal transportation. It currently has 40 Kalmar electric forklifts in operation.
Stefan Katgely, manager of press maintenance in the Ford factory in Saarlouis stated:
"The Kalmar product has proved to be extremely reliable. The company has really met our needs with the production of the compact machines we currently operate. They are also very popular amongst the drivers, which is of high importance in keeping our staff happy."
Notes to editors:
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Kalmar is a global provider of heavy duty materials handling equipment and services to ports, intermodal traffic, terminals and demanding industrial customers. Kalmar focuses on supplying handling solutions that enable customers to operate with a high level of efficiency and reliability. Every fourth container or trailer transfer at terminals around the world is handled by a Kalmar machine.
Kalmar provides a large range of value added services such as maintenance contracts and fleet management. Manufacturing plants are situated in Sweden (as is the head office), in Finland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Malaysia, China and the USA.
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