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Lift Trucks 2016: What's Up with the Latest in Forklift Technology

June 10, 2016
This lift truck guide offers a snapshot look at some of the newest models of industrial trucks.

When it comes to lift trucks, the number one criterion is safety—for the operator, as well as for pedestrians. It should come, then, as no surprise that the lift truck manufacturers have expended significant investments in upgrading their models to improve line-of-sight visibility, ergonomic comfort, vehicle stability, maneuverability and other essential features that are just as important—and maybe even more important—as how many pounds the forks can lift.

Thanks to telematics and the Internet of Things-based technologies, the fork lift of 2016 is as much an intelligent vehicle as today's smartphones are basically fully-functional computers that you can slip into your pocket. Whether developed in-house by the OEMs, such as Komatsu's KOMTRAX, or provided by solution developers such as I.D. Systems, KORE Wireless and TotalTrax, these technologies take the guesswork out of maintenance while adding extra levels of accountability and safety to every driver.

The following guide, while by no means a comprehensive listing of every new model and feature being introduced this year, offers a look at some of the major trends dominating the lift truck marketplace.


Crown Equipment Corp. has introduced the Crown FC 5200 Series counterbalanced forklift, which can support load capacities ranging from 4,000 to 6,500 pounds. Crown's Intrinsic Stability System uses integrated sensors and controllers to constantly monitor and control key forklift functions and movements to enhance stability and safety. The forklift's dual drive motors and steering axle geometry allow for a smaller turn radius so operators can handle heavy loads in tight spaces without disturbing surrounding pallets and or adding extra wear on the tires.


Hyster Company has introduced the H50XT lift truck, which is offered in 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 pound models. The new truck is available with a PSI 2.4L dual-fuel engine featuring Hyster Variable Power Technology, which includes selectable performance modes that allow users to maximize productivity or fuel economy to fit specific application requirements.


KION North America has introduced the Linde Series 1276 80-volt electric truck, the latest addition to its electric counterbalance lineup. It includes twin drive motors, a combi axle and an 80-volt AC electrical system. The truck features traction control to deliver motion, even with one wheel completely slipping. The operator assist feature is designed to aid the operator when maneuvering around curves.


Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks has introduced its 15,500 lb. capacity diesel pneumatic tire forklift truck. Built with a Perkins 854F Tier 4 Final diesel engine, the FD70N1 model is designed to work in a range of applications, such as lumber, pipe, concrete and steel. Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) after-treatment technology, that meets or exceeds EPA Tier 4 Final standards, are built into the new Perkins engine.


The Raymond Corp. has unveiled the Raymond 4750 sit-down counterbalanced truck, which updates the previous 4700 model to now include an open view mast, increased visibility and other ergonomic enhancements, such as full suspension seat, tilt steering wheel, larger operator compartment, and dual side entry. The new lift truck features compartmentalized maintenance, a dashboard brake fluid gauge and no-tool floorboard.

Toyota Industrial Equipment has introduced a new Reach Truck that's available in 2,500-4,500 lb. capacities. It comes in single and double reach models, with the choice between 24-volt or 36-volt power as well as battery compartments as short as 14.5 inches to as long as 21.5 inches. Key safety features include a high-visibility overhead guard, electric horn, emergency power disconnect switch, and an anti-static ground strap.


UniCarriers Americas Corporation (UCA) has introduced the Platinum II PF50DF and PF60DF Dual Fuel lift trucks. The Platinum II Series is powered by the company's K21, 2.1 liter, electronic fuel-injected industrial engine. A powertrain protection system reduces the truck's speed when excessive heat or oil pressure loss is detected, lengthening drivetrain life. Programmable speed control allows a technician to set maximum travel speeds based on skill level or corporate safety policy. An operator presence system features a seat-actuated power interrupt system to lock travel and hydraulic functions if the operator is not seated; the system also includes a seatbelt warning system and parking brake alarm.

Yale Materials Handling Corp. has debuted robotic lift truck technology with the introduction of Driven by Balyo technology into its Yale MPE080VG end rider, which can now operate as a self-guided truck. The infrastructure-free navigation technology requires no tape, wire or magnets for guidance. Instead, it relies on existing structural features such as walls, racking and columns to self-locate and navigate. The self-guided truck independently picks up, transports and drops off pallets anywhere on the floor.

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