One of the greatest advantages sideloaders have over counterbalance forklifts is safety. But how do sideloaders improve safety?
Carrying a load ‘widthways’ across forks is inherently unstable and the combination of a wide load and a partially obstructed view, often tempts operators to raise the load. This is dangerous for the operator and can lead to trucks tipping over, even with relatively light loads.
Sideloaders, too, must take into account the effects of loads, mast heights and movement on stability, and this is achieved by distributing weight in an intelligent way.
Baumann Sideloaders Improve Safety By Counterbalancing
To counteract the forces exerted on a sideloader as it lifts a load, it is possible to add weight along the operator’s edge of the truck, along the left side.
With electric sideloaders, this is partially achieved thanks to the battery, which sits above the deck behind the operator.
However, this is a fairly crude way to add counterweight and too much weight will naturally be a drag on performance, something particularly important for electric vehicles.
When designing Baumann sideloaders, we look at the subtle differences in adding counterweight in different parts of the chassis. The goal is an even weight distribution, both loaded and unloaded, to create a rigid, stable, safe and strong frame, without waste.
Creating a smaller, lightweight chassis, with a series of angled sections to provide stiffness and stability means excess weight is avoided, up to 2.5 tonnes lower than a conventional engine machine in the case of our latest ELX.
From there, weight can be added back in to where it is most effective, adding durability and in effect ‘over-engineering’ the components, such as in the new steering axle which was developed with extra weight added, providing a lower centre of gravity.
With forks at the front of a machine, all a forklift operator needs to do to collect a load is drive up to it. With a reach truck, and a sideloader, the mast must extend out towards the load. This is called the outreach.
Hydraulic cylinders traditionally drive a sideloader outreach system (the method by which the forks reach out to the load and return it to the load bed) by applying pressure to opposing rollers that slide along their respective channels, in a pantograph-style mechanical linkage.
The design has inherent issues, caused by friction phenomena, which can cause sudden oscillation movements of the carriage and mast.
Aside from adding sideways pressure and stress on the chassis, it means regular maintenance and an experienced, competent operator are essential.
The well, the section ‘cut out’ of the chassis to accommodate the mast, is designed to taper slightly inwards, to add the opposite pressure and resistance to the sliding rollers and maintain constant contact between roller and channel.
Frequent impacts can reduce the roller durability, whilst wear and tear also reduces the pre-stressed nature of the tapered sides, reducing the system’s lifespan.
In 2014, Baumann created an entirely new system for driving the crucial outreach capabilities of the modern sideloader.
A patented Archimedes screw, or worm gear outreach system, enhances equipment that has remained fundamentally unchanged for almost 50 years.
The direct drive Archimedes screw and sliding blocks extend the fork carriage, whilst preventing transverse movements and eliminating unnecessary stresses.
The whole worm gear system and rollers can work only in combination, which means ideal results each time, and the maximum working speeds.
The system is low in maintenance and simple in design, with a high level of engineering and durability to ensure greater safety, smoother control and is perfectly synchronised outreach for highly accurate and efficient load control.
Refined and upgraded, the new VRS (Variable Reach System) now includes additional strengthening via a guide rail, double the amount of grooves and corresponding bearings for more accurate control and a bespoke control valve block.
Don’t just take our word for it…
The message that has emerged from customers over the past few decades has been the quality, strength and reliability of the Baumann sideloaders. The company’s long-term approach puts real emphasis on the quality of manufacture and product reliability. With high-quality support, they have a new machine that improves their operation, reduces waste, provides greater comfort and productivity, as well as getting immediate fuel and maintenance savings. Not only that, but Baumann sideloaders improve safety in your business.