Avant launches hand-only driven machines

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Avant has launched hand-driven compact tool carriers to benefit the disabled and impaired operator. The new models have been purposely designed to enable driving or whole machine operation from the joystick or the foot pedals, and were showcased at Naidex 2017 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, last month.

As well as driving forward or reversing by using their thumb on the joystick, the operator is able to maneuver and control the boom’s movements at the same time.

Para-equestrian carriage driver Jamie Williams, who represented Team GB at the FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships in the Netherlands last year and is paralysed from the waist down, said, “Having the new Hand Drive Avant 528 compact loader on the yard has changed my life. Now I can do 90% of the yard tasks myself, the Avant has given me my independence back. Before I was unable to push a wheel barrow or move shavings but now I can at the push of a button.

“The Avant enables me to do normal jobs quickly and effectively, like cleaning out the stables and adding fresh, new bedding. The Avant is just the right size, it fits into every stable and around the yard perfectly.”

The new machines are compact, four-wheel drive, provide 360° visibility and have the availability of 200 attachments for a wide range of applications.

Raimo Ala-Korpi, managing director of Avant UK, said, “We got the idea for the hand drive control from our customers some years ago. We wanted to design a loader that would be easy for those people who don’t have functionality in their legs or had weakened ability.

“Through launching this hand drive loader series we hope to help improve people’s independence and create freedom. Naidex is the perfect venue to be able to showcase the new models, and we’ve had a great response from attendees at the show.”

April 7, 2017

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Tom Stone is Editor of the iVT brand – which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine, Off-Highway Annual, and the Advanced Lift-truck supplement, as well as ivtinternational.com, which is updated daily. Tom has met and interviewed some of the world's leading industrial vehicle OEM presidents, CEOs and MDs, and takes great pride in cementing iVT's place as the leading forum for debate within the industry, a reputation that his been built up over the brand's 25-year history.

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